Saturday, August 02, 2008

How to develop our students

I agree wholeheartedly with the new Minister of Higher Education, Khaled Nordin, that "that allowing university students to join political parties will restrict their development into holistic first-class human capital". In addition, I also agree that "another reason for the continued ban was that the Government did not want public university students, who are heavily subsidised, to “play around” and waste taxpayers' money."

In addition, to fulfill the objective of developing our university students, I hope that the esteemed minister can consider the following proposals. I propose that:

(i) The esteemed Minister considers banning students from going to mamak stalls and coffee shops. These are places where nonsensical and unproductive coffee shop 'chatter' takes place much of it involving the topics of political interest of the day. Since we do not want our best and brightest to corrupt their ears and to waste their time by listening to this nonsense, we need to ban our students from going to these places.

(ii) The esteemed Minister considers banning students from watching football matches especially those involving foreign teams. Watching football matches, which lasts for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes (including the break), and more, if we take into account the prematch and postmatch shows, is an extremely unproductive use of time. Our students could use this time more productively, for example, in discussing the latest developments in biotechnology and nanotechnology and in collaborations to build Proton a new hybrid engine. In addition, we do not want our young minds to be influenced by the teams of the decadent West who are not only footballers but also flaunt their decadent lifestyles off the field. However, we should make exceptions for our students to watch matches involving Malaysian teams since this shows their solidarity with their own 'local' teams and contributes to nation building and increases their patriotism.

(iii) The esteemed Minister considers banning students from watching movies in the cinemas. Watching movies is another big waste of time, time that could be better spent on academic pursuits and developing one's own human capital. In addition, many movies produced in the West promote decadent values and values which are not consistent with our Asian culture. For example, we would not want our students to be unduly influenced by the portrayal of vigilante justice and 'cool' criminals in the latest Batman movie. However, again, exceptions should be made for movies produced locally since we are supporting local industry by watching these movies. However, local movies which promote values that are not in line with national values should be banned including movies such as Sepet (which promotes inter-racial dating) and The Big Durian (which glorifies the struggles of the communists in Malaysia).

(iv) The esteemed Minister considers blocking access to websites such do not promote the development of human capital in all public universities and if possible in all private colleges as well. Websites which provides access to disturbing information on matters of little importance such as the BBC, Malaysiakini, the New York Times, should be at the top of such a list. In doing so, the minister will prevent students from wasting countless number of hours spent surfing on these sites, time that could be better spent on coming up with inventions that will promote the growth of industry and technological advancement in the country.

(v) The esteemed Minister considers implementing a rule which requires all students in public universities to carry at least one book where ever they go on and off campus. This is so that students do not waste previous time when they are waiting for buses or sitting in their friend's cars or waiting in a queue or even sitting in the john, time that could be spent reading and developing their human capital. To further encourage this kind of behavior, the esteemed Minister require all public universities to have a monthly contest to reward a 'lucky' student who is seen to be carrying more than 5 books (either in his or her bag or in his or her hands) in public view. The 'reward' should be in the form of a 1000RM book voucher, to be spent in the university bookshop.

(vi) The esteemed Minister considers hiring unemployed graduates from public universities to carry out a massive surveillance plan that would ensure that the above mentioned rules are followed. They will be posted at strategic locations in and around the campus including mamak shops, cinemas, bus stops and shopping malls. This way, not only will it solve the problem of unemployed graduates in our country, but it will more than pay for itself through the development of human capital that will inevitably occur once the attention of our students are diverted from such unproductive activities including politics, sports, movies and so forth.

I sincerely hope that the esteemed Minister considers at least some of my recommendations made above and implement them as soon as possible.


Shawn Tan said...

As the poster rightfully notes, there is already political activism in universities. As long as there is free flow of information on campuses (most likely via the Internet), being a card holding member of a political party is just a minor detail. Our problems at the universities run much deeper than the UUCA. Fixing the UUCA will only benefit a minority of the student body. I think that effort would be better focused elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe this kind of mentality still exists in a modern, democratic (well sort of, according to the much distorted Constitution) country such as M'sia which guarantees freedom (again, kinda pseudo-freedom which the govt professes). 'Kudos' to the author who'd like to see the adult students being babysit by the authorities. And well, authorities? Are they qualified enough to babysit the leaders and the trendsetters of tomorrow, when these students know more about the real world than the goons in the feeble figment of imaginations who tend to be fickle-minded? For instance, who is to tell a PhD candidate what to read, write and speak when he in turn, could turn the knowledge he acquires from whatever sources he can find to make a new invention that could benefit the mankind? And these sources include movies, banned materials, or any sort of nonsense or misinformation that could be found on this planet.

It's funny that the author criticises the Sepet and Big Durian for glorifying petty issues like racial dating and communism. Contradictarily the author could write out this 'trash' (sorry to be harsh) that seems more like a propagandistic version of communism as seen in the one-party Communist China or Cuba. It's very socialistic (out of socialist idea) at its best which dictates what's best for the society even at micro level - babysitting. Since we have come to this micro level, should the authorities tell us what to eat, who our friends are, and who should we marry? Is that what the author want? Please, I implore to the author, to be more mindful of what's to be said.

From this article, I can see that the author fancies the form much more than the real substance. It's like dumping the pearls inside and keep the shells for decoration purposes. For example, what's the point of carrying 1 book everywhere I go when I don't have time to read it? Should I bring a book along when I'm dating in shopping complex near the campus? What a farce! If the author does this antic everywhere he/she goes, I don't mind. But in the end, common sense rules!

I don't mean to be sarcastic of this article. I understand it's just someone's opinion and everybody has the right to express what he feels. But to treat an adult students, the professional-to-be like a child in such a exalted place called university have put an effrontery to the dignity of each and every student and fill me with such indignation as to counter what the author has conveyed.

Peace. Out.

OiNK!! said...

Noname ... I believe you read the article out of context that it was written.

Mostpartriotmalaysian - you are very humorous, I hope to read more postings from you. :-)

Tiara said...

noname: it's called satire.

OP: sshh, don't give them ideas. ;)

Marc Ng said...

Soon in the future we're gona see a HUGE number of students arrested 4 the following crimes in the headlines:

1. Dating the wrong skin colour
2. Chatting at mamak stall
3. Watching EPL at mamak stall
4. Watching movie at cinemas
5. Not carrying even a comic book
6. Surfing the news in the internet

And the list goes on & on with the following charges of 6 months - 1 year in jail or RM50 for whistle blowers duit kopi.

A little bit 2 much don't u think??? u can bring a horse to the river but u can't force it 2 drink the water from the river.

Anonymous said...

my god noname how did u take the article at face value, its so obviously being sarcastic, unless ur playing along and ur fooling all of us, peace out dude

Anonymous said...

Oh really?! @@ My bad!
I was too absorbed by this article that I was somehow 'tricked' into taking it literally, word by word! How embarrassing!
Congrats to the author for this wonderful August Fool joke! I really don't mind to be the joker haha!

Anonymous said...

I hope the MOHE or Minister will carry out special task force study why in UPM for example certain race make up 90% of the population in the campus, yet in the library they constitute 10% of the library users

WY said...

i propose that our Ministers stop politicking, and start thinking what's best for our education systems. Perhaps they might start by spending few hundred thousands on plastic surgery to remove the sticks up their posteriors.

Nor Izzatina Abdul Aziz said...

You could add another to the list:

Ask the private sector to pay minimum wage to the students for internship during the semester break.Internship will help with their human capital development even though they just make coffee.

Fikri said...

"...all students in public universities to carry at least one book where ever they go...This is so that students do not waste previous time...time that could be spent reading and developing their human capital."

I actually do this, and think the same way :)

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! Couldn't have put it better myself. ;-)

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Tony / Kian Ming,

An interesting Advt appeared in The Sun today (4 Aug 2008) - asiaEuniversity -

"Asia e University (AeU) is a dual-mode multinational university set in Asia, by Asians under the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD). Its establishment is an initiative of Malaysia, as prime mover for e-education, with the support of the 30 ACD member countries as confirmed by the Islamabad 2005 and DOHA 2006 ACD Ministerial Meetings.

AeU will collaborate with Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and training centres in the 30 ACD Countries to offer academic programmes and trainings to all in Asia. AeU programmes and products will focus on affordability, accessibility, and marketability. AeU will also act as a facilitator for the mutual accreditation and recognition of degrees and academic programmes among Asian IHL. It will also act as an enabler for IHL in Asia to leverage on each other resources and facilities including sharing of academic and professional programmes.

AeU is also an instrument for greater Asia wide cooperation and a catalyst in narrowing the digital divide among communities and nations. It will actively promote e-education efforts to meet the future human capacity needs of Asia. AeU is set to open minds and to open doors of opportunities for all in Asia."

The term "dual-mode multinational university" is quite a mouthful and honestly, I don't know what it means. Perhaps you care to comment.

On another note, did u hear that Universiy Colleges (UC) (HELP and Binary) in Malaysia are now even allowed to confer their own DBA?

I personally have no problem with UC offering their own Bachelor Degrees.

This went on to Masters, which may me think, if UC can offer Masters, what's the difference between a UC and a full-fledged University.

However, when UC started to offer DBA, it makes the whole education system in Malaysia to be a joke.

I have nothing against UC but a distinction must be made between UC and a University. UC should only be allowed to offer Bachelors and not anything higher.

I wonder these UC, will they hire their own DBA Graduates to be their own Professors and to supervise future DBA Candidates.

Anonymous said...

Hi Derek,
What is your problem. We have UC, MIT and now AeU to over see these institutions. It is a marriage made in heaven.
Even the top universities in China like Tsinghua and Peking University have problems getting their degrees recognised in Malaysia. We have standard. We can send our fellow Malaysian to space.
We have figured out a short cut, where others have to sweat to get things done in the old fashion way, we can achieve all those by policy change and redefine a few terms when needed on the way.

We are just getting old, too old fashion!

Frank Chong

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Like I said, I have no problem with UC offering degrees at Bachelors level. Education is the key to improving our future generations and NOT everyone can enter local Public Universities or afford to go overseas to get their degrees. The UC is a cheaper alternative but the quality has to be maintaned.

However, if UC can offer MBA and DBA, then there should be no diference between UC and a full-fledged University like UM or even MMU. Why not just upgrade all these UC to a full-fledged University like KUPTM to MSU. Is the decision just only political or is it also due to infrastructure, facilities and academic quality of the UC?

Perhaps Tony and Kian Ming can shed some additional light.

Tsinghua U and Peking U are recognised internationally. Whether there are recognised by the Malaysian Government does not really matter as I am certain any MNC in Malaysia will gladly hire a Graduate from Peking University.

With regards to AEU, I did not want to jump the gun but the infamout Irish International (not a real) University now call themselves "Open Transnational University".

We do not want that to be just another term for "dual-mode multinational university". That's why I hope than Tony / Kian Ming can comment on this matter.

I agree that we are getting old, especially me, but we must always ensure that old people are not conned by new and sexy terms like "Open Transnational University".

WY said...

let's be judgemental.

UC is not university. period. University Colleges are just some fancy term Malaysian politicians conjure to give the impression that we have a lot of universities.... they re nothing more than a degree mills at it is.

this new obviously frank chong is trying to promote something that most of us can't be bothered to read else where. applaud for the new 'instituion' it a high school?

Anonymous said...

This is funny dude. Really funny. LOL worthy. What's even funnier is that some tool actually thought you were being serious. HAHAHAHA

Anonymous said...

Hi Derek, WY,
Let's have some fun. At times, we need to have some humour, even it is on ourselves (Malaysians), to keep our sanity. For background:
UC in higher education (especially in USA) refers to The University of California System. The most highly ranked public university system in the USA (probably the world too). It includes UC Berkeley, UCSF, UCLA etc.
MIT ranks among the top in the world in engineering and science. Much later Malaysia came up with her version of MIT (Mara Institute of Technology and later changed to ITM due to some unknown reasons), we have institutions of very high sounding names with so many calling themselves world class institutions.
I suppose, if you limit your world (universe) to a small set you can always come up to the top. If need be it may be a set of one too!

I should have said I am getting old, where substance is above hype. I suppose, if we have no substance, then the best thing we could so is hype (or fake) right?

Frank Chong

Anonymous said...

Sooner we will have a lot of DBA around.

Unknown said...


I am sure that you are aware that:

The full name of Berkeley is University Of California, Berkeley. They refer to themselves a University and not a University College.

The full name for UCLA is University of California, Los Angeles. They also refer to themselves as a University and not a University College.

The full name for UCSF is University of California, San Francisco. They also refer to themselves as a University and not a University College.

I agree that substance must be above hype or style. INSEAD and HEC remain as a Specialised Business School but they offer up to PHD and there is no problem with the recognition.

The most important thing is for prospective students to enter with their eyes wide open and not be deceived by UC or even Universities.

Anonymous said...

if some of the students practise what you suggested, they will be considered NERD, WEIRDO, and other awful remarks. their friends will outcast them. in the end, it is better to follow the flow outside and work hard in the inside which mean nobody know you study hard

Kian Ming said...

Hey Derek,

FYI, a dual mode university means that they offer both e-learning courses as well as face to face courses. I'd reserve my opinion on the Asie E University for the time being. I think that it's basically a distance learning university that is hoping to cash in on the demand for distance or e learning.

One fact troubles me about this institution. Check out the number of academic staff that they had in 2007 - I wouldn't trust a university, even a distance learning university, that starts off with 18 academic staff with only a diploma degree to their names.

On the matter of university colleges granting DBAs or doctorates, I have a problem with this if the university college in question is not a research university. I'm not sure if Binary and HELP have done enough (in terms of faculty qualifications and such) to deserve being able to confer a doctorate degree that is earned, not just given away.

Anonymous said...

Hi YB Tony etc

I have some bright ideas to promote higher education and government efficiency in Malaysia:

Set up a “BN University” with the following departments and schools:

a. Medical school with a “Department of Anal Anatomy and Anal Pathology” (the aim is to train Malaysian experts in detection of sexual assault/nonconsensual sodomy since its prevalence seems to be so high in this country)

b. Law school to train legal staff who can achieve high conviction rates quickly (the aim is to have legal staff who will not drag things out and waste tax payer money)

c. Journalism school to train reporters and mass media people to be better propagandists and spin doctors (as the present batch of …appointees do not seem to be up to their job)

d. Economics department to train government economic advisors who
can closely monitor the price of primary commodities such as oil so that government subsidies can be adjusted quickly with minimal delay (preferably downwards)whenever there are siginificant price movements.

e. A school of police science to train more efficient and effective police officers. Not only to catch common criminals but also other categories of criminals who are deemed to be more detrimental to national security and stability.

f. Set up a School of Business with a Department of Entrepreneurship
(the aim is to train students who are good at creating new,
innovative rent-seeking opportunities at tax-payer expense)

g. Add another department to the business school i.e. Department of
Finance (the aim is to train businesspeople who can carry out
government contracts but at maximum cost so as to ensure
consistent cost over-runs)

h. Add a Department of Statistics to train statisticians who can
create new Consumer Price Indexes (Indices) that show low rates
of inflation in spite of the experience of ordinary Malaysian
consumers to the contrary

i. Add a Department of Politics to offer an advanced diploma in
Machiavellian politics

j. Add a Department of Philosophy
to teach logic (the aim is to enable BN supporters to come up with more and more convoluted arguments to convince the skeptical public about official pronouncements)

I'm sure the proposed BN University will not only be unique, it will also be a centre of excellence!

What do you think?

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous said...

The only problem I have with students being active in politics is; are they emotionally matured enough to be involved in politics? Ever since the general elections the politics being practiced here are more emotional rather than rational. Most people base their comment on the subject emotionally rather than rationally. Which would lead in turn to decisions made that are not necessarily the right ones. So, are the students emotionally matured? Because as a uni student myself, I don't think so