Monday, October 17, 2011

A Study By World Bank Found That Race quotas, politics led to falling UM standards

Monday, 17th October 2011

University Malaya (UM) is the best university in Malaysia but the university is still not in the top 10 of the best university in Asia. The study by World Bank found that this was due to Race quota and politics as required under the New Economic Policy (NEP) which was first implemented in 1975.

A World Bank publication has found that standards at Universiti Malaya have fallen and the institution has been kept at a disadvantage because of race-based admission quotas and political interference in university management.
In contrast, Singapore’s decision to prioritise research, keeping English as the medium of instruction and a merit-based admissions policy have all contributed to the success of the National University of Singapore’s success, according to “The Road to Academic Excellence,” which studies what contributes to a world-class research university.

The study also noted that Malaysian secondary school students are not well prepared for tertiary education.

It points out that the Malaysian education system promotes rote learning, conformity and uniformity rather than fresh and creative thinking.

The study is led by two scholars — Philip Altbach and Jamil Salmi — while various chapters see contributions from various academics.

Salmi, a Moroccan education economist attached to the World Bank, also notes that “disturbing political developments, from the burning of churches to the whipping of a woman for drinking beer in public,” also cast a shadow on Malaysia’s “image as an open and tolerant society.”

The comparisons between UM and NUS is contained in a chapter entitled “The National University of Singapore and the University of Malaya: Common Roots and Different Paths.”

The chapter is authored by Hena Mukherjee, a former Universiti Malaya department head with a doctorate in education from Harvard University, and Poh Kam Wong, an NUS Business School professor.

According to the study, “at an early stage, the Singapore government realised the universities’ role in sustaining economic growth.

“In contrast, after 1970, UM’s institutional goals reflected the New Economic Policy, an affirmative action plan for ethnic Malays and indigenous groups, put in place in the wake of disastrous 1969 ethnic riots that took the lives of hundreds of people on both sides of the racial divide.,” the study found.

The authors said that apart from the student quota system, the NEP translated into more scholarships to Bumiputeras, special programmes to facilitate their entry into higher education institutions, and the use of the Malay language in place of English in the entire education system by 1983.

“In UM and in government, the policy impact spiralled upward so that Bumiputera staff members, over time, secured almost all senior management, administrative, and academic positions.

“As NUS kept pace with the demands of a growing economy that sought to become competitive internationally, with English continuing as the language of instruction and research, UM began to focus inward as proficiency in English declined in favour of the national language — Bahasa Malaysia — and the New Economic Policy’s social goals took precedence.”

The study noted however that there has been widespread recognition that the implementation of affirmative action policies in Malaysia has hurt the higher education system, sapping Malaysia’s economic competitiveness and driving some (mainly Chinese and Indians) to more meritocratic countries, such as Singapore.

In the broader study, the lead authors found that research was an important element in the making of a world-class university, as well as top-grade talent.

“We’re both convinced that serious research universities are important in almost all societies,” Altbach, who is the director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, told the New York Times last week in an interview.

Said Altbach: “Independence, luck, persistence, some kind of strategic vision, adequate resources — usually, but not always, public resources — good governance structures, good leadership, the ability to attract good students and so on. But we have found that the quality of the faculty is really crucial.”

Salmi, who co-ordinates the World Bank’s activities related to higher education, told the same newspaper of their new 390-page study, which will be released later this month, that their advice is like that supposedly given for a rabbit stew recipe: “First, catch your rabbit.” Only in this case the advice would be: “First, catch your faculty.”

“The difference between a good university and great university comes down to talent.”

Mupok Aku

East Malaysian Christian In Response To Himpunan Sejuta Umat (HIMPUN)

Monday,17th October  2011

Article 11 of the Malaysia Constitution provides that every person has the right to profess and practice his own religion. Every person has the right to propagate his religion, but state law and, in respect of the Federal Territories, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among Muslims. There is, however, freedom to carry on missionary work among non-Muslims. But lately this article has been abused by the Muslim. If Tun Jugah and those who supported Sarawak to join Malaysia are still alive until today I believed they may want Sarawak to pull out from Malaysia. As far as the Muslims are concerned, there are only two types of population, the Muslim and non-nuslim. There is no such religion as Christian, Buddhist or Hinduism. They are non-believers thus will go to hell!

Today I am going to write about the ill treatment of Christians by government in Malaysia.

Government of Malaysia leads by UMNO will typically tell foreigners that all members of all religions are treated ‘equally’ and get along amicably. That’s the image sold overseas, at any rate. The reality is quite different. Islam is the official state religion, so it enjoys all sorts of official and unofficial privileges, such as lavish state-built mosques, massive taxpayer-funded proselytization programmes for Muslims (but not for other belief systems), sprawling Government-run Islamic universities, a distinct pro-Islamic and pro-jihad tilt in the state-owned and influenced media, and more.

On a more personal level, Muslims in Malaysia have on numerous occasions destroyed churches, sometimes with official backing on the flimsiest of pretexts (like for supposed ‘code violations’). The same has also happened to Hindu and Buddhist temples. Bibles are sometimes seized in carload lots by the (Muslim) authorities on one technicality or another. New church construction is heavily discouraged, and it takes years if not decades for new churches to be approved and built. And they must be built in a ‘low profile’ manner if they are allowed to be built at all.

All of these restrictions and the drip-drip-drip of discrimination, or worse, creates a tense and foreboding atmosphere for Christians. It’s pointless for Christians — who are mostly Indians, Chinese and the natives of sabah and Sarawak — to petition the Malay (Muslim) government for any sort of redress of grievances, because the police, courts and judges here are all owned and operated by Muslims. So increasingly, the ‘infidels’ especially the Indian and Chinese are leaving — permanently but for the natives have to fight on their own. 

The Muslim-controlled government goes to strenuous lengths to make it appear that this country is a ‘harmonious’ mixture of various belief systems. The key word is ‘appear’. Malaysia is indeed a mix of different religions, but it is kept ‘harmonious’ only through Islamic coercion — official and otherwise — and the threat (sometimes actual acts) of violence. ‘Harmonious’ also is a code word in Malaysian political discourse for ‘Islam must remain culturally and politically dominant’. Malaysian Muslims are also never willing to state for the record that a Hindu, Buddhist or Christian is the equal of a Muslim. They cannot — their belief system specifically forbids it, and if a Muslim believes otherwise, he is automatically an apostate — a traitor to Islam.

This country is also becoming more ‘Islamified’ as the years go by — Muslims are become more pious, or at least make more of a show of it more by wearing hijabs, tudongs and other Islamic garb, attending mosque more often, and in other, less obvious but more sinister ways ). 

Additionally, and more importantly, the growing Islamification is increasing the numbers of Muslims in Malaysia through procreation, conversion and immigration, and compelling the non Muslims to leave. The departing non-Muslims — mostly Christians, but also Buddhists and Hindus — tend to be the most educated, entrepreneurial and productive Malaysians. This has the makings of a long term economic catastrophe for Malaysia, if the Muslims and their government could but clear the fog of Islam from their minds and come to honest grips with the problem. This ‘brain drain’ issue is well known inside Malaysia, but the real causes (Islamic-inspired bigotry, persecution, enforcement of sharia) are not discussed, or allowed to be discussed openly.

Why is the world silent? The silence is, as I see it, a combination of many factors: what happened in Malaysia is not as bad as in Indonesia, Egypt etc and why bother  , and a dash of NIMBY-ism (‘not in my back yard’) thrown in for good measure. Who cares about Christians in Malaysia getting their Bibles seized or their churches bulldozed or blocked from construction? 

Malaysian Insider reports this morning that The Himpunan Sejuta Umat (Himpun), or Gathering of a Million Faithful, is going to be held this Saturday, 23rd October 2011 at Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur by  various right-wing groups such as Perkasa with the backing of both Umno and PAS Youth in what appears to be a coming together of conservative Muslims. The gathering is in respond to the Christians "challenging to the soveriegnty of Islam".

When I first looked at the photo (above), I thought they were bunch of Abu Bakar followers "the Muslim Extremists from Indonesia" , but after looking at it carefully only than I realised that they were the members of racist Perkasa.

To all Malaysian Christians, we must react rationally and not to lose our cool. Being followers of the peaceful religion, we must follow what has been thought in the Bible. As bible thought us to "make peace and not war" thus we must forgive them. We should never blame them as they only follow the teaching of their religion.

As a Christian, I am calling all my brothert and sisters in Christ , we must work together in order to defense ourselves from these extremist muslims. We just cannot keeping quiet and let them ransack or plunder our churches. The action of JAKIM raided the church in Selangor merely on suspicious, the action of Muslims spit out our holy communion, churches arson etc should not be allowed unchecked. Luckily what happened in West Malaysia did not happen here but it does not mean that we have to wait until it happen in sarawak. Being the majority we should help our brothers and sisters in Peninsular Malaysia from being unfairly treated by the majority muslim . We must help them, not through war or violent of course but through moral support. We cant just rely on Jabu, Masing and Mawan to fight for our right as enshrined by the constitution. For them their minister-ship is more important.

To all the West Malaysian Christians, We are Behind You.

Mupok Aku 

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