Bolehland Drama

Antiques of the Land where everything crooked and upside-down Boleh! (Can do!)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Advent of new era of higher education in Malaysia

firehawk Said:March 12th, 2006 at 02: 55.03

Like Bangsa Malaysia and Sapna, my stomach doesn’t feel as squeamish as it usually does about the public university scene.

Years ago I was given the opportunity to get into a local public university. I must say that the amount of control instituted was amazingly mind numbing. Students were admitted for the sole pupose of being indoctrinated with the national agenda. There was hardly any room to breathe. Certainly not the kind of room that moulded the birth of past ‘world-class’ academicians, nationalists, Malaysians. Naturally I was disappointed. It made me wonder why great minds of ‘not-so-long-ago’ like Tun Dr M could allow such a condition, what I call the ‘no brains syndrome’ to develop. Did he not care about his people? He must have cared only about himself to approve of the insidious enactment of the Universities and University Colleges Act 25 years ago.

One thing for sure, our public universities, most of them isolated from ‘existence’ are not hot beds for future great minds. I agree with Assoc Prof Azmi Sharom about, ‘... students in this day and age who really care about matters beyond Akademi Fantasia is very small indeed…’ and ‘... most students just want to graduate and as quickly as possible get into debt to pay for their three-bedroom flat and Proton Waja…’. There are very few students around that aspire to be more than they are (think StarTrek), very few who actually see the bigger picture in life nor passionate about their future, nevermind the issues that affect the country. The ‘no brain syndrome’ is certainly contagious. It needs the intensity and resolve that has been packaged with the control measures of the current Avian Influenza culling campaign. After 25 years of ‘bad education’, we will certainly need another 25 years to restore the quality of our education. Worry that, ‘...greater freedom will make our campuses hotbeds of radicalism..’ should be allayed as there is no hope for mushrooming of intellectual thought in the near future.

Azmi also touched on the most significant of points, ‘... only the best candidates are taken in as students…’. There is much debate and unhappiness about the equivalency of the different pre-university programs offered to get into public and private universities. One clear cut way to give a level playing field to students is to make the SATs/ACTs or its like compulsory for undergrad entrance as suggested by Undergrad2. Maybe the Education Ministries would like to develop a Bahasa version of the SATs. Malaysian versions of the MSATs and LSATs could be used for medical and law school. Conversely, the GMAT, GRE can be implemented for use at the graduate level.

firehawk Said:March 12th, 2006 at 04: 05.34


There is a real problem of racial and religious polarisation in our public universities. Instead of becoming a hot bed of intellectual thought, students are mostly involved in religious and race-based activities. Im not against it as I am also heavily involved in Hindu organisations, but there is more to life than the narrow outlook that most of our students subsribe to. I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like now.

This certainly does and will not bid well for our country’s future, our future.

firehawk Said:March 12th, 2006 at 04: 15.04

I am all for the implementation of a system of positive discrimination “in order to do justice to the poor and the underprivileged from a certain race”. However, more often than not, many of those who benefit from this sort of system are Toms, Dicks and Harrys of a certain race accorded the same educational opportunities as the majority of us.

firehawk from


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