Posted tagged ‘Malaysia’

Malaysian is education destination of last resort.

March 2, 2015

Second education minister Idris Jusoh claims that Malaysia’s higher education system is now on par with developed nations like the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia in view of the fact that the 135,000 foreign students here make up 10% of all students in local institutions of higher learning. Many had expressed their reservation and disagreement over his claims. Below are some more facts as to how far away the minister’s claims are based on ground reality.

Many Chinese students are enrolled in local colleges that have twinning programmes with foreign universities. Many foreign countries have limited places for students from China. Malaysia is a stepping stone for these students to get foreign degrees or migrate to a third country. Students from China choose Malaysia as they feel at home here with the local Chinese culture and food are affordable. They are not here to get a Malaysian education. The Education Ministry has neglected English language but in the private sector and colleges, English is still the lingua franca.

Australians students in Malaysia are few and far between. The reverse instead is true. Malaysian students are in large numbers in Australia because of the high Australian education standards.

We have a large number of Middle Easterners here because of Islamophobia in the west. Besides, many Middle Eastern students get scholarships from the Malaysian government. Malaysia is considered moderate by these students who come from hard-line countries. Quite a number of these students are also escaping the rigid and hard-line policies in their home countries.

Malaysia is a stepping stone for Middle Easterners before they migrate to third countries. Malaysia is also relatively cheaper for those among them who want a degree. Many are here to learn English before they go back. There are, in fact, more Middle East students than local non-Malays in local public universities.

Some North African students are enrolled in public universities due to the support received from Islamic bodies that help them to continue their studies here. A lawyer friend of mine told me that nearly 30% of African students are languishing in Malaysian prisons for violating immigration laws, drug dealing or some illegal activities. The local police too seem to find African students easy targets for some offence. The Malaysian government spends millions keeping these students in prison. It’s a big drain on the government coffers.

All the above does not say much about Malaysia being a regional education hub. It is the foreign affiliations and twinning arrangements that bring foreign students to Malaysia. In fact, many more Malaysian students would have left for foreign universities if not for the twinning programs that links them to local colleges and universities. The brutal fact is that foreign students are here not because of our education standards. It is the third world countries’ students who come here to study. Therefore Mr Minister please do not use the high number of foreign students to measure the standard and quality of our higher education system.


October 17, 2011


Thanks to Bersih 2.0 for ISA repeal

September 20, 2011
Finally PM Datuk seri Najib and UMNO/BN are glossing and floating over the euphoria of ISA repeal announcement. That‘s the advantage, the ruling party has. When it suits they can enact and impose ISA and at the same when it is to their disadvantage they can announce the repeal of ISA and take the credit all for themselves. Never mind the hardship and torture undergone by many patriotic Malaysians who fought for justice and suffered under this draconian law. The opposition and thousands of ordinary citizens marched and stood up against this repressive law risking police arrest and imprisonment under ISA. Worse still the PM Datuk Najib and UMNO/BN won many elections using the ISA as tool of instilling fear and punishment against the opposition and their supporters.
So is the announcement come about after genuinely realizing that we Malaysians are deprived of civil liberties or due to political expediency? UMNO/BN till the announcement was never concerned about civil liberties to Malaysians at large leave alone the opposition. The deputy prime minister himself was surprised at the ISA repeal announcement. Even after the PM’s announcement UMNO still speak with arrogance as though they fought hard for ISA repeal.  Is racist UMNO capable of genuine civil liberties or more democracy for Malaysians of all races? Judging from the past actions and reactions of UMNO, it will only act when they are losing political grounds or popular support. Based on the same argument UMNO will only conceit grounds when they are under threat.  After the announcement the home minister and right wingers in UMNO are brooding with the 2 replacement laws in place of ISA.  
Therefore the announcement of ISA repeal is to reverse the growing unpopularity of PM and UMNO/BN among Malaysians at large. The Prime minister has started his election campaign with the ISA repeal announcement which was abruptly brought an end by Bersih 2.0. Just 2 months ago even a peaceful gathering was not allowed but now the PM is telling the world that Malaysia wants to be more democratic. Bersih leaders and proponents were threatened with arrest under emergency ordinance and ISA. Bersih 2.0 is all about clean and fair election. UMNO/BN has ruled for past 54 years with repressive and punitive laws which are implemented selectively and discriminatively. Therefore is UMNO with the prime minister is repealing these draconian laws. The 2 laws to be implemented can be more restrictive and punitive than the one repealed.   
But Malaysians are very used to paying tribute and praises the moment announcement is made. We got a long way to go to be more democratic. Parliament must repeal the ISA and not PM. How about repealing the emergency ordinance, OSA, universities and university college act 1971 and printing and publishing act 1984? How about the independence of judiciary and set up of IPCMC for police abuse? Mr. PM needs to walk his announcement now. Has UMNO reformed to make bold changes in law? I wonder!