Thursday, May 14, 2009

Malaysian Gordian Knot

Star Online - Top scorers discover again PSD scholarships are not guaranteed and PSD scholarship review.

Just the usual frustration around this time of the year for some students. So, MCA president Ong Tee Keat claimed he had spoken to the PM and that the Government will review the selection criteria for Public Services Department scholarships.

Whenever I read about the annual fiasco concerning the scholarship awards for deserving students, and invariably the annual but inexplicable outcome in the selection of candidates for medicine, I cannot help but recall one frustrating and rather heartbreaking word – inevitable!

But why should this happen year after year, where somehow only the PM (who has better things to look after) could undo a couple of cases, as a token appeasement to frustrated students and their distressed parents, but never truly sorting out an unmistakably unfair scholarship system and an unfair entrance criteria to universities and certain courses?

A democratic system is not only about elections. It is also about transparency, accountability and justice. If these are missing then the democracy that we acclaim to the world we enjoy is one that is shamefully hollow.

The problem or root cause is that lil’ Napoleons rule the system, and the UMNO-dominated cabinet has been quite happy to leave these pocket dictators to their biased ways ….. well, at least until next year when the PM is again called upon to show us his 'charitable' ways.

The governance of our public systems (including the conduct of our public servants and police), lacks transparency, accountability and justice. It may be seen as a variation of the example of three monkeys – you can't see evil because there is no transparency; you can't hear of evil because there is no accountability, and you can't speak of evil despite injustice because the ISA hangs over your head.

Apart from places and scholarships to universities, another example of non-transparencies has been the selection of public or military officers for promotion, etc. They have been non-transparent because in a number of cases they cannot be justified or have been plain indefensible.

The debacle and consequential public outcry over the selection of university undergraduates for certain degree courses some years ago (and in each succeeding year) was a glaring model of opaque evasiveness.

When the selection criteria were challenged, the people responsible for the selection changed the goalposts, for the unsuccessful candidates.

Silly policies, made on the panicked run, like requiring a medical school applicant to demonstrate that they could tolerate bloody gory, were brazenly proposed by interested parties. The person who first mooted that idiotic criterion of course didn't have to undergo the same ordeal when he was selected to go to medical school.

All had one objective - to retain the non-transparency of the selection process.

When that inane proposal proved to be unworkable, the selection criteria was then amended, with an added obstacle for some university applicants to surmount, if they can - that of the subjective nature of interview assessments.

Next, extracurricular activities were to be an important consideration, perhaps in the hope that brawns would beat those nerdy feeble-muscled top scorers.

But top scorers evolved to match the game, and today we have the so-called nerds who have been active in co-curricular activities, representing their schools at district, state and national levels in sports, etc. So I wonder what new criterion would be introduced next?

Patriotism index?

Well, most young Malaysians are very conscious of their Malaysian-ness, in spite of obstacles deliberately placed in the path of due and just considerations for them as young Malaysians.

Notwithstanding the youth’s identification of Malaysia as their only home, we are all to well aware that patriotism or loyalty is not a one-way traffic of emotion, though it may run that way for a while, mainly driven by youth, innocence, idealism and naivety, and perhaps prolonged a bit more by hope.

But unless that hope is justified, sure as hell, it’ll slowly fade away, and with it, the malnourished severely battered patriotism. Even Duracell dares not claim an infinite life for any of its batteries.

As for accountability, that word hasn't existed in public governance since the days of PM Tengku Abdul Rahman.

The scholarship scandal is but a small example of what's happening in our country for decades.

The recent Perak DUN shows the shameless partiality of civil servants, lil’ Napoleons who wouldn’t be able to know what’s the role of a civil service in a democracy even if it was shafting them right down their throats. Did anyone for one instant believe they were worried about accountability?

A friend asked me how we have come to this situation? The reasons are plainly and painfully obvious.

Though we know what's happening around us, we find it hard to articulate them into one simple sentence – there are just too many factors like the politically promoted ethnic divide, greed, corruption, selfish leaders, and incumbency of the mediocre, so on, so forth.

All these didn't happen yesterday. They weren't caused by one single person. They didn't arise for any one particular reason. They aren't maintained nor sustained by one sole driving force.

But nonetheless, like a voraciously greedy juggernaut, the Malaysian monster tramples arrogantly and uncaringly forward, unstoppable and not wishing to stop.

The solution is straightforward. Its implementation is more difficult. It requires leadership, statesmanship, foresight, sheer guts (courage), honesty, willpower, perseverance and most of all, decency.

The Malaysian Gordian Knot stands out before our eyes. But we still look desperately for the elusive mythical Iskander.

Maybe Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin can fit the bill?


  1. We are being held hostage by a combination of ultra-minded Civil Servants and the UMNO Ketuanan Melayu proponents.

    There is (and has been since the
    '70's) )very little accountability on the award of these scholarships, especially the overseas portion of it. Najib's call for a 1 M'sia has a very hollow ring to it.

    So long as we do not embrace Meritocracy, modified to a limited extent for appropriate affirmative action rights, our education ratings will continue to slide towards to 3rd and 4th world standards.

    It's time to take back Malaysia for Malaysians!!

  2. We are being held hostage by a combination of ultra-minded Civil Servants and the UMNO Ketuanan Melayu proponents

    That's pretty close to it....we call them little warlords , not the Warlords .

  3. Little Abdullah in charge of PSD Scholarships: "Apa 'Ni? You want me to give scholarships to those ungrateful pendatangs?! No way, Jose!!"

  4. Affirmative active on the basis of
    social class (and not "race").
    This will help the poor of all races -- especially poor Orang Asli, poor Malays and poor Indians.

    This will also help to reduce the highly unequal income distribution in Malaysia and stem the outflow of talented Malaysians to other countries. (And many talented Malaysians will also return to Malaysia).

    Phua Kai Lit

  5. @Chaptokam

    Agreed with you on the UMNO part. Anything on MCA's plate as well?

    I have always thought it is quite nice for our racist, sorrylah, race-based politicians to have people forced to eat crumbs in their hands to beg for scholarships, charity, contracts and whatnot. Which is why they do not want any of the transparency advocated by KTemoc.
    Were Malaysia a high-income country, these patronage politicians would find themselves out of job pretty fast. Now doesn't that give them incentives to hamper this country's development to their profit?

    Good day!

    "1 Black Malaysia. Democracy First. Elections Now."

  6. My son got 10 A1s and didnt even try for any Malaysian scholarship. Singapore came head hunting before he even sat for his exams and he was taken captive back to Singapore with full scholarship, full board and full guarantee of a job at the end of studies. How far sighted are they?

  7. Eric,

    Today some top scorers found themselves not getting any PSD scholarships even though they think they qualified .

    Kindly inform those top scorers who think they deserve a PSD scholarship to get in touch with any MCA Division nearest to them and submit their photostat copies of their results to them for them to respond . They should know what to do .

  8. MIC and MCA are already making noises.
    Umno is quiet although from last year the Malay quota is greatly reduced.
    As usual Malays are not the complaining kind.
    Actually why so much fuss about PSD scholarship.
    So few places for so many applicants.
    There are so many scholarships from conglomerates up for grabs.
    Do you realise that A PSD bursary is a convertible loan which you must pay when working.
    On top of that, no job guaranteed after graduation.
    The conglomerates' scholarship guarantees employment and you dont pay back a sen.
    Mr Y1, my son did not even bother to go for PSD scholarship interview.
    He got three offers from conglomerates even before his SPM result are out.
    He's now studying at a top UK school to be a surgeon.
    To the proud parents, are your kids really deserving of scholarships?
    Is he/she only only good during exams and with no social skills?
    Is he acknowldged by teachers and peers that from elementary to high school that he's brilliant and has leadership skills.
    You can see a child's potential from kindergarten.
    If we think our child is smart, there are many other smarter children.
    And stop insinuating that Malays get scholarships from affirmative action.

  9. chaptokam said: "Kindly inform those top scorers who think they deserve a PSD scholarship to get in touch with any MCA Division nearest to them and submit their photostat copies of their results to them for them to respond . They should know what to do."

    Chaptokam, if you and other MCA folks don't understand why what you proposed is not acceptable, then sorry to say there is no hope of MCA ever being part of the reform/change that Malaysians want and Malaysia so desperately needs.

  10. That's why the white men during their diplomatic cocktail evenings snidely tell each other that when the natives obtain independence and take over control of their own countries, those "little black men and little brown men" would soon turn their own countries into festering swamps of corruption and seething cesspools of abject poverty while a small number of their well-placed elites enjoy a life of glittering luxury and opulent excess.

  11. @Chaptokam,
    thanks for your honesty in proving Ktemoc's point of BN's being vested in the lack of transparency, my point on BN's preventing the country's development so that we can eat their crumbs from their hands. Int has a point here.
    Anon 5:33 PM, May 15, 2009, sounds pretty relevant doesn't he?

    Good evening!

    "1 Black Malaysia. Democracy First. Elections Now."

  12. Don't care about races, if they are good in studies, then they deserved to be in Unis. If they are not good in studies, then trained them to be musicians, farmers etc? Malays think that ABBA, Beatles too lowly? Harness their talents and not to push what they do not like. This is what UMNO government is doing.

    As for scholarship- UMNO says NO, then MCA begged. When they got the scholarship, the por guy thinks MCA is doing a GREAT JOB. But a CONNED job!!! - Satan and angel

  13. Do not waste your time. The whole government is now like the famous Tai Teng Que Circus. The ring master has systematically over the past forty years tamed the lion (judiciary) the tiger (police) and the elephant(Civil service).All other animals are now in place waiting for their command. There is nothing we can do but sit back and enjoy the show. And all of you out there do not waste your time trying to change the syatem. Just see how you can use it to your advantage.Ramlax

  14. Syabas to our neighbours Singapore & now Indonesia (after their successful G/E) whose Governments have the Maturity, Intelligence & Wisdom to LISTEN, LOOK, LEARN & APPLY the LESSONS learnt to enable them to MOVE FORWARD to tackle the Financial, Economic Mitigation Plan & Management of their nation.

    If our Najib & his Haprak Goons cannot LISTEN, ACKNOWLEDGE & LEARN from our neighbours, then they should all step down enbloc....

    Or are they still in Denial Mode awaiting to be "Booted Out Unceremoniously" by the rayaat soon!

    Every new day will be another “New Revelation” to reveal another “Truth” in its Self Destruct motion towards its “Demise”.

    Just give them enough rope to “Hang” themselves at every turn in their “Final” chapter.


  15. Anwar offered me the DPM’s post, says Anifah

    WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman has revealed that Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had offered him the post of Deputy Prime Minister as bait to switch sides after the general election last year.

    “Just for the information of the audience here, Anwar said he would form a government on Sept 16 but he has changed the dates many times. And he was trying to entice Members of Parliament.

    “I was personally offered a very lucrative position, like a deputy prime ministership. These facts are not known to the world at large,” he said during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which was packed with American and foreign journalists.

    “And he has started trying to buy other legislative members. I think he has not accepted the result of the last elections.

    “We (Barisan Nasional) have lost five states and we willingly accept the people’s verdict

    Anifah said Anwar was tarnishing the image of Malaysia.

    “It is our wish and hope that he will respect the democratic system in Malaysia.”

  16. Ong: Offer scholarships on merit

    TANAH MERAH: MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has expressed concern again that brilliant students are missing out on government scholarships.

    Meritocracy, he said, was the crux of the issue.

    “These students should have a fair chance of getting the scholarships. My statement should not be misconstrued. It was made purely out of my concern over the way scholarships were given out,” he said after opening a community hall in Kampung Baru Rangkaian Pasir Panji yesterday.

    Ong was asked to comment on a statement in a Bahasa Malaysia daily by Perkasa (a Malay non-governmental organisation) president Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who criticised Ong for suggesting that the Government re-look the criteria governing Public Service Department scholarships.

    Ibrahim said Ong’s request was selfish and accused him of seeking political mileage with the Chinese.

    To this, Ong said Ibrahim was entitled to his opinion.

    “We are both advocates of democracy. We have our right to say anything we think is right,” he added.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Thanks Chaptokam for this gem.

    Anifah said “We (Barisan Nasional) have lost five states and we willingly accept the people’s verdict"
    I have always been impressed by BN politicians being able to tell the Earth is flat and square with a straight face. Match Anifah's statement with the goings-on in Perak.

    "Anifah said Anwar was tarnishing the image of Malaysia."
    Well, look for Perak news in Google and you'll see who actually tarnishes Malaysia's image. "Perak Putsch" is used by Reuters, Brunei Times, Gulf Times and the Straits Times. And I am not even talking about Western human-rights-focused media.
    Rampage arrests of lawyers and dissenters for wearing black did not help much either. To the point where the Bar managed to get quorum for a near impromptu EGM to request for the resignation of IGP and Home minister. Even hapless money-minded lawyers are now turning activists.

    The key question now is, when do you think people like Anifah will actually come down from their high heaven to see the reality their boss set for this country?

    "1 Black Malaysia. Democracy First. Elections Now."

  19. I think he should become the next LTTE commander . He should be in Sri Lanka not here ! Some guys just simply do not repent !

    Should have not been released in the first place!

    This is what this Hindraf guy Uthayakumar said about his struggle where his believes Malaysian Indians being ethnically cleansed in Malaysia!! He should be further be detained for spreading such falsehood! In his interview with a Singapore New Paper he said he favours violence to achieve what ever that he wants to achieve.
    Hey, I will be the first Melayu that will be the first to defy the government if such accusation of Indian being ethnically cleansed being committed! (I will also not condone any Malay or Chinese fanatical political parties that subscribe to violent act!)
    Brother Utahayakumar I do not know what possessed you to say such stupid thing but my friend I cannot support you and your violent streak in your statement you made last year in Singapore!
    If you are being thrown back in the slammer you will and cannot get my sympathy!
    This is written without any malice intended!
    (It was reported that the government is considering reviewing Uthayakumar's release from detention)

    article from

  20. Mr. Chaptokam (or is it Cheaptocum),
    Do you have a grey matter up there or has it all turned black from lack of oxygen?

    This post is about Scolarships NOT being given to deserving students. You buta huruf kah ?

    As for that so called interview in Singapore last year, how could Utahayakumar be in Singapore last year when he was locked up under ISA. This is a blatant LIE so typical of Barisan Nazak and their spinmasters ! Do you have a grey matter up there or has it all turned black from lack of oxygen?

  21. Our friend Chaptokam likes ChaptoCum or tocunt. He is the NST or Bernama here reporting w/o checking facts

  22. Chaptokam is a rational and sane Malaysian.
    Yep. Hindraf people should not be released.
    If the Chinese or Malays are released, they will not be suing the government. They will be grateful.
    This is what Malays said: Melepaskan anjing tersepit.
    Uthayakumar has London to run to.
    Anwar has the US.
    For most of us like Chaptokam and I have only this country.
    Ktemoc got down under to stay.

  23. Wonder who's grey matter up there or has it all turned black from lack of oxygen? Yeah seems that the one who post this has got black matter in his brain .

    This post is about Scolarships NOT being given to deserving students. You buta huruf kah ?
    If Ktemoc is not complaining , why should you ? buta huruf kah ?
    If I post anything deem offensive , Kaytee will delete , correct kah ?
    As for that so called interview in Singapore last year, how could Utahayakumar be in Singapore last year when he was locked up under ISA. This is a blatant LIE so typical of Barisan Nazak and their spinmasters !
    article from
    Direct your comments to his blog , kah ? hahaha ... barking up the wrong tree kah ? Or is it you don't have any more grey matter in your pea size brain kah ?
    You can call me ChaptoCum or tocunt or Cheaptocum hahaha you are calling my chatukam just that , not me , bad luck will fall on you very soon , may you be dancing with the devils very soon .

  24. Can't blamed snakes for biting but this heavenly snake as his name sounds like in hokkien is also onto the habit of biting ! wakaka !!

    Tian Chua to enter defence to 'biting' charge
    Hafiz Yatim | May 18, 09 10:23am
    # breaking news The Kuala Lumpur Magistrate's Court has ordered Batu MP Tian Chua to enter his defence to a charge of biting a police constable and preventing him from carrying out his duties.MORE
    Prima facie case established, says judge
    Political future in jeopardy, if convicted

  25. They want war , let's have war , once and for all . Why should the govt be threatened by a bunch of idiots or be hold ransom by them ? It further goes to show the terrorists mentality inside them ! Clean them out !..........

    Revoke order or it's war, warns Hindraf
    Athi Veeranggan | May 18, 09 1:35pm
    # P Waythamoorthy issues an utlimatum to PM Najib - revoke the order against his brother to face the ISA advisory board or face a fresh round of street protests.MORE

    Don't be reckless like Pak Lah
    A threat to re-arrest Uthayakumar

  26. 90% of taxes come from bodoh babicins
    BUT scholarships NOT for their bangsa who deserve & NO fund & duit for their independant schools : ....
    @#$%^&*&^%$#@ ...stoopid cina !!!

  27. go to the lionport for free scholarships , food , lodging .....
    & let they reap the best = who cares !?