Monday, January 22, 2018

Multitude of Amazing Malaysian Universities

A few days ago I posted Ozzie uni graduates as waiters in which I mentioned my Uncles telling me about their days, when universities in India, by their hundreds, if not thousands, were scoffed at by Malaysians for their 'chowkana' (dodgy) standards.

I also mentioned that while I was away working in Australia I wasn't aware of the mushrooming of universities in Malaysia, where in every state Malaysians would find one. Some were even run by private organisations or state governments.

Invariably, unless rigorous standards have been met, the general standards would drop to cope with rapid expansion to meet increasing demands for university places, a long-time Malaysian dream.

Thus I pondered whether Malaysian universities might have now approximated the status of Indian universities during my Uncles' days. But from what I heard and read, the standards of Malaysian universities today have been indeed disappointing. When compared on international benchmark(s), our universities in general could NOT compare, compete or copy their counterparts in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan.

I bemoaned that our hapless graduates now bear the consequences of questionable reputation of their respective universities. Yes, I too wonder about secondary school students taking 17 subjects in their final school year exam. with some seemingly "brilliant" Einstein's obtaining 17 A's, that is, an A in every subject they sat for.

In my days I could hardly cope with 9 subjects, let alone 17.

In Malaysiakini, TK Chua, who's quite a prolific writer (usually to FMT), penned a letter titled Too many universities, too many graduates which touched on Mahathir's comment about university graduates selling nasi lemak or/and driving Ubers.

He wrote (selected random extracts, with some re-arrangements of paragraphs, as follows):

Malaysia is not a super-rich country. Many consider university education as an 'investment', not as a leisurely pursuit. In fact, many have incurred substantial debts to obtain a university degree.

It is therefore inconceivable they would become graduates only to sell nasi lemak or to become an Uber driver.

I believed I have written before about Chinese parents mortgaging their houses to pay for their children overseas university degrees, or that of elder brothers and elder sisters pooling resources (and denying themselves their own house or cars) to pay for Anak Bongsu's uni-education.

For a long time now I think Malaysia has refused to recognise a few realities staring at us. We have too many universities producing too many graduates.

This is by far the most important point in the general scheme of the entire rotten affair. And a corollary of this would usually be a drop in university standards and the general unemployment prospects of graduates.

We set up universities for prestige and political reasons and only to create jobs for lecturers. Universities take up national resources. Too many of them is a wastage and a misallocation of resources.

Gaya mahu, kalah ta'apa. But what about standards? And what also about secondary school standards? Our educators need looking at.

Gaya mahu, kalah ta'apa 

TK Chua concluded with: It is about time to accept reality – we set up too many universities producing graduates with unrealistic expectations.

But in my reckoning, nothing will be done except university authorities coming up with excuses and bullshit.

Oh yes, don't forget, one Malaysian univeristy has been brilliantly innovative enough to create anti-hysteria kits, and also at a most "affordable" and "economical" price where the kit comprise, according to MM Online, ... everyday items like chopsticks, salt, lime, vinegar, pepper spray, and formic acid for a whopping RM8,750 that it claims can ward off “evil spirits”.

From Innovative UMP produces Anti-Hysteria Kit site:

The launching of the kit was held in conjunction with the official opening of a seminar, ‘Tackling Hysteria as Easy as ABC’ by Malaysia Education Director, Raihana Khudri who read the speech of the ministry’s Higher Education Department, Director General Professor, Dato’ Dr. Asma Ismail. The event was held at the ministry’s Zaaba Hall in Putrajaya.

Also present were PBMSK Dean, Associate Professor Dr. Muhammad Nubli Abdul Wahab and Department of Research and Innovation Head of Deputy Registrar Datin Fazia Ali.
Some 100 participants took part in the seminar comprising lecturers, school teachers, counsellors and psychology officers. They shared their experience in tackling hysteria and listened to a talk presented by Malaysia Bina Budi Welfare Association president Tuan Guru Haji Jahid Sidek.


  1. Thirty something years ago,I was in KL and boarded a taxi.As usual I took my place at the passenger seat in front next to the driver.I am a busybody and like to "sembang".I saw a Far Eastern Economic Review magazine and asked the driver you like to read these books?After a few minutes of chatting,I came to realized that this guy was an MU graduate.I never had the guts to ask whether he was driving part time or full time.But for even an MU graduate to be driving part time,times must be really hard unless one is doing it to past time.Today,graduates from our universities are facing unemployment difficulties with graduates from Phillipines,India and many of the developing and even developed countries,including Trumpland.

  2. What many people including that moron and porn pussy lover Donald Trump do not realized is that tens and tens of millions of jobs are taken over by automation and robots.

    1. good point bruno, uni should tailor their current courses to reflect this modern reality

    2. To simply say millions of jobs have been lost to only due automation and robots is a cop-out...and partly a lie.

      There is such a thing as predatory trade practices.
      Using monopoly power and closed markets to kill off the competition, then raising prices later.

      In the 1980's Japan nearly killed the US semiconductor industry. Intel, Motorola, AMD etc. formed a US-government backed consortium called Sematech, which refocused resources on research and productivity. The high-end electronic industry is much more competitive and broad-based today than it would have been if the Japanese campaign had succeeded.

      China killed off almost all their Solar Panel competitors over the past 7 years. Nobody was making any profits from manufacturing the panels, but China's plants were being deeply subsidised, and they survived, when almost all others went bankrupt.

    3. I disagree with your first paragraph. Take for example, in most older departments (commercial or governmental) there used to be 'typing pools'. Where are those now? In fact I dare say many younger Malaysians haven't heard of such a term. I know because of my uncles' teachings. Those 'typing pools' disappeared because of a modern contraption called "PC's". That has been just one example.

      Another is telegram. Heard of it, let alone the technique of composing telegraph messages to save money? Telegram has been annihilated by emails. Just a month or two ago the world's last two countries closed its telegraph business.

      Do you still see newspaper boys (and girls) at midnight selling newspapers? Curse online news.

      Etc etc etc

    4. Technological advances improve human work efficiency while giving new breath to dull mundane human life - that's indisputable.

      To simply say millions of jobs have been lost only due to automation and robots is a cop-out...and partly a lie - indeed!

      Typing pools replace by PC. Telegram been annihilated by emails.

      No one will evet want to re-live that sorts of life, period!

      These r a sign of human evolution towards better utilisation of tools & time, while freeing human to further improve on themselves.

      That robotic & automation replacement spells doom - for baby factories outfits (country especially). No longer is number matter. Rather it's a drag to better life.

      Inward-looking conservatives will be force-marched to a state that they couldn't accept & co-exit. Simply bcoz these advances make their understanding of lives-as-it's irrelevant & gone.

      For crybabies who r afraid of being replaced by robot & automation, u have ONLY yrself to blame.

      U r not been able to think out of the box to challenge the extra time & space made available to u via these technical advances.

      It only means u have NO place in that future!

    5. Offices haven't shrunk from the days of typing pools. The nature of the work has changed, and people have to be retrained, but no mass unemployment resulted.

      The number of people employed in the telecommunications industry has grown exponentially from the days of the telegram...

      That is healthy technological change....

      But when one country targets your industries basically for destruction, as well as makes It practically impossible to export into Their country.... that is not free trade. That is economic warfare.

      Donald Trump Is Crude, Rude and Ignorant.
      But the issue he raised on Unfair Trade is a real one.

    6. typing pools had disappeared and with that, certain number of jobs.

      if those typists have been trained for other types of jobs that's good but that does NOT hide the fact that 'automation' (PC word processing) had caused the loss of typists - to argue otherwise is merely to take a new facade to hide the disappearance of the previous

      you will be surprised to know how the Yanks have practised unfair trade, for example, raising the tariffs on imported catfish fillets to provide inefficient and high salaried employees American catfish industries from SE Asian nations exporting catfish fillets, like Vietnam, Thailand etc

  3. Hysteria is a real and very disruptive occurrence in many Malaysian institutions, especially those with a substantial population of younger Muslim women....universities, colleges, schools, factories....

    I suppose if someone applied modern statistical research methods to the phenomena, especially studying the track record of countermeasures that have been effective....
    then come up with a "treatment kit"...

    I suppose we shouldn't criticise.....its a practical solution to a real practical problem...


    1. that business was and still is called selling snake oil