Saturday, October 21, 2006

RM100mil for Our Varsities?

Good News, good news!

The four local universities designated as research universities will receive at least an additional RM100mil each for research, development and commercialisation activities.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said the allocation, to be disbursed early next year, would also fund the universities’ research grants and postgraduate scholarships.

The four universities are Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Mustapa said the research university status would enable them to become world-class leaders in innovation, design and research.

“Based on the recent international ratings of universities, ours have not achieved global standards. Our target is for the four to be ranked at least in the top 100,” Mustapa said.

“Our target in 2010 is for each research university to have at least 7,500 postgraduate students, mostly pursuing their PhDs,” he added.

Shock News, Shock News!

Anwar Ibrahim reported that the Malaysian Government will be making a donation of RM500m to Cambridge University, UK.

"Kerajaan telah bersetuju untuk memperuntukkan lebih setengah bilion ringgit kapada Universiti Cambridge. Petronas dan Khazanah Nasional masing-masing telah menyerahkan 190 juta ringgit sementara bakinya akan dikumpul dari sumbangan bank-bank asing yang berpengkalan di Malaysia."

Why not give this to our own researchers? NEP for UK?


bayi said...

Why is Anwar Ibrahim telling the news to us instead of an official announcement from the government?

Even though RM500 million is a lot of money, it does not mean donating the sum to the Cambridge University is wrong. We have the right to know why. It could be linked to the move to upgrade the 4 local universities to research universities. Cambridge may have agreed to offer their expertise and resources to help the local universities in this move.

But the fact that Anwar is breaking the news makes us all uncomfortable. It makes the move look like it is not above board. The move being shrouded in secrecy lacks the transparency that AAB often trumpets.

Maverick SM said...

Bayi, I agree with you 100% (is it attitude only? LOL!)

bayi said...

But it is still a lot of money, even if it is for a world-renowned university to lead us to a more productive mode of research education. Do we have the correct mindset and the ready attitude (here you go, Dr Yeoh) to capitalise on the arrangement.

For instance, Proton bought Lotus. Did it amount to anything tangible so far for Proton, which is languishing in the stock market like a pariah in search of a saviour foreign partner. Peuguot opted out of the partnership negotiations. So did other foreign car companies. Why? Rumour has it that we insist on majority holdings, even when we needed them more than they need us.

So even if we have Cambridge University, will it augur anything for the local universities if the academia if not ready to dovetail what Cambridge University has to offer? Is there meritocracy? Will politics interfere? For RM500 million, I am sure many of the politicians will want their say, which may well be adverse to the organic development of research universities.

But all these are pure conjectures at this point, though interesting to speculate. I am waiting for the government to announce the reasons for the whopping donation, that is, if what Anwar says is true.

desiderata said...

mave sm:

I thought you and howsy deem it anathema to quote news of Anwar Ibrahim?
Desi's slowly making headway...slow and steady win the race.
And brudder anwar is trying to move us from Race politics, OK! Spread this core msg for what it's worth.:)

DOP me an SMS if keen to call at his residence ON HR -- assuming there is an Open House, need to confirm from news announcements-lah...

Maverick SM said...

Bayi, if we observed the various phenomena in the political management including the sports organization, we can see that though we had the world most renowned coaches, yet our sportsmen and sportswomen fared badly. Take an example: Badminton. We had Yang Yang, Han Jian, Morten Frost, Pak Joo Bong, Indra Gunawan; all these coaches had track records of developing world champions except during their tenure in Malaysia. The reasons, can be found in the political management of such institutions.

I do agree the facts that research contributions from Cambridge Dons would certainly help the local universities but then the facts of so many institutional mediocrity indicates the political reluctance to accept and adopt intelligible science over and above the need to preserve Malay dominance in their spheres of power and control. By adoption of those wisdom and recommendation, it could mean the acceptance of things and persons which would defeat the objectives of the political hegemony in these institutions.

Where then can academic excellence be developed? At the end of the day, it is about accepting mediocrity and placing it on par with excellence.

Again, I like to repeat the doctrinal observation:

"Inequality do not require that acts be intentionally discriminatory. All that is required is that the "status quo" be maintained. As a strategy for maintaining their social power, the political regime had first structured reality unequally, then forcefully propagate that entitlement to alter it be grounded on a lack of distinction in situation. They then structure the perception of their majority so that different equals inferior, then require that discrimination be activated by evil minds who know they are treating the more equals as the lessors."

For as long as human equality is limited by race difference, whether you like it or don't like it, whether you value it or seek to negate it, whether you stake it out as a grounds of humanism or occupy it as a terrain of misoneism, meritocracy and justiciability will be born, degraded and die.

Maverick SM said...


Anwar is not an anathema to me. But I had yet to see or observe positive acts to the effect that he had changed his political ideology from his biased previous.

mmudahlupa said...

mav, your question.`Why not give this to our own researchers? It's b'cos own researchers normally researched out the TRUTH which is against gov't policies.that's all.

Will Anwar make a comeback? Why Anwar has refused to become President of Keadilan or he is not even a member. He wants to become a member of UMNO then President of UMNO and Malaysian sixth PM! ponder!

bayi said...

The affirmative action taken by our government to maintain the "status quo" is one of the most powerful divisive factors against racial integration. It is one of the most powerful factors for polarization.

In religion we have some of the most conservative practices that even Iran does not practice. Our Malays try to dress like the Arabs, thinking this will bring them closer to the Big Guy. All such emphasis of form over matter originated from politicians who wanted to be seen being religious without having to do the more signifcant things that really matter.

Whether we donate RM500 million or even RM1 billion, the eventual result can already be visualized.

Anonymous said...

Anwar cannot hold an official position in Keadilan because he is conviction.

He has repeatedly committed himself to Keadilan.