Monday, October 26, 2009


When I was browsing the internet this morning, one of my friends e-mailed me this cute story of Little Johnny. Check it out.

A teacher asks her class, "If there are 5 birds sitting on a fence and you shoot one of them, how many will be left?" She calls on little Johnny.

"None, they all fly away with the first gunshot provided that the shot missed." The teacher replies, "The correct answer is 4, but I like your thinking."

Then Little Johnny says, "I have a question for YOU. There are 3 women sitting on a bench having ice cream. One is delicately licking the sides of the triple scoop of ice cream. The second is gobbling down the top and sucking the cone. The third is biting off the top of the ice cream. Which one is married?"

The teacher, blushing a great deal, replies, "Well I suppose the one that's gobbled down the top and sucked the cone."

Of which Little Johnny replies, "The correct answer is the one with the wedding ring on!!...
but I like your thinking."

Ya, we may be cracking out loud because indeed it is funny but hey, don't you mind counting how many of us really think like the way Lil Johnny did? Unprecedentedly, almost a little, just as little as Lil. Johnny is. Most likely, the rest befalls in the teacher's category. Of course I'm not suggesting all teachers to be liken like that (though some might be).

Thing is we, the rakyat feels that our leaders (very certain individual) are less critical compared to Lil. Johnny, let alone surpassing his way of thinking. This can be observed in the current debated hot-cupcake issues i.e. the teaching of sex education in school, banning of condoms and the postponement (or should I say canceled?) Beyonce's concert in town, complete the list.

Before going on further, let me just briefly remind all that unless we are ready to open up that narrow mind of ours and be contemporarily suave with sex issue, please, by all means, stop reading. There's no purpose of continuing if at the end of the day, what we got are just cornflakes, believing that all this while we are chasing after a rainbow.

Anyway, regarding sex issue, the problem lies not in the issue, it simply lies in the word "sex" itself because somehow in our country, the word "sex" suggests a negative connotation, coined by some insolent brutes craving for sheer pleasure neglecting the honor of it rampaging innocent lives as little as a 9 years old Nurin! Common peps, can't you think or at least be struck with owe, for Devil's damn sake, what do you expect from a 9 years old kid anyway? Fun? The next Alpha Lion? Go get some hookers!

These sort of happenings made us to believe that there's no more room left for goodness in sex. Imagine, everyday, the young ones are being bombarded by the news from the newspapers (especially
Kosmo, which to me is more or less a rack worthy to be used as washroom utensil, which printed every single page with none other than stories involving sexual harassment - A step-father raping a daughter, a grandma molesting a grandson etc. The list continues, you name it). I don't know whether the readers are aware or vice versa, but can't you tell that's part of strategy in biz?

Again, one thing for sure, when it comes to sex issue, almost it is a taboo. It will be the last thing on Earth you discuss about with your parents. Can we not see where is this going to bring us? Say a pure innocent child filled with curiosity and enthusiasm wanted to know about sex, who do you think the most suitable of person should he/she look up to? Friends? Maybe, if the friends are really FRIENDS, what if these friends were to be misleading? Obviously, say bye to virginity.

At last, the best resource a person can have is none other than their parents. Fullstop! This starts with a more open disclosure of a pure and good side of sexual relationship to the kids. Though awkard, but everything has it first right? For instance, you can never straight away walking upon birth, firstly, you need to crawl and so on so forth. That's life. So, the real big question mark is how can the good side of sex prevails if at the first place our society declined to acknowledge it? Unless we're sincere to set aside sex taboo in our lives, voila, we are forever be Sleeping Beauty readily prepared for our neck to be chopped.

On the other hands, for both banning of condoms and Beyonce's cases, I believe some people need their lens to be cleaned because they fail to see the thing in a big picture. How can these people ensure that social problems involving sexual harassment can be stopped just by setting up slogan (should I say politically-moved propaganda) banning the use of condoms? Some of these religious individuals argue that the use of condoms signal a green light to various sexual issues in the country. Freak as they were, aren't they blind or something? Can they not see, with or without the use of condoms, sexual harassment, pre-marital sex, rape etc. still happen drastically - check for yourself in your so-called Kosmo!

So, to abandon the use of condoms, which is somehow believed to reduce the possibility of pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), aren't they are the one promoting sexual problems in a long run?

In the case of Beyonce, I guess, she's the one who should be questioning the sceptics about rules and regulations of this country. I suggest B should begin with the question of why an artist of no calibre such that of Faizal Tahir (anonimous in world stage) behave like an underage monkey on stage while performing in front of thousands of crowd and yet, no actions were taken on him? Yes they are rumors that he was penalized but is it true? No one mention anything.

Next, when a local indie band performed in a peculiar manner understood only by their fans in Dataran Merdeka every year, did anybody say anything? Again, none. To make things more interesting, when the westerners bluntly condemned this country back in 1990's for human rights scrutiny and muzzled every single piece of Malaysia's voice internationally, where did the pessimists go? Care to explain for yourself?

I'm far from biased here because to tell you the truth, I'm not a fan of Beyonce whatsoever. I only questioned why did some people refused to see things logically amidst the fact that even a multi-million diva like B is willing to abide with the local dressing code in her performance, so, what's the fuss? Sometimes, we just don't get it, when a diva cared enough to tolerate, why on Earth should a 'no body' dare to postpone and make things complicated? Truly intriguing human is.

At this rate, people must be made understand that sex, condoms and Beyonce are not the core problems, the main problem is our certain leaders are still of that the Lil. Johnny's thinking. They refused to acknowledge the big issues and continue on around playing with the rakyat's sentiments to gain support and popularity - mind you, the rakyat is not that easy to be swayed! At least not in
As I See It.

Little Johnny in the Kirk,
make our leaders think at least,
the way you smirk!

Till the next posting.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Last Friday, October 23th, 2009, The August House was once again in clamour upon the presentation of the 2010 Budget delivered by the PM. In particular, the budget seems unfriendly since it indirectly involved the rakyat the like of which the previous budgets had done before - no bonus for civil servants, no dramatic decrease hike in consumers' daily needs such as in goods, supplies etc. Click here and here for news coverage.

However, in a bigger picture, the 2010 budget which is proposed to be allocated around RM191.5 billion, 11.2% lower than 2009 Budget estimated RM215.7 billion should be considered timely. Why? Simply because the year 2010 is still in blurry and 2009 has thought us a lot. Here for full speech of 2010 Budget.

What happened in 2009? The Malaysian economy is an open economy leading it to be vulnerable to external trade and international capital flows. Hence, as result of the global financial crisis alone, Malaysia's exports fell sharply at 23.4% in the first quarter of 2009. Similarly, the Industrial Production Index (IPI) declined at a rate of 12.7% coupled with an amount of RM3.6 billion decreased in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) the same year (source: 2009 Economic Report). These alone remarkably made us in shambles.

Though the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that the economy is going to expand by 3% in 2010, pre-emptive measures should always be at hands to minimize further repercussions in the country.

As the PM mentioned in his speech, the budget is seen to be of a value-for-money budget. It is meant to cut down wastage in terms of expenditure and creditworthiness to control inflation and enhance overall revenue. By doing so, the government wishes to strictly decreases fiscal deficit which is projected to be 5.6% GDP compare to 7.4% in 2009.

The people must know that their purchasing power and value of money depreciates with time when inflation comes into picture. The RM1 today is nothing compared to the RM1 our forefathers used to spent 40-50 years ago. My grandpa used to tell me that during his time, a bowl of 'kolo mee' - Sarawak special made noodle - only cost him 20cents. Meaning, having RM1 in hand at that particular time already made him popular among the ladies! Nowadays, things change and the change is inevitable. RM1 is just a cup of 'air sirap' costing you, say 80cents. Like it or not, that's how it works and it will continue to work the way it is.

The scope of this article intends to view only the educational part of the budget dealing especially with higher education learning answering questions like why is this budget important to us (graduates/students)? Why should we bother and what can be done of it?

So, what is there in 2010 Budget for students? Generally, I would say nothing much but at least they are i.e. the government promised 30 of the country’s creme de la creme students to be awarded National Scholarships strictly based on merit, which will allow them to further education in world-renowned universities commencing next year. The universities are also granted own autonomy in certain areas pertaining to R&D in accordance with the emphasis to better competency.

Also, those who get National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans will also see the loans being converted to scholarships beginning next year — if they graduate with first class honours! Buckle up guys! In addition, all university students will be offered a netbook package of RM50 per month for two years, including free broadband service. Here for the news.

As you can see, the economy bothers us a lot especially to those who are going to graduate next year in 2010. Unless we are aware of the situation around us, we'll be forever left behind lacking in one of the best thing you & I wished to have more than anybody else: money.

Many think that economy matters only for the economists, however, I believe that the time has come for everyone to at least has the knowledge about money. The sooner you realized this, the lesser the opportunity of you folks being deceived straight down under your nose!

Till the next posting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


After like 46 years, finally 16th September has been added and granted as national public holiday in the Malaysian kaleidoscopic series of events. Click here and here for news.

Historically, 31st August every year is to commemorate the independence day of the federation of Malaya in 1957 not Malaysia. Malaysia existed only when the federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak agreed to become one entity in September 16th, 1963. Hence, in an appropriate manner, the true call of freedom for Malaysia should befall on the latter's date.

Whether the recent decision made by the government is seen to be a discourse of sincerity or politically moved, either way, is out of the question. The truth that September 16th deserves public holiday and being realized is more important so that the future generations know well their very own forte. What more can a citizen asked for, if it is not the sheer truth of his/her country?

Till the next posting.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Recently, the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) -QS World University Rankings 2009 is out. To the pessimists, it's just another annual rankings done yearly by some foreign organization out of boredom but to many especially those in the academia - this really rings a bell & the echoes are irritating.

So, in which ranks do the Malaysian universities belongs to? let's see...

Among the public universities, only UM made it to top 200 this year leaving UKM, USM - our so called APEX univ - UTM & UPM behind. Surprised? Frankly, I am not. It's somehow predictable. Why? Before further passing judgments, let's just peep into what are the criteria of the survey based on to.

QS managing director Nunzio Quacquarelli said the rankings identified not just the most highly-ranked universities in the world, but also the best performing universities in key subject areas, the universities most targeted by employers, those producing the best research, those investing in teaching and those with the most international profile. Click here for news.

I believe with this revelation, USM's credibility as an APEX univ. will be questioned. People will of course, start to compare as natural as it should be. One of the most predicted cynicism must be: what happened to USM ranking? Isn't it's the national APEX univ - huge amount of government money had been invested upon it plus it even has free autonomy to filter own selection, so, how on earth can it be outran by non APEX univ. in this matter?

I'm not against rankings. It's something good to remind us all on reality. My only query is that, is this survey/ranking really laid on tangible ground i.e. what kind of key subject areas are we looking at? which types of employers are we referring to (international, local)? what kind of international profile we are talking about?

In simple words, what I mean is that after all rankings is just an indicator posed by a foreign organization - complete stranger to our education system - who in their capacity, did they once step foot in this country experiencing for themselves our lecture hall? If not, then it is more or less the same as saying the Northern Arctic Polar Bear as off-white skin when it is not! Do you actually know that they have black skin? Think again.

Of course the main aim of the public Malaysian universities should be at least on the top 50 list of world rankings, that's for sure but I would say, in a long run universities should be more focused on their social responsibility by giving back to the society directly or indirectly. Directly, by means of the 'midas touch' of the graduates contributing back to the community upon graduating. While indirectly, academicians must be proactive in their researches not only to uplift living conditions of the public but most importantly preserve nature and promote sustainability in their scientific endeavors. Such are the essence that our universities still lacking of these days.

As the American poet John Ciardi put it all: "A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in its students"

Until the universities in Malaysia realized this, world rankings is but another coffee-stall everyday talk. Being part of the USM undergraduates, I would suggest that USM should first promptly abide to the immediate check-up. Unless this is resolved, the realization of world class university as a viable concept will face a daunting uphill challenge and it starts with you, inside, NOW.
Related Posts with Thumbnails