First, allow me to apologise for being away without notice. I wasn't on strike unlike some of our re-owned bloggers. Nevertheless, i would give them the benefit of doubt for their decision as for most of us bloggers, sometimes we do get those pukie feelings following our country's political scenes. Truly lives up to its name.. 'Malay politics at its best/ugliest' depending how one would want to see it. Perhaps RockyBru knew something that we do not know especially so when PM came out with those 'treachery remark' on bloggers right after Rocky decided to take a 2 weeks break. So why the long absence? Well, last Friday morning i was awakened by a call from my daughter, Samantha calling me from her room. She must have thought that i have left for work. Much as i expected for a call that come that early from a person who only wakes up at mid-morning, the news was that my father-in-law, the late Mr Lim Thong Yew, forgot to wake up that fateful morning. He was 84. So we did only the rightful thing by being there to help out and pay our last respect to a man who have graced a major part of our lives. We arrived home from Ipoh on Monday night. Tired and worn out from an emotional trip. I was actually lost on the development of events over the last few days despite having update myself by glancing through some newspaper. Balasubramaniam, Protes rally and all those stupid statements made by our PM and DPM. Cant be bothered by them and their outright lies through their controlled MSM. What's important right now is to prepare and make arrangement for Samantha to further her studies in NUS. She is leaving for Singapore next Wednesday. Boy, am i glad we made the right decision to opt out from the local offer of a Bio-medical engineering degree by University Malaya to the Science degree as offered by National University of Singapore after reading a letter by P. George in The Star yesterday. Any sane mind would have made the same decision as we did. Prestige and brighter future were the factors in our decision making despite the financial hardship that we may have to face later on. But these are small sacrifices for parents to make for the betterment of their children.
Excerpt of the letter from The Star below:
"I REFER to your report “Decision soon on apex varsity” (The Star, July 8). I would like to urge the authorities involved in making this decision to look closely at the public universities in Singapore, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University which are funded by the Singapore government and which are the best in Asean and amongst the best in Asia and the world.
The well-regarded Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) World University Rankings 2007 shows the National University of Singapore (NUS) at 33rd place and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) at 69th place, among the top 100 universities in the world.
Indeed, NUS is ranked among the top 50 universities in the world for natural sciences (25th), life sciences and biomedicine (12th), technology (10th), social sciences (20th) and arts and humanities (21st).
What will it take for Malaysia’s soon-to-be-decided apex university to be able to compete with the likes of NUS in Singapore, and more ambitiously, with the top 10 universities in the world such as Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, Imperial College, Princeton, California Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, University College London and MIT?
If one were to take Singapore’s NUS as an example, one guiding principle would be to recruit the best available administrators and professors, lecturers, tutors and research assistants internationally and pay them according to international standards, while assessing their performance on rigorous and transparent criteria.
Another guiding principle would be to recruit the best students from within Malaysia and from other Asean and Asian countries based on clear and transparent meritocratic criteria.
Yet another guiding principle would be to provide generous funding for scholarships and bursaries so as to ensure that no qualified student, no matter how poor, is denied a chance to study at an apex university.
But given the situation in Malaysia, where the Government tends to regulate higher education and universities with a heavy hand, and where bureaucracy and national agendas call the shots, the drive to set up one or more apex universities could well be an expensive exercise in futility and be doomed to abject failure.
As it is, our best students are being lured overseas year after year, often with full scholarships, to top-ranked universities, with a strong possibility that they may not return to Malaysia after graduation. And this trend will intensify, given the global hunt for talent, both in the region and around the world.
Yet the government does not seem to have the political will to address the relevant issues in higher education head-on".
Johor Baru.Rest In Peace, Dad, Mr Lim Thong Yew