Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 18 August 2014.
The end of the 4 year medical romance with the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from the United States, reinforces the culture of mediocrity in Malaysian educational standards and the sad reality that there is no room for excellent institutions or brilliant students. Further this is symptomatic of the failure of the BN Federal government’s transformation programme to pursue excellence and the creative city concept due in part to reluctance to embrace the critical success factors of talent, technology and tolerance.
The 3TS of talent, technology and tolerance must co-exist in an eco-system that can engender creativity. Whilst we may have the talent and the readiness to invest in technology, the general reluctance to permit tolerance of different ideas and lifestyles has proven to be to big a hindrance for Malaysia until our universities have descended into mediocrity and our talented resources have migrated in droves to other countries.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine had pulled out of Malaysia’s Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine (Pugsom), citing frequent late payments as the reason, which were 12 months overdue when the partnership was terminated last month. Clearly failure to pay showed that the 3Ts of Talent, Technology and Tolerance was not given much priority nor emphasis.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced Pugsom in September 2010 to much publicity and fanfare, even stating the school would become a medical research hub in the region. Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who was then Health Minister, even claimed that the presence of the prestigious Johns Hopkins in Malaysia would boost the country’s health tourism industry.
Following the abject failure, the Federal government must explain to the public how much it cost for this failed venture. What is equally worrying is not just that the elite excellent foreign universities are abandoning Malaysia, but that the Federal government is also abandoning our top students.
Why Continue To Conduct Sekolah Tinggi Peperiksaan Malaysia(STPM) When Top Students Are Denied University Places For Their Preferred Courses?
Why then continue conduct Sekolah Tinggi Peperiksaan Malaysia(STPM) when top students are denied university places for their preferred courses? Recently a straight As STPM student from Klang, Ng Li Ying, was denied courses in medicine, dentistry and pharmacy despite applying to nine local universities. Instead she was offered a course in nursing.
Her case is not the first case of top students being denied their preferred courses. Two straight As students from Ipoh, who opted for dentistry and medicine in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, were offered nursing in Sarawak and veterinary studies in Kelantan respectively. Another top student in Liow Tiong Lai’s own Bentong constituency was offered nursing in Sarawak as well.
There is a STPM student from Perak with 4As failing to be accepted for a pharmacy programme in Universiti Sains Malaysia(USM) despite being offered the same course by Monash University, Australia, which is ranked 8th in the world by the 2014 QS World University Ranking for pharmacy and pharmacology. Someone must have forgotten to tell the whole world that USM is better than Monash University.
As a first step, the Federal government must win back the confidence of our top local students by offering them university places for their preferred courses before trying to attract top foreign universities to Malaysia. Finally the 3T concept of talent, technology and tolerance must be fully adopted and practiced if Malaysia is to succeed in developing a creative society.
LIM GUAN ENG
——Mandarin Version —–