Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Penang On 19.8.2014.
The failed medical romance with world-renowned Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is a costly US$ 34.199 million (RM107.91 million) for only 80 students and the Federal government must come clean on how Malaysia benefits from spending RM1.35 million per student. The public will also be interested whether the 80 students are all Malaysians and the critieria applied for their selection.
This full accountability is especially important when the Federal government has made limited offers to only 418 brilliant students to take up medicine at local public universites. Deputy Minister of Education P Kamalanathan said yesterday that the limited number of offers is due to a over-supply of new doctors where only 418 out of 1,163 students who obtained top marks were selected for medicine.
This is not the first time that an alliance with a world-renowned university failed. In 1999, a grant of RM100 million was approved to set up a the Malaysian University of Science and Technology to mirror the Massachusettes Institute of Technology(MIT). However, MIT pulled out in 2004.
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.
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. 2 straight A 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