Friday, November 14, 2008

Najib: Liberate the Minds of Students

Here's what The Star reported this morning:
There should be an intellectual renaissance to open up and liberate the minds of students, and this should start in the universities, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Our education system must chan ge. Our children are just not curious enough. They must be curious about the world. They must ask questions,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
This should really be posted on my Education blog, but I wasn't even going to discuss the merits of the statement, but just to put it up to show the sheer "audacity" of the Prime Minister-in-waiting, so this blog might be more appropriate.

Can you believe that he probably read his speech with a straight face without flinching at all?


Anonymous said...

Its not that he says it with a straight-face, the problem is what he believes his speech can actually do.

Those with half a brain don't buy it, those who do not don't understand it which leaves only a small audience this thing will fly.

Its a reflection of his administration, the whole idea is to move a marginal group of people to hold on to power which means that he will mean very little for MOST Malaysians but will not antagonise them either.

Its already clear, he is going to go around making speeches while really focusing on a select group of people probably Sabah/Sarawak warlords and top Malay elite in KL to hold on to power.

He is a PM for the few and proposes he is for all.. Its the ultimate bull....

Anonymous said...

There is no way you can believe a lier with no integrity.

Anonymous said...

Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder. Show us some sincere moves and they will speak for themselves...

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

This is no different to Chairman Mao's "Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom." How to liberate the minds but yet doesn't allow the mouth to speak its mind!

This man speaks with a forked tongue with a surreptitious intention; open your mind in tandem like a fish you will get pained by the evil hook!

Let call this Najib's clarion call, "Let a Million Farts Smell like Perfume!" and may the millions of UMNO members be suffocated by their new "Dear Leader."

In the meantime, continue to laugh at his naked stupidity. Remember the story of the "Emperor's New Clothes."

Way to go, Najib.

Rejoice all the Umnoputras for you have a new legend in the making!

K L said...

Let's have paradigm shift in Politic 1st before Education. Leadership must be by example, not Leader Shit !

Anonymous said...

Najib??? Phooooi!!! PM my arse!

Nest GE, I will still vote for the Opposition even if they put a dog as a candidate.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt.
Once again our Mr. PM-in-waiting making a fool out of himself.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Tony,

Thanks for highlighting DPM's statement on education.

As the former VC of UNIMAS said in his keynote address at the AUKU forum held in UM a few months back, if we really want students to just simply concentrate on their studies, we should close all campuses and have all lectures conducted on-line. Put all notes and reading materials on-line and ask students to come to campus only for their exams.

I've often said to my students that schools and universities are places for them to interact, to talk, discuss, agree & disagree and learn to deal with different personalities (teachers and friends); to be challenged, cajoled, ridiculed, provoked and inspired. If schools and universities are only for students to listen and submit, as the former VC said, we might as well record all lectures in DVDs and sell them to students. Guarantee easy money. We don't need to spent on building and maintaining premises.


Anonymous said...

I was there at PWTC when he spoke.
He was very convincing! I almost believe him! hahahahaha!!!

Anonymous said...

Just make it our DREAM as every relisation starts from DREAM.

What always matters is the duration it takes to turn this HOPE into REALITY. :)

And should be believe our current PM too? "Anyone can become malaysian PM." =p

Anonymous said...

who is he trying to convince? with all those acts strangling our students, those crap Biro Tata Neraka sorry Negara indoctrination...

remember the disgraceful UPM shoving incident? remember the UiTM students protesting about a bit of competition to raise the standard?


lee wee tak

Anonymous said...

all is not lost, aha.

Anonymous said...


as an aside, do you notice this particular commonality.
try suing the racist Khir. The police will be at your doorsteps. Look what happen to Ronnie and Teresa. Just plain coincidence?
Can one individual be so powerful? Really scary, isnt it?

Anonymous said...


The future road less traveled is not going to be very smooth & easy.

It's getting tougher, made worst when Najis come into power by March 2009.

The Malaysian Constitution didn't even mention that an elected UMNO President will automatically becomes the next PM of Malaysia.

So, what is next?

We have to play smart by discreetly planning to target the next 2 million newly registered young voters to realize the crooks of BN govt and vote them out in the next GE.

"Change Is Coming To Malaysia"

We are with you ALL THE WAY, brother.

Long Live DAP!

Anonymous said...

Why do politicians speak with forked tongue?

Shawn Tan said...

If we take away the mouthpiece and only focus on the statement, it is entirely true. However, it is quite unlikely that the government can do anything to change it. The easiest way to discourage "rote learning" is by asking "difficult" questions, which will cause problems for teachers who can only do "rote marking". So, new teachers are needed and better paid ones too. But with a teaching force of about 150000, not sure where the government is going to find the funds for such a thing.

Soo Huey said...

Hi, I know this is a very difficult question and might not be the best forum, and hopefully Tony won't mind me asking here since the opportunity presents itself...

I'm curious what people think would be the best way to liberate the minds of Malaysian students.

You know how America sees terrorism as a global threat and in 2000 the CIA officially declared the AIDS epidemic as a threat to national security? Following both proclamations, USA has thrown as much as they can afford into addressing these threats to their nation.

Well, I think the poor state of our education system is of equal, if not more debilitating, threat to Malaysia and should be addressed with utmost urgency. Not just intermittently throwing words into media and keeping themselves busy / wasting money implementing poor-conceived policies.

Although there seems to be awareness that we have a problem, there doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency. I actually think we are in a state of emergency that requires better effective measures put in place quickly!

It's kinda like climate change. We haven't fully felt the impact, but we need to act NOW because by the time the impact is felt, it's too late. Children of today will one day be tasked with leading our nation socially, politically, economically. I fear for the future of Malaysia as a consequence of our current system...

Soo Huey said...

I realised my above comment is just a long essay without direct questions and no real substance! So here's another attempt.

I agree with Shawn's emphasis. It's time for concrete efforts, and the focus should be the statement. The task is a difficult one for any government. The questions I'm asking aren't easy and likely we won't arrive at a useful conclusion. But maybe with each discussion, we will get closer to the answer?

1. How can we quickly try to raise the profile and perceived value of teachers? Many seem to think teaching is a profession you go into when nothing else is available to you. I don't believe this is true for all teachers, but regardless, as long as this perception exists, we can't attract good students to become teachers. Will increasing salaries alone be sufficient to attract good teachers?

2. Even successfully addressing the above is too late. That will entail waiting for a whole new generation of teachers. We need good teachers right now, so how? Certainly, more teachers = less work burden = more time for current teachers to focus on being good teachers, so it may work. However is it a scenario where by trying to increase workforce, we'll just accept anyone who comes along? Quality vs Quantity. Hmm...

Anyone with brilliant ideas/insights? I told myself one day that I've to go off and equip myself with knowledge/experience so that one day I can come back and actually be useful. Yet being away, I've poor grasp of things that are actually happening in Malaysia. Is there anything being done by anyone who can actually do anything that is actually promising? (Confusing statement, but word use intentional.)

Soo Huey said...

Very sorry for spamming, but I would like to share this link as my final contribution to this thread. I hope everyone finds the time to watch it, maybe share it.

The clip shows a truly liberal mind and I think within it offers an answer to my question 2.