Friday, July 03, 2009

I Am Not Qualified

Heh... Shadow committees list for Pakatan Rakyat is out and all sorts of analysis is being made of the list (some quite funny, others full of conspiracy theories).

Of note is by one Prof Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, the Director of the Malay World and Civilisation Academy of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia who said (in Malaysiakini) that
"(DAP's Penang deputy chief minister II) P Ramasamy is placed in the International Relations Ministry. He has a political science background but his specialty is in labour politics.

"Tony Pua (DAP publicity secretary) may have studied in Oxford but that does not mean he knows much about the higher education system," he said.
For Prof P Ramasamy, not only does he specialise in Labour politics, he has taken active part in resolving international conflicts in Sri Lanka as well as Aceh, helping with peace negotiations as well as drafting of constitutions. That's certainly more qualified that the current foreign minister, Datuk Anifah Aman who went to United States to talk about Altantuya.

As for me, yes, I did study at Oxford, and of course, that does not mean I know much about higher education. For that matter, it does not mean that I know much about anything at all, economics, finance, telecommunications, technology, transportation etc etc. So, really, I should just keep my mouth shut and let others who are experts over at the Barisan Nasional frontbench do the talking.

Do I sound incoherent? Probably. Top notch local academics like Shamsul Amri Baharuddin makes me feel stupid, and ashamed.


Anonymous said...

haha Tony, am surprised you even bothered to respond to this.

Anonymous said...

he is paid by BN. what do you expect? he has opened up a can of worms himself. why not YAB Tony put up a list of the qualifications of all the current cabinet ministers education background. if one can criticise, then one can also be criticised. otherwise, duduk diam diam lah prof.

Anonymous said...

Hehehe... I guess Rosmah Mansor more qualified to talk about education, is it?? Her husband using our tax money to fund her part-time PR activity for advancing early education. We had a man who liked to wave the keris as the Edu Minister, I wonder if this Professor thought that man was qualified? WE now have Mohideen as the Edu minister, he don even know English was not a must pass subject. He qualified, is it?

U think all the UMNO man qualify to even be our MP? Zambry, Pangkor Pele or whatever he wants to be called, qualify? What a joker, he wanted to be known as Mandela too!

Pure Faith said...

little does he know that you have a blog on education matters, long before you entered into active politics....

NEO said...

I will not allow my girl friend to stay at 3 star hotel!

int said...

You would expect a Prof to be able to do basic research right? But maybe it's unreasonable to expect him to go through the chore of looking at P Ramasamy's website where the 'About me' page clearly lists his LTTE and Aceh advisory roles. Why did Ramasamy bury this in the cryptically named "About me" page? That could be about anything!

As for you Tony, don't worry, ZULKIFLI NORDIN is there to help you learn the ropes in higher education, please do post whatever you learn from him on your EDUCATION BLOG, which the esteemed Prof. also managed to miss.

Anonymous said...

Prof Shamsul Amri Baharuddin from UKM is a prof because of the colour of his skin, not because of qualifications. If he is qualified to be a prof, i bet Tony is fit to be a dean.

Last check, Oxford is way better than UKM. If Shamsul were to apply for a job in Oxford, they would probably offer him a tutor post.

I bet most Malaysian doen't care who helm the education minister post, be it an Iban, Kadazan, Indian, Chinese or Malay. Janji anak kita dapat pendidikan yang setaraf dengan Singapura.

Anonymous said...

That Professor Shamsul is professor "kang kung".
Typical UMNO balls licker who always think like an idiot.

suso said...

YB Tony, if you're not qualified then neither is Mr Oh Ei Sun, the new political secretary to Najib. There is some controversy over his quaalifications, according to comments on MalaysianInsider:

Oh Ei Sun likes to call himself "Dr" but there is debate whether he is actually a real doctor or not. The Juris Doctor of Law that Oh Ei Sun has is not the same as a Phd "Dr". The Juris Doctor of Law is more like a first bachelor's degree. So there is considerable debate whether someone with a Juris Doctor can call himself "Dr". From wikipedia:

Evidence that the J.D. is not a doctoral level degree

- The Master of Laws (LL.M.) requires the J.D. as a prerequisite, and the Scientiae Juridicae Doctor (S.J.D.) requires both the J.D. and the LL.M. as prerequisites. This suggests that the J.D. is not the highest degree in law.

- Non-U.S. academic institutions have stated that, despite its name, the J.D. is not a doctoral level award and graduates are not entitled to use the honorific title "Doctor", and have stated that the J.D. is not a terminal degree.

- The U.S. government sets the starting pay grade for "Master's or equivalent graduate degree(s) (such as LL.B. or J.D.)" at GS-9, but the pay grade for "Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree(s)" at GS-11. The European Research Council states that, "First-professional degrees will not be considered...PhD-equivalent, even if recipients carry the title 'Doctor'."

I note that in the MalaysianInsider article above, Oh Ei Sun is not referred to as "Dr". Yet it seems that Oh Ei Sun likes to go around calling himself "Dr", as in his biodata:

After 8 years of studying and being only 35 years old, how can Mr Oh be characterized as having "extensive experience serving various international bodies under the United Nations"?

Say that he started university at around 20. He studied for 8 years, so upon graduation, he is already 28 years old. This gives him only 7 years of work experience. In between his time as CEO of Easi-Link Networks, running his consulting firm and giving investor education talks, how is it possible that Mr Oh was able to gain "extensive experience serving various international bodies under the United Nations"? The math does not seem to add up.

Either this Mr Oh is a super genius (in which case all Malaysians should be thankful) or Malaysians will soon be saying Uh-Oh. I also would like to see his real CV.

Juris Doctor or J.D. is only considered a professional degree, not a Ph.D degree. In fact, there is no dissertation or defense of thesis necessary to get a J.D., unlike a real Ph.D degree.

J.D. is definitely not recognised in Malaysia as a PhD level degree, therefore it is wrong for Oh Ei Sun to continually refer to himself as a "Dr." in his biodata:

The last thing Malaysians need is a political secretary who is so egoistic as to call himself a "Dr.", when he is not really one. Would Mr Oh like to clarify and explain why he refers to himself as "Dr." in his biodata?

KoSong Cafe said...

Besides a basic qualification, exposure and inherent leadership qualities are important, which is why nobody can tell unless given a portfolio and especially how he or she handles during difficult times.

Of all persons, Shamsul picked on Dr. Rama and you for being unqualified! Well, I think he has to pick higher profile ones to criticize for bigger impact, so take it as a compliment!

Anonymous said...

who is this shamsul amri baharin? never heard of him

Anonymous said...

Take it from me, a former Malaysian academic who knows Shamsul A.B. well. It is not for nothing that he picked on you and Rama. Take it as a compliment and don't dignify him with any reply or debate. Among the serious academic circle he is not respected anymore, except to be made used of here and there, either by foreign academics who need a local endorser or by the regime which gives him some titled position. Sad, a good brain but wasted on wanting so hard to sound witty and funny and at the end, stupid.

Peter Tan said...

... and for that matter, are ministers in charge of social issues such as those faced by disabled people understand the core problems of these communities?

casper c said...

Just a fat f*ck who owes his living to umno. Wonder where the "Prof" comes from ?

nat said...

haha, drama queenla you :P :)

just teasing! heheh

P130 voter said...

I have always thought of you as a finance guy... the ringgit & sen kind of person. I would have thought the Finance Ministry would be your cup of tea.

P130 voter

Lee Wee Tak said...

ooi, that Prof with a rat's backside for a pea size brain....suck up to your YAB PM

1) was he a great warrior, solder, marine before he assumed the ministry with the biggest budget allocation?

2) did Najib or Badawi have a shinning track record managing finance before they assume the position of F Ministry?

3) Was the DPM a teacher/educationist before he gets the current position of Education Minister?

4) Syed Hamid, his qualification for ISA was .... er...lost, he wasn't even catching dogs for any municipal, right?

5) What about Raja Niong? His qualification for FT Minister is losing the GE, right

With this kinda prof around, a secondary school student from selected oversee countries can lick Malaysian undergraduates in a debate session

Anonymous said...


Agree with Tony this Professor as indicated by his name Shame-sul.

But do you need to pick on Oh Ei Sun ? I mean if he joins DAP one day, you will say different thing.

I mean what type of controversy are you talking about.

Nehemiah said...

Let's be clear about the goals of a shadow cabinet:

Is it to propose policies that are much better and viable than the policies of the incumbent ministers?

If it is, then it is a very defensive move because BN will try to get the best deal ahead of PR.

Anyway, my doubts about the three minister committee are spelled out with a solution at:

Anonymous said...

From Florence Looi's Point of View blog

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Extraordinary - is how I would describe the Deputy Minister of Intl Trade and Industry, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir’s comments when asked about the further decrease in exports for April.

“The drop in export is still something of a concern to us. We will try to get information from the industries from where demand has fallen.”

One would have thought he’d be one of the first to have the information. One would have hoped that by the time the information is released to the public, the people in charge would already be hard at work on a plan. Specifically, what other information would he need? I’m not an economist but I know our E&E exports have fallen because our largest trade partner, the US is in a recession.

How about making economics a compulsory pass subject for politicians? Alternatively, bring in the technocrats.

- siew eng

Zhengdong said...

haha...that prof is a funny old man, 1st he should look at his own qualification or even achievement. What he has done for the nation or ukm? Every person in this world start from blank page, we must learn slowly and by placing YB Tony in that post, u can learn what it takes to lead the nation. im sure one day u will be our next edu minister and change the whole education system in Msia. Wish for the day to come.

Hafiz said...


you like to criticize people kan?

so why are u now all rowdy when people criticize u?

u think ur so great is it?

aiyo, so muka tak malu...

The Watchman said...

Cool, Tony ... Cool!

Anonymous said...

Suso, Mr Oh is indeed a genius, check your facts.

KY said...

hahaha, never seen you so angry.

Anonymous said...

i think the prof, as idiotic as he may be, was just making an obvious statement. don't see anything wrong with that. it's true, as you agreed, it does not mean you know much. no need to be so worked up, tony. does pm najib necessarily know much about finance? what credentials does the dpm hold to helm education? no need to be so sarcastic. it's annoying.

Anonymous said...

If qualification is the criteria for a shadow job or a Minister's post, then we can safely say that all the BN cabinet Ministers are not fit or qualified to hold their portfolio.

The so-called professor is just busy apple-polishing when he should be concentrating on his academic duties.Well, in Malaysia you do not need to be highly qualified for a University job but just hang around the corridors of power and practise your political skills and you will then be promoted to Assoc. Prof , then Professor and then Dean and maybe with the right cables pulled the VC.

Simple as that