Friday): The Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad should make a Ministerial
statement in Parliament next month to explain why Malaysia sent three
contestants to the 43rd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in
Glasgow last month who scored only one out of 42 points and not better
Every participating country in the IMO meant for High School students
is entitled to send up to six contestants, who must be below 20 years and
not enrolled and commenced their studies at a university or at any equivalent
Each contestant will have to answer six problems, given in her/his own
language, in the two-day competition, and each problem is worth 7 points. The
maximum score obtainable by a contestant is 42 points.
In the IMO in Glasgow last month, 39 gold medals were awarded for scoring
between 29 to 42 points, 73 silver medals for those scoring between 23 to 28 points
and 120 bronze medals for those scoring between 14 and 22 points.
China, which had a national score of 212 out of a maximum of 252 points, won
six medals with two contestants obtaining the full 42 points.
Malaysians are disappointed that Malaysia did not win a single gold, silver
or bronze medal in the Glasgow IMO, but what should be a matter of grave concern
and even alarm is that three of the six Malaysian contestants only managed to
score one out of 42 points obtainable by an individual.
Although this is a better performance than a previous IMO where two Malaysian
contestants got zero points as they did not obtain a single point at all in the
six problems, Malaysians are entitled to ask whether there are no better
candidates who could be sent to the IMOs as it reflects poorly on Malaysia’s
reputation and academic excellence, especially in the fields of mathematics and
The government, Parliament and the nation will have a wrong sense of
priorities if Malaysians are only concerned about athletics, sports and
Formula One but totally indifferent about our
students’ performance at the various international science Olympiads
which show that Malaysian students trail their international peers
considerably in mathematics and
Musa should initiate a new change to restore a right and proper sense of national priorities by giving a Ministerial statement in Parliament next month as to how the government proposes to give national importance to Malaysia’s participation in the annual international science Olympiads.