Shafie Salleh’s “reinstatement”of Dr. Terence Gomez in approving his secondment to take up the prestigious UN research appointment in Geneva has transformed the entire scenario for the University of Malaya centennial celebrations next week, making it most meaningful instead of casting it under a baleful cloud
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Saturday): The “reinstatement”of Dr. Terence Gomez as Assoc Professor of University of Malaya in approving his secondment to take up the prestigious United Nations research appointment in Geneva as announced by the Minister for Higher Education Datuk Dr. Shafie Salleh has transformed the entire scenario for the University of Malaya centennial celebrations next week, making it most meaningful instead of casting it under a baleful cloud.
Academics, graduates, students and distinguished guests can feel proud and hold their heads high to participate in the University of Malaya centennial celebrations next Thursday instead of being sheepish and haunted by the most embarrassing Dr. Terence Gomez debacle.
The reinstatement of Dr. Terence Gomez is the most important development in higher education in the past 20 months, and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the Minister for Higher Education are to be commended for their intervention to stem the haemorrhage in national and international confidence and to give hope that the national higher education system can be reformed to create “towering Malaysian personalities”.
The praiseworthy conclusion to the Dr. Terence Gomez debacle should give heart to all far-sighted Malaysians who support higher education reforms to renew their efforts so that local public universities can achieve world-class status to transform Malaysia into an international centre of academic excellence, not just at the sloganeering level but internationally recognized and respected.
The “Solidarity with Dr. Terence Gomez” dinner to be held at Kelana Seafood Centre, Kelana Jaya, Selangor on Monday, 13th June 2005 at 8.30 p.m. will be held as scheduled, as it would now be even more meaningful with the vindication of Dr. Gomez’s case, and even more important, to focus national attention on long-overdue university reforms which are a prerequisite for Malaysia to become an international centre of academic excellence.
Guest speakers apart from Dr. Gomez at the dinner are Professor Ibrahim Bajunied, Dr. Toh Kin Woon, Malek Imtiaz, Zainur Zacharia, Charles Santiago, Bridget Welsh, Lim Guan Eng, Husam Musa and others, and as I said this morning, with the possibility of a surprise or two.
* Lim Kit Siang,
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission
Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman