Must the country lose Dr. Terence Gomez after losing Professor Wang Gungwu and Professor K.S. Jomo?
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament, Wednesday): What is so astounding about yesterday’s Bernama report “Zainul Ariff Says UPM Has No Power To Demand V-C Resignation” is not so much the statement by the Chairman of the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) board of directors that the board has no power to demand the resignation of the university's vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Zohadie Bardaie, but that it has taken Zainul nine days to make it.
Be that as it may, the resolution of the UPM row in the best interest of the student and academic community is welcome, as university administrators in the country should demonstrate by example that they are fully conscious of the national responsibility and trust reposed on them to transform local universities to world-class status in the race for international competitiveness in the era of globalisation.
It is a matter of concern however that unlike the UPM, the University of Malaya has yet to resolve the Dr. Terence Gomez issue although it would have even greater national and international repercussions.
University of Malaya has lost considerable ground since the 60s as it had not been able to maintain its earlier international academic repute and eminence.
If University of Malaya is serious in wanting to aspire to be regarded as one of the premier universities in the region and the world, it must resolve the Dr. Terence Gomez issue without leaving an international black eye for the university and the country.
Malaysians and the world are waiting and watching to see whether even under the premiership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, there is just no place in Malaysian public universities for internationally-acclaimed academicians like Dr. Terence Gomez, and that past university policies which had seen the country losing “towering” academicians like Dr. Wang Gung Wu and Dr. K.S. Jomo have not materially changed today. Must the country lose Dr. Terence Gomez after losing Professor Wang Gung Wu and Professor Jomo?
I am hoping to meet with the University of Malaya Vice Chancellor Dr. Hashim Yaacob before pursuing this issue further, whether with the Prime Minister or in Parliament.
* 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