University – sign of unhealthy higher education development in Malaysia as
there is not a single first-world country where political parties compete to
Media Conference Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Monday): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that UMNO will examine the justification and affordability to set up a University UMNO before making a final decision.
He said the party would determine whether it was justified for a university linked to UMNO be established as there are already 17 public universities and many private tertiary learning institutions in the country.
The proposal for an UMNO University is the latest sign of unhealthy higher education development in Malaysia as there is not a single first-world country where political parties compete to establish universities. It is further evidence that Malaysia is not yet ready to fulfill the call of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, for a “First World Infrastructure, First World Mentality” to join the ranks of the fully developed nations in the world.
The Minister for Higher Education Datuk Dr. Shafie Salleh is clearly supportive of an UMNO University for two reasons which he had himself given:
Shafie does not seem to realize that Malaysian higher education is in the throes of a deep crisis on academic quality and excellence, with the Malaysian universities losing the best and brightest of their academicians, like Professor Wang Gungwu, Professor K.S. Jomo and Dr. Terence Gomez; poor international rankings in the league of world-class universities as well as producing tens of thousands of unemployed and unemployable graduates.
These should be his single-minded priority and concerns as the Minister for Higher Education instead of trying to restore his popularity in UMNO by advocating an UMNO university.
* 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