Akhirnya Najib Razak mengaku bahawa Bajet 2016 perlu dibentang semula kerana Putrajaya tidak akan ada wang untuk membiayai perbelanjaan yang dirancang bagi tahun 2016 akibat kejatuhan harga minyak. Semasa pembentangan di Parlimen November lalu, saya bangun menuntut beliau memberikan jaminan bahawa semasa menyemak semula Bajet 2016, beliau tidak akan menaikkan kadar GST untuk menampung perbelanjaan...rafizi ramli
Academic cites suppression, corruption at M’sian varsities...
Malaysian public universities performing poorly in annual global academic rankings, is not a new phenomenon.
Now, an Australian academic who used to lecture at the University Malaysia Perlis seems to have unearthed the reasons behind this constant poor performance.
Writing in the Eurasia Review Journal, Murray Hunter said that one of the main issues faced by Malaysian universities was the suppression of independent thought among its students.
“This is counterproductive to creativity, critical thinking and problem solving – the very mindset that Malaysian universities espouse to develop.
“Among the characteristics of society required for progression are people who are knowledgeable and have the right to choose,” he wrote on Wednesday.
Hunter also fingered “aristocratic” university leaders, citing a former Vice Chancellor of a university for his “partisan political leanings.”
“This institutional arrogance can be seen in the proposal to educate students about the ills of ISIS (Islamic State). The underlying assumption being that Malaysian students are easily led and cannot think for themselves.”
Hunter also alleged that Malaysian universities glorified its leaders with unnecessary ceremonies that made a mockery of academia, and had the tendency to dominate the persona of universities, rather than act as facilitators for people to excel.
“This leads to a lot of unnecessary expenses such as lavish dinners with highly paid entertainers to celebrate events and awards. Some of these dinners are very extravagant, costing up to hundreds of thousands of Ringgit,” he said, adding that it was not uncommon for some vice-chancellors to take off on lavish trips overseas, the benefits of which were yet to be scrutinised.
He cited instances of wastage such as the RM400,000 wasted by University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) for a computerised management system which never took off, as highlighted in the 2012 Auditor-General’s Report.
“Mismanagement and waste is one issue, but outright corruption is another. If one has spent any significant time within Malaysian academia, stories about corruption within the institution will no doubt arise,” he said, adding that few of these charges however, saw conviction.
For example, he said many consultancy companies run and operated by university faculties, had the dean and deputy deans as directors and shareholders.
He said there were also instances of academics paying for their articles to be published in journals without peer review, and that there was heavy use of research grants for travel “that is questionably related to the research topic it was granted for.”
Often, university staff were fearful of their superiors, he said, adding there was also little room for whistle-blowers to report corruption without sacrificing their anonymity.
“Staff are selected upon loyalty rather than merit, breeding a culture of gratitude within their institutions. Strong vice-chancellors can browbeat the university board and senate, getting their own way on operational issues, due to the transitory nature of university boards,” he said.
Hunter concluded by saying that it was time Malaysian universities were re-organised from the top down. This included new leadership, heavy reforms of the organisation and vision beyond self-glorification.
“Make this change and Malaysian universities will very quickly feature in the top 100 Asian university rankings.” - fmt