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Shafie has not kept his word that he would raise the issue of Parliamentary Select Committee on Higher Education  at Wednesday’s Cabinet


Media  Statement (2)

by Lim Kit Siang  

, Saturday): Yesterday, the Parliamentary Committee of Selection met in Parliament to formalize the membership of the Parliamentary Select Committee on National Integrity, which will be chaired by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri  Bernard Dompok. The meeting was chaired by the Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah.

This will be the third Parliamentary Select Committee which will be set up under the premiership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.  I have been informed that agreement has been reached for the formation of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs.

I am disappointed however that the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Dr. Shafie Salleh has not kept his word to raise the issue of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Higher Education at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, as he said he would do when DAP MP for Batu Gajah, Fong Po Kuan and I met him in Parliament for a short but intensive discussion about the protracted, deep and worsening higher education crisis in the public universities.

The Star yesterday reported that University Malaya (UM) and Univeristi Sains Malaysia (USM) should never have been ranked No. 89 and No. 111 in last year’s Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) Top 200 Universities Ranking last year.

Quoting Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS Quacquarelli Symonds which compiled the THES rankings, the rankings error last year was a case of “mistaken identity” where Chinese and Indian students at the public universities were wrongly categorized as foreign students, which resulted in higher marks in the criteria of foreign students for the two universities.

This was actually nothing new, as this has been pointed out by a Malaysian education blogger more than two months ago, and I had referred to  it in my media statement  early this month.

Is the University of Malaya Vice Chancellor Prof. Datuk Dr. Hashim Yaacob capable of shame and embarrassment over this farce, as he had spearheaded a media campaign of self-congratulations for the  undeserved ranking last year.

Even more shameful and embarrassing is the clear lack of intellectual prowess or integrity on the part of the UM leadership under Hashim as it should have known about the  mistake in the ranking criteria last year.

Shafie should inform Parliament how much public funds were squandered by the UM Vice Chancellor for such unwarranted  celebrations, and even more important, why Shafie continued with such baseless extravagance when he should have known about the UM’s undeserved  ranking last year because of the “mistaken identity”.

Hashim owes the University of Malaya, Parliament  and the country  unconditional public apologies for the  university shame and national  embarrassment over such a farce –compounded by  the current campaign of billboards, buntings and leaflets in the campus in the past three weeks.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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