By Lim Kit Siang
Has the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin forgotten his objective nine years ago when he was Education Minister for Malaysia to become a “wonder nation”?
Otherwise, why was there no reference to this objective in his message in conjunction with the 50th Teachers’ Day celebration yesterday?
Can Muhyiddin declare whether his objective remain to make Malaysia a “wonder nation” or he has long given up on this objective?
In his Teachers’ Day message yesterday, Muhyiddin talked about everything from the concept of learning to be relevant at any time and place in line with the new normal instead of being confined within the four walls of a room to the globalisation of education – but there was not a single reference to what he said nine years ago to transform Malaysia into a “wonder nation” when he launched the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 in September 2012.
At that time, he wanted Malaysia to become a “wonder nation” and to make the quantum jump from the bottom third to top third of 2021 PISA (Programme for International Assessment) tests of OECD.
Muhyiddin should know of the saying “the proof is in the pudding”, as the ”wonder nation” is another of Muhyiddin’s many “pudding failures”.
What is more mortifying is that Muhyiddih paid RM20 million to foreigners to draft the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 and the coinage of the phrase “wonder nation” for his launching speech.
A decade later, Malaysia has slipped further in human capital development to the extent that multinational companies (MNCs) are less keen to employ local engineers who had graduated from local public universities, preferring graduates from Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and even Indonesia.
They say local graduate engineers fall below their requirement, viz:
i. they cannot perform their tasks well;
ii. they will need more training on the job (which will cost time and money);
iii. its more a nuisance to hire them, especially when engineers from nearby ASEAN countries can perform better.
We have also slipped in the world competitiveness ranking from No. 22 in 2019 to No. 27 in 2020. Our ranking in the 2021 world competitiveness report is likely to be even worse!
In fact, Malaysians have never felt so small, as recently Indonesian government even cited Malaysia in the same breath as India in its warning to Indonesians as the two nations not to be emulated in the mishandling of Covid-19 pandemic and that they should stay home and to take precautions on Covid-19 in the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays!
Can Malaysia turn around from this trajectory towards a kakistocracy and a failed state?
(Media Statement (2) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 17th May 2021)
*The views expressed are those of the author. If you have any questions about the content, copyright or other issues of the work, please contact Newswav.
This post first appeared on Lim Kit Siang‘s blog.