Sunday, December 24, 2006

Malaysia's 'National Education Blueprint 2006-2010'

"We need to face up to the fact that Malaysians have to compete with billions of our fellow Asians who are hungry for the kind of prosperity and stability we have achieved over the past 20 years. They will work harder and smarter because they are hungrier. All Malaysians, especially the Malay community, have to come to terms with this fact. If we don’t rise to the ever-increasing critical challenges, we will return to being losers in the global race."

This statement made during the presentation of the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010 by Malaysia's Minister of Education Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein caught my eye when I was browsing NST (New Straits Times) online newspaper (Spelling out the nation's future educational needs (close new window to get back to this page)).

I hope this mean that the Malaysian Government realise that the emphasis of the nation should be more on wealth creation than on the distribution of that wealth.

Malaysia is a multi-racial country whose population comprises 3 main races - the Malays, Chinese, Indians, the natives and others. The Malays says they were neglected during the colonial rule by Great Britain and were thus at a disadvantage as compared with the other races. There is thus an affirmative program which give various privilages to the bumiputras (sons of the soils which comprises the Malays and the natives, but it seems the emphasis is more on the Malays) like special quotas in the Universities and discounts to new houses sold by developers not available to others, Government contracts and so on. There is a fear that this may dull the competitive spirit of the Malays. Further, it may not fit in with the ongoing globalisation, where nations have to compete with each other.

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