May 4, 2006

Night and Day

Posted in Malaysia at 10:22 am by egalitaria

What an embarassment. The differences between the two are like night and day. I say, no wonder it is not difficult for us to be put down. But all the same, pride leaps before a fall and arrogance has its time and limit. See below the comparisons of leaders' qualifications, taken from a reader's comments on Screenshots.  

PM Lee Hsien Loong
Cambridge University – First Class Honours (1974)
Harvard University – Masters (1980)

SM Goh Chok Tong
University of Singapore – First Class Honours (1964)
Williams College, USA – Masters (1967)

MM Lee Kuan Yew
Cambridge University – First Class Honours (1949)

Minister for Law S Jayakumar
University of Singapore – Bachelor of Law Honours (1963)
Yale Univerity – Masters (1966)

Minister for Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng
University of Singapore – Bachelor of Arts & Business Admin (1977)
London Business School – Masters (1979)

Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo
Cambridge University – Double First Class Honours (1976)
Harvard Business School – MBA w/ Distinction (1985)

Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang
Cambridge University – First Class Honours w/ Distinction (1976)
Harvard University – Masters (1986)

Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean
University of Manchester – First Class Honours (1976)
Imperial College, London – Masters w/ Distinction (1977)

Minister for Education Tharman Shanmugaratnam
London School of Economics – Bachelor of Arts
Cambridge University – Masters
Harvard University – Masters

PM Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
University of Malaya – Bachelor of Arts Honours (1964)

Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad
King Edward VII College of Medicine, Singapore – Bachelor of Medicine (1952)

Minister of Defence Dato' Sri Najib Razak
University of Nottingham – Bachelor of Arts Honours (1974)

Minister of Defence Najib Razak
University of Nottingham – Bachelors of Arts Honours (1974)

Minister of Foregn Affairs Syed Hamid Albar
(can someone tell me his univeristy? )- Bachelor of Arts

Ministry of International Trade & Industry Rafidah binti Aziz
Universiti Malaya – Bachelor of Arts Honours

Minister of Agriculture Muhyiddin Yassin
(Education Unknown)

Ministry of Domestic Trade Shafie Apdal
(Education Unknown)

Minister of Education Hishammuddin Hussein
(Education Unknown)

Minister of Home Affairs Radzi bin Sheikh Ahmad
(Education Unknown)



  1. Din. said,

    Such a shame. Only those who are mediocre runs the country. Our malaysian culture has to change, Malaysians Who are good in studies should NOT just focus on Medicine, Medicine, Medicine only… It has always been the case where a person has an outstanding SPM results in science stream will eventually end up doing medicine. YES, we are short of doctors, but we are also short of other professional areas, like PEOPLE TO RUN OUR COUNTRY TO ENSURE A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR MALAYSIANS. Bumiputras shouldn’t be easily satisfied with themselves. Trust me, I’m from a state where people do not have the motivation to work harder, to strive harder, to fight for a bowl of rice or even a place in the public University. They basically just wait for the government to feed, to give, to supply. Such actions will only promote laziness and self-contentment. Not to say that easily contented is bad, but we must keep our hopes high,be ambitious, and have high aspiration for the improvement of oneself. EDUCATION is important, one should not neglect it nor should one’s life just evolve around academic excellence. But what I am submitting here is that we must change our view towards education, we need to stress the importance to have a good education. Therefore, we need to ensure our children gets quality education from young but we are lacking of good teachers. We train our teachers here in Malaysia, in those Maktab school. As a result, Our new batch of teachers teach English in Malay, hardly knows their stuff well, not to mention that they are not well read themselves. Singapore on the hand, sends their high achievers not to become doctors but to become teachers… they give scholarships…send them to America, England, China, Canada and Australia.. to learn what? pure “subjectical”(no such english term) curriculum, such as Geography, History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, mathematics etc. So that they can go back to the Lion City and share their knowledge with the soon to be students of theirs… All in all,Malaysians must change just to be on par with Singapore.

  2. egalitaria said,

    Hi Din, thanks for dropping by. You left the same comments thrice, so I just removed two.

    I had an exact conversation with someone today regarding the need to change from the very ground level, the teaching quality of local national schools. The poor pay, lack of possibility of career advancement, poor meritocratic values, all push away the best possible teachers of Malaysia. Teaching English in Malay is a preposterous thing. In Form 1, I had to correct my teacher’s English on the board. How shameful…

    One suggestion I have is to give a whole bucketful of incentives to teachers at all levels; only then would quality students go into the teaching profession. Give these goodies to those who can prove themselves worthy.

    Do you have any other suggestions?

  3. Ari said,


    Love your site, your insights.

    This post may just reflect how well educated leaders from these 2 countries are but how academically sound one is does not reflect how good one is running a country.

    Teachers in Singapore might have the knowledge but do the next generation of teachers (the young ones whom just started teaching) have the ability to teach in the first place when the older ones slowly retire from their scene?

    Every tom dick or harry or susan or mei ling is a degree holder in SG. Not every ahmad or ali can get into NUS or NTU despite the same pre-requisites that an ahmad has when compared to a harry.

    My view as a Singaporean, Bumiputras are a lucky bunch and they should make full use of that privilige to make Malaysia and Malayans (malay and melayu punya nama very the me-layu… hence malayans) an internationally recognised society here in south east and perhaps asia. Just like how HK, Japanese, Koreans have their own identities.

    So how will Malaysia overcome the problem of “lazy” bumiputras?

    Cut that privilige and secretly input quotas and favouritism in organisations so that it seems fair on paper for every Malaysians but in actual fact, Bumiputras will still be given priority. In the dark. Sound familiar?

    That is how chinese singaporeans get to excel better than most other asian race in SG. Just a thought though… thanks for reading and I apologise for the long comment.

  4. Din. said,

    agreed.. teachers should be given more incentives..but now days nobody wants to be a teacher.. cos the attitudes of todays teenage…they are either gangster or hooligans, with no respect whatsoever for the teachers. They dare to vandalise teachers’ cars, threaten teachers or even beat up teachers.(I think only happens in public school.I’m from a public school, don’t really know much about private school. So far I never heard of such things happen in private school)

  5. cb said,

    Lee Kuan Yew has Double Starred First Class Honours, not just First Class Honours. if he found out you made that mistake, he would beat you

  6. egalitaria said,

    oh dear. i’d better make a public apology here and now then, shouldn’t i?

    Lee Kuan Yew has Double Starred First Class Honours, not just First Class Honours.

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