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Archive for December, 2008

I’ve received calls from papers asking on my comments on AUKU. I told them it was positive. It was what we asked for during our meeting with Dato’ Seri Najib in MPPK. Nonetheless certain journalists told me to not be afraid of my comments because I was a YDP and I have to be on my principles. Again, provoked by journalists. Curse you. That is my principles weak minded fool. I have always believed that students need to learn about politics and know everything from national to international issues but trained in an intellectual manner. Intellectual here I derive as the ability to think and strategize accordingly and to utilize in-depth research academic knowledge to debate and hence achieve the desired political objective.

resist-2

I do not condemn aggressive political plays such as demonstration or public display as that is the spirit of democracy but I tend to attend to the need of the masses. Ask anyone from 20k students in UPM about AUKU and how it restricts their life and I am sure most would say they dont even know what it is and they don’t feel anything effecting them. The masses need different things in uni hence the law of demand and supply kicks in. (Not a scientific statistical proof, just my value judgement but I suggest someone research on this but please be fair not bias in getting the results)

Nonetheless, the newly admended AUKU did left it’s mark. Some would say, this is our work while another group will say, no that is our work and you have done nothing. Let’s get something very clear here. Was AUKU successfully amended last year or previous years when the YDP MPP of IPTAs made their stand that AUKU is there to stay while another group be it GMMA or Pro Mahasiswa fought for abolishment or amendment? No.

And yet it was amended this year when YDP MPP IPTA made their stand to the government on the sections to be amended and the other Pro Mahasiswa group shared the same vision. What happened? We have amendment, that’s right.

Truly student leaders need to be analytical in their approach, to segregate levels of uncertainties and approach with strategies in a likewise manner. When will we understand that we will always have opposition and the government to debate and then agree on issues? When will we student leaders understand that we are not decision-makers as the government is the one not us. When will we realise we are the so called “pressure group” to make things happen? When will we realise that we need the support of each other’s voice to make things happen, just like what happened to AUKU? We can’t do it alone in making the government change things, we need each other.

Some people would say, we do not want to have any groups in uni. Just individuals fighting for students welfare. I wish you good luck on the name of democracy. We are humans, we will always have groups and from groups we will share ideologies hence create organizations. I put my bets on this, just look and observe, we will always have groups in uni even though you want it differently.

Whatever it is, AUKU has been amended and we’ll see how far it goes in 2-3 years. For my friends which do not have a clue on AUKU, welcome to the IPTA political world.

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soft-skill_7881

It’s been three weeks since I just started my practical training at Horwath Malaysia. I must say that I just adopted a principle dearly important to me as long as I am in the corporate sector: “increase your right hand skills, your business/industry knowledge and your left hand skills, anaytical skills”. Those were the words from James Chan, one of the Partners in Horwath KL. It’s great to have seniors which are willing to teach me all the skills and the knowledge needed to interpret the industry, many thanks to Kiam Soon and Ai Ling. Looking forward for our final audit together this January.

After being so active in UPM for the past three and a half years, having meeting hours per day more than going to lectures everyday, I must say all those skills I’ve learnt in UPM, they call it SOFTSKILLs, I can conclude this:

You need it but do burn your softskills certs (symbolic).

And why do I say that?

You will agree with me by saying yeap, we need softskills to be marketable and get ourselves employed. That’s ONLY A PART of the IMPORTANCE of softskills. Maybe let me put it at 10% of the overall importance. Or maybe let me put it at that’s a 1/10 of the REASON why we should acquire softskills.

Why? Why? What’s my point?

Get this concept right: Softskills are skills which potray your personality, EQ and attitude.

In translation terms, it stick inside you and determines how you do things and project yourself.

In career terms, it’s simply skills which you need to progress in your career.

I still don’t get your point. Then read on.

Let’s examine two scenarios below;

Scenario 1 :

Student A hears that softskills are important for him/her to secure a job, so him/her join 8 clubs and societies. 1 active society and another 7 are dormant societies. The objective was to make him/her CV look great to the employer. So he/her secured Presidency in 2 clubs. He/her looked active on papers with certs but actually there were no activities or once in a blue moon activities organized which are on a small scale, just like during school times. What did he/she learn from all that? Minimum to nothing.

Scenario 2 :

Student B hears that softskills are important for him/her to secure a job, so he/her searched for clubs and societies which would aid him in his career. For example he/she wants to be a banker, so he/she joined the Enterpreneur Club or the Finance Club. He joined other clubs which would enhance his/her management and leadership skills through large seminars and etc. (example AIESEC). Then him/her organized activities which are on a large scale and grows his networking of friends, peers and professionals in uni, outside and industry. What did he/she learn from all that? Skills which would stick inside him/her. Minimum to maximum.

Ok fine. So what, do I really need to learn all this crap? Read on.

Firstly, put yourself in your employer’s shoes. Say you are a CEO of a company and you wanna employ fresh grads. As a company you want profit hence you want employees that can contribute to that and same goes to organizations, they want performance and results hence they want employees that can contribute to that.

So you interview a freshie and you employ him/her. Why? Good academic results and damn active, 10 societies, president that and this, fuyoo!! Hebat siot!

Then suddenly when this freshie gets to work; all sorts of problems arises, can’t communicate with collegues, can’t interact with clients, have a don’t care attitude, can’t even organize teams well.

Next what happens? The boss shows you the door with your latest paycheck

Can You See Now?

The reason softskills are important is because you use during your working life. Those skills are needed by both organizations and industry. And you must provide that. Provide the SKILLS NOT CERTS!

You show so many certs, fine. But it’s how you utilize the skills that will ensure your career and how you climb up the ladder.

And for burning the certs earlier, don’t do it, I’m just saying that certs are for presentation purposes but what how you use your skills that would ensure your future.

So, YES, we need softskills but definitely not gathering CERTS.

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Before I start blabbering, congratulations Dato’ Nik for the extended 2 years as UPM Vice Chancellor. SMS Dato’ just now and I am sure da transformation plan is all green and on fast track with da appointment.

Nyway back to the topic, this was extracted from

The Star (http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/12/18/nation/2835315&sec=natio) :

Thursday December 18, 2008

Business loans for defaulter graduates

PUTRAJAYA: Graduates who have defaulted on their student loans will be allowed to take entrepreneur loans to start their own business.

“These blacklisted graduates cannot pay back their student loans because they cannot find work in the current limited job market,” said Entrepreneur Deve­lopment and Cooperative Minister Datuk Noh Omar.

“The entrepreneur loans will give them the opportunity to start their own business and pay back their student loans,” he said after attending the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between his ministry and the Higher Education Ministry.

Also present was Higher Edu­cation Minister Datuk Seri Moha­med Khaled Nordin.

Noh said his ministry was looking into how graduates could take loans from it without guarantors or collateral.

“In the current economic situation, it is hard for potential entrepreneurs to find guarantors.

“We already have a micro-credit scheme for loans under RM50,000 which does not involve any guarantor or collateral.

“We are currently researching how we can give loans to graduates who wish to borrow more than RM50,000.”

Noh also announced that the Cabinet had approved the setting up of the Malaysia-Japan Technical University last week.

The university will come under Mara, with its first intake in July 2009.

“We have also proposed that the German-Malaysian Institute be upgraded to university status by the end of next year,” added Noh.

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That’s great news for me but seriously, how is the government going to recover the funds should fresh graduates in up failing in their business ventures? Seriously speaking I see a problem here. Either the papers are reporting incorrectly for news sensationalization just like the Starbucks case going into IPTA or Dato’ Noh is really considering this.

Ok, I’ll say I support such effort (apart from my dream of having a business) but these are the probs I can think of:

  • Lack of entrepreneurial experience for fresh grads.. yes.. experience is important. Don’t comment on experience unless you have work in the corporate sector before this
  • Which banks would invest in high risk not-micro credit loans? Yeah sure Grameen Bank did it for Bangladesh, that was micro not RM250k above!
  • Lack of expertise in the management team of the business. No skills, you get eaten up out there. Face it, business aint easy, cheaters and experienced people would smack the hell out of you to get things for free or lower their costs to timbaktue.
  • Fraud detection. Sure give them money. They won’t cheat. Of course they won’t. Well, if they won’t then someone would cheat them as they have no experience.

How do we support this idea?

  • Make certain compulsary requirements as for fresh graduates to be eligible to apply the funds, they have to attend internships with MNCs or big firms at least 9 months or so before graduating, be able to translate and explain the nature of their identified business in scientific terms, read at least 10 biography books on successful entrepreneurs, read at least 10 books on business (not those jargon cheap business books) and be able to analyze and interpret information to predict the future of the business and make decisions.
  • Gather mentors and willing entrepreneurs to match up with fresh graduates to conduct their business as to ensure the going concern capability of the business

and the list goes on.

I do not object blindly to the concept but without any knowledge or experience in business, it’s not a question whether we fresh grads get the loan or not, it’s a question of surviving the business. And we won’t wanna fail and be in debts at such a young age right? I wouldnt wanna be in debts of RM1 mil at the age of 23. That’s for sure.

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I know this topic is kinda sensitive but suddenly I felt the urge of writing it. My views are of my own and does not reflect the organizations I was affliated with before and at present. After being in the university leadership role for quite some time and interacting with people from diverse background and different opinions, politicians, aspiring students wanna-be politicians, student leaders, government officers including MPs, ministers and what not.. I do stumble across many concepts on ketuanan melayu.

tamingsari

Some of us Malaysians see this concept as essential and should be protected as long as Malaysia exist, some say it’s unfair while some misunderstand the concept totally and hate each other, in terms of race that is. But for whatever the reason could be, I couldn’t help but to agree that ketuanan melayu stays as long as Malaysia exist. Why? Simple as it is, Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy country. Our supreme leader, presently, will and always be our beloved Sultan, our Yang Dipertuan Agong which possess the Malay heritage. It’s the same as it is in United Kingdom where the Monarch, Head of State will always be from the House of Windsor. It would be impossible for a Malay British citizen to become the head of state in the UK.

Nonetheless, I do believe the ‘spirit’ of the Malaysian Constitution enshrines the right of every citizen in Malaysia. From Article 8, Clause 2 which derives the right of every citizen to Article 153 which vests the authority to the Yang Dipertuan Agong to protect the Malays. My previous experience on this concept has been interesting but also disheartening. There was a time when my non-Malay friends were angry with a speaker when he insisted that non-Malays are pendatang. The disheartening part was when a non-Malay student stood up and said that, “Tuan, saya lahir di Malaysia. Saya sayang Malaysia. Saya juga rakyat Malaysia.” but he was addressed with a question asking whether he was a Malay or not and that was when it struck to me that this person did not care bout his neighbours. I praise the speaker for his bravery in standing up for Malay rights but I shun his ignorance in the spirit of Malaysians. Nonetheless, he called up representatives after the talk and had a hard talk on Malay rights in which I have always chose to listen rather than not. I’m a listener and I’m always open to every perspectives but how I choose to believe it depends entirely on my judgement. Like what they taught us at Horwath Malaysia, professional judgement heheh.

So after all that, what do I really think about it? Coming from a family where I possess many blood, javanese, chinese, malay, morrocco, I must say that I ketuanan melayu should be refered entirely to the position of our Sultan. The supreme ruler of Malaysia will always be a Malay, we are not a republic or what sort, we will never be like America. Speaking of protecting the Malays in terms of policies, I do feel that the approach during the 1970s when NEP was implemented was the right decision but continuing it presently do cast doubts in me.Don’t flame me, my parents are successful of NEP and I thank the government for such policy.

Nonetheless, if ketuanan Melayu is to be protected, the Malay rulers should ensure that Malays are empowered. Privelleges given from birth in my understanding would only be great in the short term. If Malays are to succeed, we  need to understand the concept that other non Malays are our allies, our friends, our family as we are in Malaysia and so do the non-Malays, they should understand that we are all one family. Why? Simply because our potential enemies are from outside Malaysia. Malacca Sultanate fell because of internal bickering but who was the real threat? Yes, our colonial friends, the Portugese, Dutch, Japanese and British. All this revolves towards attitude for all Malaysians.

Next we need to cherish our diversity. Our languages make us powerful. Imagine a Malay who has the ability to converse in Tamil, Mandarin, English and Malay? Wouldn’t that be great and wonderful? He’s going to be very competitive in and outside Malaysia and ready to face the global world. Be it business or any issues, Malaysians who have this ability can succeed with the emerging markets from China, India, Europe and such. Learning other language does not make ourselves hate our heritage, but empower us more. Why should we settle for less when we can have more. For me, most of my chinese peers choose to speak in Mandarin as they are comfortable with it, same with us Malays, when we speak Malay in our family. That’s why we can mix around better when we know each other’s language.

In the issue of quota, once, Malays were much in the lower income areas but now we have lots of Malays in the middle class area. It’s not the issue of quota that is needed, but the formula of attitude. We need to be in a situation where we are always in check and in a critical state. Can’t we see how intelligent Tunku Abdul Rahman is as he managed to break a deal with the British to secure our soverignity? A Malay politician successfully secured independance without the need of war but with the skills of communication. We succeeded the impossible with our creativity. That is needed in us, the spirit of competitiveness and intelligence.

I have friends where they would say that.. “ahh.. jangan bimbang ah. Aku belajar tak belajar aku melayu, confirm punye la dapat masuk uni.” I call that misusing what was given to us. Yeah sure, u get into uni but how about your life after graduating, or maybe during your studies? Can you succeed in your life and contribute to our country with such mentality when you face intelligent people from UK, China, Japan or even the Arabs?

Oh well, if you have your points to put it in the comments. I’m not attacking the policy but I do approach the concept from a different point of view. I believe Malay supremacy comes into being when we earn it, not by asking for it, as much as Parameswara earned Malacca after many challenges to Tun Perak  putting Malacca on the world map to Tunku Abdul Rahman securing independence diplomatically to Tun Mahathir spearheading Malaysia into one of the Tiger Economies in Asia.. It all comes from downright intelligence and the spirit of thinking.

For as the Chinese proverb serves us to ponder: “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” and as stated by Allah s.w.t in my beloved Quran:

“Allah will raise up, to (suitable) ranks and (degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is well-acquainted with all you do.” (Qur’an, Al-Mujadilah 58:11)

Verily whatever comes into being, is earned with the blessings and permission of Allah s.w.t.

I hope we pave the way right for our society, I love my Malaysia and it is my dream to see it as one of the strongest country in the world with peace loving people one day.

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