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Fallacy of objectivity : lack of motivation / ambition / urge.

While some scholars or pegawai would say that this statement is a fallacy itself, I beg to differ. Yes, I do agree that our education system was created in line with United Nations Millenium Development Goals, Rukun Negara, etc. and all other policies.

But how much do we emphasize on the student’s ambitions? While some may refute and say that teachers in school motivate students to have ambition, again I agree ONLY partially.

Don’t we understand the meaning of ambition and the effort we put it as we work to achieve our ambition?

Some examples of ambition and motivation in practice:

  1. Play traunt or ponteng sekolah to go and play pool or play games cybercafe.
  2. Run on sports day to get the gold medal.
  3. Keep on messaging a girl to flirt her.

All the examples above are simple scenario faced by Malaysian students. But please take into consideration that all these are based on “objectivity”, to get something out of it, they put in their effort wholeheartedly.

Nowadays, everything is based on “A”. Get lots of “A”s and you can get a good place in university. In the end we university students watch helplessly as our peers complain that they do not like their courses, they wish they have never taken this bachelor degree, this is not they are cut out for, they don’t like medic, etc.

But shouldn’t we take examples of students who strive to be doctors because they are inspired by their parents/relatives and because of their objective in becoming one, they could learn wholeheartedly and contribute to the nation because of understanding their profession?

To prove my point althought it is based on value judgement, try and ask any students in our public universities and ask whether they “still remember what they learnt during the previous semester and what use was it to them”. They will tell you that they just get an “A” and leave the subject as it is.

Many will do the following:

  • Sell their textbooks to juniors (oh yes, we don’t need to refer to all the books we bought, we get A, we have everything in our head)
  • Cherish the “academic transcript” rather than the acquired knowledge

Then what is the meaning of devising a degree when we do not put good use to what we have learnt?

That would be a worm’s eye view of why we have unemployed graduates which do not fulfill the capability of the industry: lack of ambition / ambition of just getting A -> failure to learn and apply knowledge -> can’t solve problems of the industry.

Now I understood why the corporate leaders preferred overseas graduates during their meeting with the minister of Higher Education and Vice Chancellors at Bank Negara 3 years back. While at that time I stood to defend Malaysian students, now I changed my perspective to agree with these corporate leaders.

Surely profitability and efficiency in a company has no place for graduates who couldn’t put their knowledge into practice. I rather pay extra for a better employee than pay normal for a troublesome and stupid employee. (I would put this statement into exception for training unemployed graduates as it’s tax deductible. Again, its based on profitability)

While some may disagree, I have been through this path and some of us do agree that we do not apply any knowledge learnt when we work.

If we keep this up, surely Malaysia has a problem realising vision 2020. Something I regret not to understand until now. If I have only realised, I would have wrote a paper on it for my National MPPK President to discuss with the government during his meeting with Ministry of Education.

Too late, but not too late to put my thoughts on words.

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All these are based on my personal experience and I write it down so that others won’t make the same mistakes I’ve made or mistakes I’ve observed others did. I think these mistakes would be most relevant to student leaders especially Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar.

1. Don’t demand respect from your peers, it will never come. Respect is a given, it comes from the heart. It comes naturally for those unique qualities you possess and utilize (skills, etc)

2. Don’t encourage nor be in love with your organization members. It will lead to your downfall through bad mouths spoken by your members. Professional conduct is a must.

3. A leader without a vision is similar to a newborn baby appointed as the President of a Nation / Country. Without any vision you can’t achieve anything significant.

4. For long term results and praises, go for intangible results. For short term results and praises, go for tangible results.

5. An organization that does not create tangible results would lead to further demotivation with a ‘given time’.

6. Allowing a member in the organization to slack off (lazy, ponteng) is the start of the organization’s downfall. This particular member must be dealt with. If slacking off is still apparent, forced resignation is applicable.

7. It’s better to safeguard the interests of the people who contribute to the organization and are loyal to the organization than protecting those people sucking-up to you in its entirety.

8. Trust, dedication and loyalty between “leaders-members” is the foundation of growth.

9. Recruit the cream of the crop (trustworthy, willingness, IQ & EQ intelligence) as your team members and not who talk-a-lot but does nothing.

10. First impression is a false assumption, constant impression is a near-accurate assumption.

11. Do not reveal secrets to those who are not trustworthy.

12. Do not take subordinates of your superiors as your protectors and listener unless they have proved their trustworthiness as those who are close to you could be your next betrayers and slanderers.

13. Never trade your religion / faith / principle with unlawful acts (example: accepting bribes, prosecuting when you know it is wrong)

14. Always assess and evaluate potential threats and opportunities on your environment to increase your “grip” with your current strength and cover your weaknesses.

15. Never trust fully the person with the running mouth (gossip, create stories, sucking-up to you, bodek), they may be entertaining but they will be the first to betray you in any case.

16. Keep and gather allies, be it friend, enemy or rivals for he who commands the battlefield wins half the fight.

17. Never let the ball off your feet and slack off for one second.

18. Always be truthful in your cause and not deviate. Anger is the cause of destruction to self and organization. Being proud is the source of failing to keep rule #14 in check.

19. An act of kindness and responsibility for governance and leadership is solely for Allah s.w.t., unjust doing leads to self-corruption.

20. Titles and decorations are purely responsibility given by Allah, as leaders we are stewards and shall discharge our duties for the benefit of all, not betray the oath we have promised.

21.Always  be humble, everyone including you do not favour those who are proud of themselves. Humbleness + intelligence is the essence of loyalty and respect.

22. A leader who slack-off will destroy his / her organization in a “time” period.

23. A person who becomes a leader solely to pursue his personal intentions will be stewards who those not understand his people and subordinates.

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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.

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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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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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