Minister of Education: THE FIRST FEELING OF DECEIT
To have an Islamist allegedly linked to Ikhwan Muslim Brotherhood appointed as Minister of Education not only disappoints me, but makes me feel deceived and honestly afraid.
The Islamist is Dr Maszlee Malik. I dare not imagine the possible risk on the minds of all the children who will be going to school.
Do I trust Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad? Yes! But I think this is pushing our trust in Tun/Pakatan Harapan (PH) too far. There is a limit. We do not apply blind faith when it comes to such valuable entities such as our Education System.
By designating a person allegedly linked to Ikhwan Muslim Brotherhood, without even caring to communicate on the points of concern, is in my eyes deceitful! If PH disregards our concerns, and if PH thinks that they do not need to communicate or connect with us, then they are eroding our trust and faith.
It is now beyond my control to influence the situation as I have given PH my vote and they now have free hand.
I now agree that it would be too heavy a burden for Tun to handle a second portfolio. I pushed for the petition because we were offered Tun or the Islamist. There was no other option. Now, I say NEITHER should hold the portfolio.
I have nothing against the individual designated as Minister. I am not racist or anti-Islam. No, I’m merely concerned. People say, give him a chance. Let him prove himself. I say that the process is: trial, tested, proven, appointed. Not the other way around. You don’t appoint someone just because he seems to have good ideas, ideas that are not tested, and to some extent have already been proposed. The Ministry of Education (MoE) and our schools are not experimental labs.
People say don’t do “a superficial reading of who he is and what he represents”, “don’t read a book by its cover”. Well you know that is exactly how we feel about this. We do not want to judge him superficially, but we are now forced to accept this Islamist allegedly connected to Ikhwan, just like that.
We WOULD like to know more, and hence the need for trial and to test. You then throw us a list of achievements with no illustrations, no proof. In fact we all know how to colour a CV and how to make less qualified persons think that something is so grand but in fact its negligible in terms of achievement or accomplishment. Take for example the appointment as Advisor for a number of NGOs. This is in fact a KPI for academics of local universities. A person can be appointed advisor and then once a year say hello to the NGO.
And yes, his videos with his ideas do sound nice to outsiders, but I’m sure the officers of the MoE must be saying…”really”…or “this is not applicable”…or “this is just not workable”. How many times have we heard brilliant ideas from people who do not know the policies, processes and mechanisms involved, thus propose solutions that are not workable.
Questions about his PhD
I would like to draw attention to his PhD. It is presented as a PhD in Governance. My question is, with a Degree and Masters in Islamic Studies, would he be qualified to do a PhD in non-Islamic Studies. Thus this PhD in Governance, is it within the scope of Islamic Studies? If so, it means that his qualifications and exposure are UNIQUELY within a framework of Islamic Studies.
If he really is as good as they expect him to be, why put him in MoE? Why not another Ministry? Are you attempting to use the Education System for Islamic Reform. Well if you fail, you will further damage our education system. And if you fail, a failed attempt for Islamic Reform could degenerate into quite the opposite: talibanism.
What are his tasks?
Depending on what the new Minister has been appointed for, we need to judge whether he is suitable. If the task is to restructure and realign the direction of the Education System…then his background may not be suited to the task. If his task is to address the Islamisation issues, then he didn’t need to be appointed Minister. He could have served as an Islamic Content Expert under a (more neutral) Minister.
The persons who support the newly designated Minister say that he has much to do and that the way forward will be a very tough hurdle. You keep telling us, how about everyone trust him (this unknown, untested person), and give him support and share ideas, etc. Well I’ve listed my demands. But I doubt you will even care about what we care about. You didnt even care to address our concerns on the Ikhwan issue.
The importance of the Ministry of Education
The MoE is a tricky Ministry. This is why the BN always put a senior Minister in charge. I foresee that the first pebble that you will trip over will be language. I foresee that you will introduce, yet again, a change in the language used as medium of instruction. By doing so you will create a huge, huge problem that is in fact avoidable. ‘Language’ is barking up the wrong tree.
I foresee also the miscommunication and disconnection between this Islamist and the people on the ground. So let’s see what happens tomorrow. And I will observe him from far whilst he build his portfolio.
(The views expressed are those of the contributor)
From an academic with solid ministerial experience, who wishes to remain anonymous
(1) There are two petitions making the rounds for the post of Minister of Education. One for Dr Mazlee Malik; the other is to reinstate Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the Minister of MOE. Dr M’s link is here if you wish to sign it.
(2) There are more posts and videos about Maszlee which I will put up later. Feel free to check them out and also read the links (in blue) above to see what has been said about him.
(3) If you feel that Maszlee shoudl be given a chance and you are prepared to write a short article with the reasons why he is OK for the post of MoF, please feel free to do so.
I am happy to share your views to get a balanced view of the discussion wrt the post of MoE
I support Tun M as Education Minister
Our beloved country need to seriously move now to a better platform in the area of holistic education system. We at at a standstill situation. The wants and demand of the time has far moved beyond our reach. We need to make a decisive and systematic approach, for the time wasted and lost. The future our children and the country are at risk. No time to waste. The only leader who fits well to the demand of out education needs will be Dr. Mahathir. He has the knowledge and the trust of the masses to charter toward a new frontier, make no mistake.
I vote for Tun Dr. Mahathir.
As we were nearing GE14, brave and patriotic Malaysians denounced attemps to scare a section of the Malaysian community by framing DAP and chinese as the bogey-man. Now it seems that so-called “islamists” have become the new bogey-man to scare another section of the Malaysian community.
I remembered how a prominent muslim speaker, Ustazah Maznah Daud, pointed out that muslims have nothing to fear should PH come into power as there is nothing in their manifesto that shows that they would cast aside islam.
She received some condemnation for her views with responses like “Of course they won’t say it openly, but at the back we know what DAP is like”. To that she responded that in islam we are taught to judge what is apparent and not what is hidden in the heart. So judge PH by their manifesto and actions once they come into power.
What I see here the same script happening by framing that should an alleged “islamist” be chosen as a minister then our kids will be indoctrined with islam.
My respond to the writer is this:
1) As a rational person (more so as you claim you are an academician), shouldn’t you be judging Dr Maszlee on what reforms he says he is going to do and what actions he does after he takes up the post instead of instilling fear into people with insinuations that this person will indoctrined our kids with evil propaganda
2) Even assuming that your prejudice and wild allegations are on the spot, and Dr Maszlee even tries to indoctrinate our kids to become evil people, do you honestly think no one in the cabinet line-up will stand up and protest? I can understand this happening under BN rule but what makes you think the same would happen under PH rule?
3) According to you the process is “trial, tested, proven, appointed”. Under this same process you propose, how many in the cabinet line-up are qualified? Besides Tun Dr Mahathir, who else has experience being a minister at the federal level? At best a handful of them only have experience being minister at the state level.
Please stop your fear-mongering. The last thing we need after Malaysians from all walks of life came together to reject a kleptocracy government is for us to be divided again and be made to pit against one another. Who is going to benefit should that materialize?
Agree to Boon Eam’s suggestion. I just want PH to look beyond what it has achieved that is equality in education system and at work place.. Its sad to see that many of our kids study hard to achieve but not given equal opportunities in acquiring places in local universities or make up in the government career. Why is it that we have to send our kids to private school paying high fees when we are also rakyat Malaysia? Who differentiates people to have privileges when God created all human the same!! We may be of different race but isn’t the colour of blood, the same!! So, why do we need to be less fortunate? Let PH be the 1st to combat the old school that being Malaysian isnt about privilege to one race but all race has equal rights. No human is greater than another. So should the PH system be.
What the problem?
This guy is intelligent and got some ideas of how to make education more meaningful. He is right that there is no point getting straight As but attitude and behaviour a F.
As far as I know, he is a salafist….and salafist are apolitical and they want the real Islam…not the hypocrisy version.
Why worry when our PH leaders has no worry? We voted them to govern for next 5 years and if they fail..then use the voted to kick them out.
The best comment of all
We urgently need Tun Dr M to revamp the Malaysia education system. From raising the proficiency standard of English to battling corruption of book tenders that happen at the core of the ministry itself !
Can you imagine? English teachers at public schools are currently teaching Super Minds & Pulse without the Teacher’s Book / Teacher’s Guide ?
Dr Mazlee can assist & nobody is objecting to it ! But for the moment, the Grand Master must lead since this is an important ministry.
I was part of the English Baseline & DLP team & I humbly give you my sincere opinion here as a Cambridge Assessment English speaking examiner. Pls put our different political agendas aside for the better future of our children.
since so many against this selected MOE, i think government should reconsider other candidate for this post…
You guys fret too much. If Tun M and his people choose Dr Maszlee, so just trust em. I’m sure Tun M will closely advise him . Be positive and stay positve!
For the initial period Dr. Mahathir should be the Educagkon Minister to weed out the the inefficient, unqualified MOE Officers and streamline the MOE to be a modern and efficient Ministry.
Whatever measures taken to bring a change in education will happen only if the implementation is done in proper manner by the teachers, principals and most important the people at the ministry. I don’t know much but i know someone who told me that work does go on in the ministry and lot of measures are taken. Just implementing them at ground level has issues. How will chinese schools take to new measures implemented? Finnish type of education without homework and 99 percent of sjkc parents will be scandalised.
Whatever measures taken to bring a change in education will happen only if the implementation is done in proper manner by the teachers, principals and most important the people at the ministry. I don’t know much but i know someone who told me that work does go on in the ministry and lot of measures are taken. Just implementing them at ground level has issues. How will chinese schools take to new measures implemented? Finnish type of education without no homework and 99 percent of sjkc parents will be scandalised.
Many are taken in by his soft approach in propagation of Islam. Nice & friendly. He smiles as he accepts the criticism of the weaknesses of muslims. Make no mistake. He is doing that only for the purpose of uplifting the Islamic interest, not the interest of improving relationship between Malaysians of different beliefs.
He got those credentials with the aim of improving education in Islamic institutes. I can see he is zealous in improving muslims in their practice of Islam but nothing else. I have not seen anything that shows he wants to improve Malaysia for Malaysians per se.
In fact, if he is asked to reassure us that he will put priority on giving the best education to all Malaysian children without emphasizing on Islam, he cannot.
Not against Dr Maszlee’s academic achievements in Islamic fields but we badly need Tun’s guidances and perseverance, experience to revamp the education policy. Education has been Tun’s passion as his generation had benefitted from the British system.. Dr Maszlee’ can be the Deputy Min of Ed understudy Tun over the next two years and together revitalise our education policy. He is still young and a new politician who might not hv the clout to do drastic changes to the current Ed roadmap. As education shapes our younger generation minds, we cannot afford to risk again our future human asset , like what we have now unemployable graduates!
With the new Malaysia, I am not against Dr Mazlee’s appt just because of his Islamic ed achievements . Our education policy is getting rotten by the minute producing unemployable graduates. As he is still young and a new politician, he shd understudy Tun M over the next 2 yrs, maybe as a Dep Min. Of Education. When Tun steps down he shd be able take over the Ed Ministry, well versed in the new Education policy with the new roadmap set up. Tun has a passion for Education and it really saddened him to see the topsy turvy, in our Education policy. Tun had the benefits of a good education under the British. Education is just too much to gamble with our young generation and if not planned well, this extremely vital human asset will be left to waste.
Want a better education for my children so they can get work everywhere
He is a muslim just like 60% of Malaysian citizens. To call him an Islamist is showing your own ignorance as there’s no such thing as an Islamist. Tun M chooses him which shows that he’s the most capable person to lead the MOE. Are you saying you don’t trust tun’s judgement?
Dont blame islam too much. It can make ppbm..pkr…pan….pas…and umno become united. If this happen you know who is majority. I tell you the truth.
Education is the most important for a renew Malaysia though. We are talking abt the future of Malaysians. Millennial generation and how this younger generation will impact the future in terms of leadership and much more. It has been our worry all these years. Sad to say, saw our education system was badly politicized and students being separated based on races by certain educators in the school in our previous government. We should learned from whatever mistakes made in the previous governance. The abused of power by the Jabatan Pendidikan itself pissed a lot of senior and committed teachers for early retirement. I, myself from Kebangsaan school with Bahasa Malaysia as main language and English as secondary but we can manage in our life. So I kept the same track for my elder two children but my younger one spend 6 years in Chinese school and continue their secondary in Kebangsaan school and all of coped well with 3 languages. When they further their studies overseas, the people around them were amazed on how they coped with 3 different languages. They are so proud being
Reinstate Tun Mahatir. I do not want some extremist to tell my children what to wear and indoctrinated to an extent that they are not able to differentiate whAt is right and what is wrong.
Yes no vote for him.dr u take over the post.
Starting on the most important role is critical
I didn’t vote Harapan for it to Islamise the education ministry Dr Maszlee’s qualifications are in Islam. He has no interest is non Islamic matters and I don’t think he can handle non Islamic matters in education. Can he be fair to ALL? Can he come out with a statement that can be fair to ALL? He has kept very quiet. Maybe he knows his limitations vis-a-vis non Muslim interests.
Millions of individuals believe that Islam is superior to other religions, a very bad place to start. Dr. David Wood is waiting to debate with Dr. Zakir Naik, but I think he doesn’t dare. Meanwhile, Dr Maszlee remarked that Dr Zakir Naik should be given freedom of speech. What about the freedom of speech of Unitarian Christians? They have the truth, but are not allowed to share it with Muslims in this country.