Multatuli agrees that Perak does not need another university, but encourages business and tourism in Perak.
Multatuli: Mariam Mokhtar is absolutely right that Perak does not need another half-past-six institution that passes for a university.
In fact the country should cut its public universities by half; the half-past-six graduates they produce.
It appears that we spend three times more than Finland in research and development yet produce far fewer innovations according to the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy (Free Malaysia 16th May 2019).
I am sure that one reason is the quality of our graduates. It stands to reason that unless entrance to universities are based on merit, we will get unsuitable students. We can also blame the quality of the lecturers (product of the same system). But finally the buck stops with the minister for education and the government.
But this is not what I want to talk about today.
Perak needs business
While I agree with Mariam Mokhtar that we don’t need another substandard university in Perak, I fully support any effort to bring ‘business’ to our state.
I have always believed that Ipoh will make a great university town. It’s not too big yet big enough to have all the amenities. We have a great environment – the hills, the greenery and lots of land. We are not an urban sprawl like KL or the Klang Valley or the squeezed congestion of Penang which is already suffering from traffic problems. Ipoh is still relatively inexpensive. We also do not have the distractions and social problems of KL.
Yes, Ipoh is ideal as a university town. But we must not settle for any old institution which attracts only ‘dropouts’ who have nowhere else to go. Hopefully the rumoured opening of a Tsukuba University branch in Perak will be a good one.
And hopefully it won’t be sited in a godforsaken place like the Petronas University just to satisfy an MP or Adun who wants something in his constituency. Universities in the middle of nowhere does not attract lecturers or students who also want a certain lifestyle that meets their needs.
Ipoh is the capital and the most developed town in the state.
Place more emphasis on thought, care and consideration in the planning stage
What else do we need for Perak. Defintiely not a Lynas! And no more cement factories which contributes to pollution and environmental degradation – all for peanuts.
Foreign companies blast our hills, flatten the place, make their money and then go home. Perakians have to live with the disaster. Just look at Nauru, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean, which suffered an environmental disaster). After all the phosphate had been exhausted, the foreign companies left and Nauruans were left with big holes and no job. If they had developed an agriculture industry they would have been okay. Our government is like that.
Instead of developing the hills into tourist attractions or finding better ways to extract the limestone (it can be done and they do it in Italy – yet they come here and do it the easy and cheap way). I remember the NGO – Malaysian Karst Society fighting the government about the limestone quarries. The then BN Government turned a deaf ear and would not even discuss the matter with them. Looks like this PH Government is not much better in this respect.
Ignorance will lead to disaster
Tourism is certainly a viable industry. However here too are dangers which if ignored will lead to disaster.
For instance recently there was a petition against the building of a skyscraper in Old Town next to the Kinta River. If this is allowed, it will kill the attraction of Old Town. We do not have UNESCO Heritage status to protect us which makes it all the more important that we protect ourselves.
And further out in the suburbs, we have Sunway building a skyscraper against the hills (following on from The Haven).
Our government must stop this kind of environmental pollution.
And there were sightings of people trying to do something with the Kinta River – a River Walk revival? Others have tried and failed and left a trail of eyesores.
A discerning Exco for tourism is needed
The ExCo for Tourism should be more discerning and selective in how our river is to be developed. No point building more kitsch (silly bridges and empty stages which go unused and empty kiosks because no one goes there). The River Walk needs a comprehensive solution – a holistic approach. An ad hoc or piecemeal approach will not work – there’s plenty of evidence of that.
I don’t want to say this, but our ADUNS must be clever not to buy the snake oil that any Chinaman developer and his Malay cohort proposes.
Secondly to make it work it must be build and operate. This is because it requires effort and imagination to promote and manage the Walk so that it does not fall into disrepair . This also requires funds which probably the government does not have. Neither has it the expertise to manage such a project – I doubt many has.
Why not open it to an international competition – invite proposals to build and manage it?
Will the councilors and MB succumb to easy money?
Will our councilors and the MB succumb to easy money? We shall see.
The announcement that there will be direct flights from Guangzhou to Ipoh from October is good news. Hooray! But how long will it last? Airlines operate on commercial criteria. If there is not enough traffic it will shut the route. Remember Malindo to Medan?
Unless the State Government can bring enough business to set up in Ipoh or bring enough tourists airlines won’t be interested.
Lastly, I can’t get over what a bodek kaki our MB is. Everything he does he invariably comes up with the statement that the sultan has approved it.
Is he managing the state or the sultan? For crying out loud he is a constitutional monarch. You and your colleagues have been elected to run the state. Run it then!
Yes the other thing Perak needs is a new Menteri Besar who does not bodek.