Forward    Feedback    

Keng Yaik’s utter  contempt for the country’s premier  university


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): While  plugging for Gerakan’s Wawasan Open University College (Wawasan) on Sunday,  Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik could not hide his utter contempt for the nation’s premier public university.

Decrying the many people who do not understand the concept of open universities  and who have the misconception that they are offering second class degrees, Keng Yaik said the Open University of United Kingdom was ranked the fifth best university in Britain.

He said: “Give us five years to put Wawasan in front of Universiti of Malaya (UM) which presumably is the country’s best university.  That will be our benchmark.”

The point I want to make  is not about the  quality of higher education offered by Wawasan Open University College, but the utter contempt of the country’s most senior Cabinet Minister (he first joined the Cabinet 34 years ago in 1972) for the country’s best public university.

What is the greatest tragedy for the country’s higher education system is that Keng Yaik cannot be faulted for another faux pas like his notorious “behind-the-tree” outburst and   berated for unwarranted, misguided and baseless contempt for the nation’s premier public university as his feelings  represents the mainstream view of thinking Malaysians.

Two questions bubble up from Keng Yaik’s contempt-dripping statement:

  • If a new  University College can talk about besting the nation’s premier university,  which had only recently celebrated its centennial,  in a matter of five years in terms of quality and academic excellence, what does it say about  University of Malaya?
  • If the best of the 17 public universities is  held in such low esteem by the Barisan Nasional top movers and shakers, what does it say about the quality and standards of the other 16 public universities and the tertiary education system in the country?

What have the University of Malaya Vice Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr. Hashim Yaacob and the Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr. Shafie Salleh got to say for such undisguised and  utter contempt for University of Malaya by Keng Yaik?


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: