Saturday, June 12, 2010

Di langit biru

Di atas benua kecil India

Friday, June 11, 2010

Agar kita tahu bersyukur...

Government urged to review scholarship allocations

KUALA LUMPUR: An Indian group has urged the Government to be fair to minorities and marginalised groups in the awarding of Public Services Department (PSD) scholarships.

Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisations president A. Rajaretinam said he was saddened that of the 1,500 scholarships given out recently, 1,200 went to bumiputras and the rest to non-Malays.
Disappointed: Rajaretinam hopes that the same number of scholarships as in 2009 can be given out this year.

“We are not against Umno or bumiputras. We just want non-Malays to be given the same number of scholarships that was given out last year and the year before in line with the democratisation of education,” he said yesterday.

On Wednesday, Rajaretinam was among those present at a meeting between Pakatan Rakyat MPs and NGOs over the controversial allocation of scholarships.

The meeting, held at Parliament lobby, erupted into a quarrel when Umno MPs apparently gate-crashed the gathering.

Rajaretinam said he was told that the PSD would conduct a review following the public outcry.

“If they are going to reinstate the number of scholarships to 2,100, which was the total number given out previously, the remaining 600 scholarships should be given to non-Malays,” he said.

Rajaretinam said he was surprised over PSD’s decision to give 80% of the scholarships to bumiputras this time when the formula for the past two years was 55% Malays and 45% non-Malays.

The Kota Baru-born Rajaretinam, who wears a turban, clarified that he was not a Sikh as assumed by many people.

“It’s part of Hindu culture to wear turbans although it is compulsory among Sikhs.

“I have been wearing a turban for the past 25 years in following the footsteps of great Indian poets and freedom fighters like Swami Vivekananda and Subramanya Bharathi, who also wore turbans,” he said.

Source: The Star, 11 June 2010

Plug loopholes to stop the brain drain

MANY fresh pharmacy graduates have been lured away by companies and hospitals from Singapore even before they complete compulsory service in Malaysia.

If this problem is not taken seriously or tackled, Malaysia will not achieve the ideal pharmacist population ratio in the time planned.

A report published in 2008 by the Health Ministry put the ratio of pharmacists to population in Malaysia at 1:4,335. This is far from the ideal ratio recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is 1:2,000.

In order to meet the WHO target, the ministry enforced compulsory service on all pharmacy graduates from 2005 – a year of pre-registration training followed by three years of compulsory service in the government sector.

The Government also sponsored many students to study abroad in addition to the provision of higher education subsidies to support professional programmes at local public universities.

Implications related to a brain drain include:

> The Government spending a lot of money on manpower training, but Singapore is enjoying the products without any investment at all; and,

> Local graduates migrating to Singapore are actually taking over public university slots that can be taken by other qualified candidates who are genuinely passionate in contributing to the country.

Drastic preventive and deterrent measures should be taken immediately to contain the migration of graduates. Among steps that can be taken are:

a) Introducing a contract for all candidates of critical programmes that require graduates to complete their training and compulsory service with the Malaysian Government;

b) Imposing an appropriate levy on employers from foreign countries recruiting locally-trained pharmacy graduates similar to or higher than the education subsidy for training of the graduates;

c) Instilling patriotism among the students in all higher institutions of learning, especially those in public universities;

d) Blacklisting family members of the migrated graduates from entering public universities; and,

e) Legislating a law to prevent migration of graduates of critical professional courses before they complete their training and subsequent compulsory service.

The time has come for the authorities to think and act quickly so that the currently available loopholes in the system are not exploited by the neighbouring country.

Our country is already facing a serious problem where sponsored students are refusing to come back to serve the country. Now the issue is worsened by the migration of locally trained graduates.


School of Pharmaceutical Sciences,

Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Source: The Star, 11 June 2010

P/s: Something to ponder...