Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Malaysian Students Need to be Critical

It is interesting to read an FMT article about a certain varsity professor urging students to be critical of everything they are taught and to question every exhortation and prohibition issued by university authorities.

Tajuddin Rasdi (left), who teaches architecture at UCSI University, said this was the way to acquire “real knowledge”.

“Universities are supposed to teach students to be critical and to question everything,” he said. “In discourses, you have to have people with differing views. That’s how you discover new points of view”.

Unfortunately, he said, this was not currently happening in universities in the country.

“Today, if the university is against the LGBT movement, it will hold a seminar that is anti-LGBT. How are we to see the other side of the coin then? That is not knowledge; that is conditioning”.

Tajuddin explained that “conditioning” meant that one was not encouraged to think for oneself. He was commenting on the decisions made by two universities to penalise student activists Anis Syafiqah and Asheeq Ali for their participation in the #TangkapMalaysianOfficial1 rally on August 27.

Universiti Malaya’s Anis (and two others) was suspended for six months and fined RM400 while Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Asheeq was suspended for a semester and fined RM200.

They were found guilty of acting in a manner detrimental and prejudicial to the interests and good reputation of their universities, acting in a manner detrimental to public safety and violating university regulations by organizing and participating in the rally.

According to Tajuddin, a student goes to university to discover new things. “If you are here just to get a job, to get a degree so that you can become an architect, then you are a trade student in a trade school”. Rightly so!

Tajuddin said in Malaysia conditioning would begin at the start of a child’s formal education.

“The Malaysian education system tries to standardize the student,” he said. “They tell you to wear this kind of uniform, this kind of haircut, this kind of shoes”. The idea is to mold them into docile and deferential Malaysians.

And for many Malaysian students, it is of course, so much easier to just obey and acquiesce. Thinking is hard work!

Of course, it doesn’t speak well about us as Malaysians – but how many of us really give a damn?

Liverpool moved into second place and closed the gap on EPL leaders Chelsea to six points – after coming from behind to beat Stoke 4-1 on Tuesday.

The Potters’ Jon Walters headed home in the twelfth minute to give Stoke hope but that soon died when the Reds hit back – with Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino scoring in the thirty-fourth and forty-fourth minutes respectively, and let the latter take the lead.

Another goal was added when The Potters’ Giannelli Imbula directed Divock Origi's cross into his own net in the fifty-ninth minute.

Adding gloss to the scoreline was Daniel Sturridge (70), who scored his first league goal of the season – and Liverpool's 100th under manager Jurgen Klopp.

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