Tony Pua did a Mas Selamat yesterday on his blog.
No ... he can't be accused of being a Muslim terrorist. Some say he is a Christian but his chicken rearing body builder father, Jackson Pua near Minyak Beku, Batu Pahat is a Buddhist. There happen to be a place called Sungai Ayam in Minyak Beku.
It does not matter. Mas Selamat is only a description of Tony's blog ability to be elusive.
Yesterday, we swear he posted The Malaysian Insider's news report of himself criticising Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Education, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Tony Pua rubbished Muhyiddin Yassin for citing Malaysia's 14th ranking in The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012 issued by The World Economic Forum (WEF) under the category of quality of education. In rapid successions, he cited various parts of the report and other studies to deny Muhyiddin and was short of being graphic.
This morning that posting is no more there but replaced by announcement of his duel with Dato Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Was Tony right and fair in his criticism? Why was the posting taken down? Is Tony trying to escape being caught wrong?
Before rebutting Tony, read the MI report below:
Pua: Study proves local school system inferior to West’sUPDATED @ 02:37:13 PM 02-04-2012April 02, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — DAP MP Tony Pua has rubbished Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s boast over local education standards, citing today a recent international study that showed Malaysian students lagging far behind western nations in terms of literacy, mathematics and scientific understanding.
Labelling the deputy prime minister a “jaguh kampung” (village hero) for his boast, Pua pointed out that according to the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) 2009+ report released last December, Malaysian students ranked 55th out of 74 countries in terms of reading literacy, 57th in Mathematics and “only marginally better” in 52nd position for Science literacy.
“The results are extremely discouraging on the state of affairs in Malaysia’s education system,” Pua told a press conference in Parliament today.
The PISA 2009+ study, conducted in 2010 and released last December, reviewed the literacy, mathematics and scientific understanding of 522,000 students across 74 countries, with nearly 4,999 students coming from Malaysia.
Muhyiddin, as the education minister, Pua said, had made “a complete fool” of himself for proudly proclaiming Malaysia’s standard of education is far better than that of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Muhyiddin had made the claim on Saturday, citing a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) which stated that Malaysian students were getting a better education than their counterparts in the UK, the US and Germany.
The deputy prime minister had pointed out that the WEF’s 2011/12 Global Competitiveness Report ranked Malaysia 14th among 142 countries in terms of quality of education.
He was quoting findings in the Executive Opinion Survey portion of the report, which polled top business figures on the competitiveness of various sectors and institutions.
But Pua pointed out today that the WEF study was merely based on the opinions of 87 local businessmen who were asked to rate on a scale of one to seven how much they felt the country’s educational system has met the needs of a competitive economy.
He said two government-linked agencies had been commissioned by the WEF to carry out the survey — the government-linked Institute Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) and the government-owned Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) — suggesting the possibility of biasness in the study’s outcome.
“Surely such a tiny survey with such ‘surprising’ outcomes must be benchmarked against other credible international studies before it is accepted at face value.
“And surely, as the education Minister, he (Muhyiddin) would have seen many objective studies on the quality of our education and students,” Pua said.
Malaysia had achieved a weighted average score of 5.1 in the WEF study, as did Australia, Lebanon and Barbados.
Switzerland, Singapore and Finland led the rankings after each secured a rating of 5.9.
Germany placed 17th with a score of 4.9, Britain came in 20th with 4.8 and the US got the 26th spot with a 4.7 rating.
Despite Malaysia placing 14th, the WEF report said in its summary for Malaysia that as the country becomes more and more innovation-driven, “it will need to improve its performance in education and technological readiness”.
Comparatively, Pua pointed out that the conclusion for Malaysia in the PISA report was completely unlike the WEF’s when it was reported that only “56 per cent of students are estimated to have a proficiency in reading literacy that is at or above the baseline level needed to participate actively and productively in life”.
This, he said, meant that a whopping 44 per cent of Malaysian students had scored below the baseline level.
For mathematics, the PISA study revealed that only 41 per cent of students are proficient in the subject at the baseline level.
For science, 57 per cent made the baseline level.
“Why did Muhyiddin not cite the PISA study which he is fully aware of, which is the objective in its study across countries using standardised tests?
“PISA was also conducted with the co-operation of the Education Ministry... (but) instead, Muhyiddin decided to endorse and boast of a survey of 87 local businessmen on a single, subjective question,” Pua said.
The questioned part of the WEF report (find here) can be found in page 444. The table is reproduced below:
Tony failed to realise that the study refers to the quality of the higher education and it is one of the many indicators of the education the country. Since the report is on higher education, the critic shouldn't be leveled at Muhyiddin.
Nevertheless, Tony failed to realise that Muhyiddin is aware of all those studies and reports he had quoted. He had conveyed the issues Tony and others raised in speeches to his Ministry. [Search the Ministry's website.]
Unfortunately, the subject of education is not as exciting as the news of another Fasha Sanda affair. The quoted reports were not picked-up by the mainstream newspapers.
What so wrong with Muhyiddin sharing some positive news to boost the morale of the thousands of teachers, lecturers, and administrators.
Tony is not the only one. There are other criticism to Muhyiddin's statement. Other's are sincere but Tony is not. His is on a destructive political mode. Let's discuss.
One criticism claimed that Malaysia's tertiary education lacks behind in terms of quantity and tertiary educated Malaysian are far behind with the German and UK University leavers.
Other that the WEF, critics cited sources here and here to compile enrollment statistics as below:
PRIMARY: Malaysia (94.1) UK (99.6) Germany (97.6)With nearly 60% of their citizen received tertiary education, it is not a surprise that UK is only several notches behind Malaysia in terms of quality.
SECONDARY: Malaysia (70.2%) UK (93.7%) Germany (87.7%)
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY: Malaysia (26.2%) UK (59.5%) Germany (46.3%)
To answer that, they had raised the issue of enrollment deal and that deals with QUANTITY. Muhyiddin's statement deals with QUALITY.
The WEF reports differentiates the two criteria. It gives weightage of 33% for quality and 33% for quantity.
If they had bothered to refer to page 48 of the report, it stated that tertiary enrollment rate is 36.5%.
It does not show the quality of our education as low, but the places at tertiary institutions are limited and admission is highly competitive.
The subsequent questioned raised by this critics are why are there too many dropouts among Malaysians at the tertiary level?
Quantity aspect is fairly straight forward and can be quantified using hard fact and official data. WEF gathered official data and distribute scores based on it. The reality with low enrolment rate is the low score on quantity.
Returning again to the WEF report, quality is more subjective.
There is no available data on the overall quality of educational system. WEF used the Executive Opinion Survey to measure quality. Those participants of the survey viewed the quality of our educational system to be more superior than that of US, Germany and UK.
If it is viewed as an anamoly, the same applies for other perception surveys.
The opposition can go to town with Malaysia's low score on the perception based corruption index. Why is it that this time they disturbed by the perception survey on education?
Tony should realise that the THES ranking of Universities worldwide used by opposition used to condemn the low ranking of our public Universities is also a perception survey?
Off course, he would not answer and response to this blog. He will be to remain silent when cornered. The last he wants is the public to read this non-Oxford going blog owner reply and made mince meat out of his blatant misinterpretation.
Tony and DAP only wants to hear negative news of the country. If possible, they want to paint a TOTALLY bleak picture of the education system and every aspect of the nation.
There should not be FDIs going into the country, particularly the Barisan Nasional runned states. If there are plans for one like of Lynas, Vale, Pengerang, etc, DAP must sabotage. They are willing to lie and create perception using falsifying fact on radioactivity, environmental, international dumping, and what may you.
They can be so inconsistent and make excuses as to believe AELB recomendation for a Batu Kawan factory but are against AELB recomendation for Lynas. It is alright for Shin Etsu in Selangor to deal with rare earth but not for Lynas in Gebeng.
However, there are not ashamed to claim FDI into Pakatan states as their effort, despite knowing well that it is MITI's effort that brought investment to their states irrespective of each state's political inclination.
Perhaps, there could be political brownie points to fulfill the negative perception of Chinese voters. That should not be because the Chinese are smarter than that. They are not supposed to be gullible.
It further proves the stark reality that today's DAP is filled with hypocrasy and inconsistencies.
In Tony's excitement to condemn anything good of Government's effort to reform the education system, he had showed that he did not properly read and understand the reports and studies he cited.