We propose that the Higher Education Minister set up criteria for the appointment of a director-general and important positions that are consistent with world-class education

Media Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Kuala Lumpur, Friday): Since12 April, 2004, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has divided the Education Ministry into two, namely Higher Education and Education, to create the best educational opportunities for our children. One month later, the minister Datuk Shafie has no abode and no staff. He hopes to go to Putrajaya in two months.  

The PM should make sure that the ministry is properly set up as soon as possible in Putrajaya with staff of high caliber, able to create the best opportunities on higher education. Let us not allow this teething trouble to continue.


The 1996 Education Act aims for a world-class education. Hitherto, there are new things that represent the modern world such as the re-emphasis on English and other languages in addition to Bahasa Malaysia. We see 17 public universities.


It is important that Dr Shafie does not bring some of the bad elements and habits from the former Education Ministry.  Seeing more schools and more universities make us happy. But, there are people in the ministry with feudal mentality, mediocrity and bloody-mindedness.


The minister should formulate criteria that are acceptable internationally for the appointment of a director-general and other positions, so that the staff will be capable of facing the challenges. Then, he should ensure that his ministry is not mono-ethnic, a phenomenon seen in many departments and ministries. He is aware that government departments tend to become mono-ethnic. He should do something about it.


Education should be based on merit and need. The Higher Education Ministry should begin with this basis.



* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong