Friday, June 08, 2012

Volume 4 Issue 24: Intelligent Investing

Education of Ministers

The past week of political news have been tragically funny, probably in a way that I should not be laughing. Based on the things that were said by some of our ministers no less, one can only wonder how and where they were educated. It was as if it was not bad enough that we actually have a Member of Parliament who talks like this:

Here are the news reports that surfaced in the last week or so:

On 6 June 2012, the Road Transport Department claimed that our Health Minister, Liow Tiong Lai must pay for the car number plates that he allegedly "bought". And the following day, this is what Liow said:

Great. This is ingenious. Needless to say, this will probably be one of those cases that is going to be swept under the rug and thrown in the darkest hole of the deepest dungeon and never to be heard of ever again, or at least, until after the elections.

Then the following day comes another "genius" who believes that freezing student loans is a great idea for making an example out of the opposition party. It is beyond distasteful and what happened the following day demonstrates the simple lack of common sense that is demonstrated by our Minister of Education no less.

Of course, the repercussions of such a move would have been disastrous. The stupidity was retracted the following day:

This is how I picture Najib after he read what Muhyiddin said:

Of course, this is nothing new to our infamous Deputy Prime Minister. He is well known for his brilliant deductive reasoning using basic "facts". This is another one of them:

Based on the above examples, the nauseating feeling that I get when I know that our country is relying on the best brains such as those above to run our country keeps me up at night. And then nostalgia dawns upon me, reminding me of the days when Malaysia used to point at Indonesia and laugh at how far behind they are compared with Malaysia.

The last 10 years or so tell a very different story about Indonesia. They too, once suffered for a long time under incompetent leadership, but everything changed after a severe Asian crisis that kicked them in the nads, and this woke them up.

So, I did a little experiment, and tried to find out where and how some of our ministers are educated, and compared this with our apparently "inferior" neighbors - see Table 1.

The Vice President of Indonesia has a PhD from UPenn, while our great DPM is a great graduate of our greatest university, UM, with a big Bacherlor's Degree. And I think the rest of the list speaks for itself. Given the huge difference in the quality of education between the ministers of Malaysia and Indoensia, is it any surprise that Indonesia has been outperforming Malaysia year after year?

But of course, our great DPM would beg to differ. After all, Malaysia's education system is better than advanced countries isn't it?