The Tempinis diaries

March 17, 2008

The Tak Boleh Tahan Rally

Filed under: singapore — Tags: , — toru @ 2:03 pm

Compared to the Hindraf and Bersih rally, the tak boleh tahan rally is a small scale affair with only 30 people attending.  But in Singapore such rallies are a rare occurence and an uncommon show of defiance.  The online citizen has the best coverage of this story.

March 16, 2008

Note to Hishammudin, Najib and Khairy: It’s not fashionable to be a racist anymore

Filed under: malaysia — Tags: — toru @ 2:33 pm

I love this article I read on Uncle Kit’s blog!  


Now see what happens when you play around with the keris

By Farish A. Noor

As the broken remnants of the Barisan Nasional recuperate and recover what is left of their shattered pride, it would be prudent to take a step back and look at some of the factors that have certainly contributed to the dismal showing the BN component parties and the UMNO party in particular.  (more…)

The Problem of Top Students in Malaysia and Low Expectations

Filed under: education, malaysia — Tags: , , , , , , — toru @ 6:42 am

 I always enjoy reading stories like the one below about bright young people doing well in exams.  What I don’t enjoy is the inevitable follow up story about the same bright young people being denied a place in the local varsities or a scholarship by the government due to the unfair NEP.  It breaks my heart but I am sure this year will be no different.

One thing that concerns me is the problem of low expectations among top students in Malaysia.  Often, students with excellent SPM or STPM results will be content with pursuing an engineering degree with UPM or Universiti Tenaga Malaysia or some unknown institution in Malaysia.  This leaves me extremely puzzled.  Why shortchange yourself?  For SPM students, I think some students want a short cut and an assured place in a university.  This to me is myopic and short-sighted.  True you are assured a place in the university but look at it this way:  you are stuck with a lousy degree for the rest of your life.  I have often said that a good degree doesn’t mean you will do well in life but a lousy degree may keep many doors shut at the beginning of your career.  Many international firms simply will not hire you if you come from an unknown institution.  So my advice to SPM students, do your A-Levels or STPM and don’t try to get into a third-rate university.  It is simply not worth it.  A case of the old adage: penny wise, pound foolish.  If your results are good, try the ASEAN scholarship.  In the meantime, try to improve your written and spoken English.

For top STPM students, please do apply to Singapore universities if you can afford it.  Why sell yourself short?  Singapore universities are head and shoulders above Malaysian universities.  Although I believe that any methodology on university rankings may be disputed, the difference in positions between Malaysian and Singapore universities are too stark to be ignored.  Also, if you are considering doing a twinning programme with a third rate overseas institution, do consider applying to Singapore universities.  You will have to fight very hard to get anywhere if you come from let’s say University of Central England.  Again, why sell yourself short just because you want an overseas experience?  You can get an overseas experience by going on exchange with a partner institution while you are studying in Singapore.

And to Nimisha who was mentioned in the article below:  apply to NUS.  Lin Hui – please apply to NUS, NTU or SMU.  I hope you get a scholarship to achieve your dreams.  But if not, I hope not to read about your sob story on how you are denied a university place or scholarship in the months to come.


18 who did it their way

KONG WAN YEE, the youngest of three girls, was brought up single-handedly by her mother, Yam Kee Tin. Her father had died when she was just seven months old.

On Tuesday, Wan Yee did mum proud by scoring 5As in her Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examination.

Wan Yee (left) getting a congratulatory hug from her proud mum.

In addition to that, the former SMK Katholik, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, student emerged as one of the 18 top STPM scorers in the country.

At the results announcement ceremony held on Tuesday by the Malaysian Examinations Council in Kuala Lumpur, Wan Yee said: “I didn’t expect it. After some of my papers, I felt sad because I had made some careless mistakes.”

Wan Yee, who took General Paper, Mathematics T, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, had her own method of studying for each subject.

“For example, in Biology, I’d read a chapter once and then restructure the whole chapter to make it easier to study the next time around.

“For Maths and Physics, it was all about practice. Concepts are also very important in physics.”


March 14, 2008

End of BN Domination

Filed under: malaysia — Tags: , — toru @ 1:44 pm

What an amazing election in Malaysia!  I never thought I would see in my lifetime BN losing 2/3 majority and five States.  Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the end of the dreaded NEP.

On a personal note, I was drinking teh tarik with Mrs. T at Devi’s Corner when my good friend SMSed me that “Koh Tsu Kun lost”.  It was the start of a really an unbelievable night which exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations. 

 For the first time in a long while, I feel a sense of hope for my country.


Malaysia’s election upset Anwar overturns the apple cart Mar 13th 2008 | KUALA LUMPUR From The Economist print edition A new political game—and the players struggle to work out the rules AFP THE bravest face the government can put on it is a crestfallen one. The result of the election of March 8th was “a huge setback”, admits Khairy Jamaluddin, a leader of the youth wing of the United Malays National Organisation, UMNO, which dominates the coalition that has ruled Malaysia since independence.


March 2, 2008

NUS’ University Town

Filed under: education — Tags: , — toru @ 10:49 am
It seems that the facilities at NUS are set to be getting better with the Youth Olympics.  Sadly, I don’t think there are any major improvements in Malaysian universities.
University Town will give NUS students a ‘holistic experience’: PM Lee

Mr Lee, who was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of University Town, said he looks forward to students and staff living, learning, working and socialising under the same roof. — PHOTOS: NUS

The National University of Singapore’s University Town, a new development that boasts NUS’ first residential colleges, will offer students a ‘holistic and unique learning experience’ and create ‘an active intellectual community’.This, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, is a step up from NUS’ current dormitory halls because the six residential colleges and two graduate residences will be organised for student learning ‘in an integrated and multi-disciplinary setting’.

Drawing a parallel with similar systems in world-renowned universities like Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton and Yale, Mr Lee, who was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of University Town, said he looks forward to students and staff living, learning, working and socialising under the same roof.

With each college headed by a Master and supported by a team of faculty staff, he added: “Each college will have the flexibility to chart its future direction and evolve its own distinctive characteristics… They will offer opportunities for social, cultural and recreational activities to deliver a more rounded learning experience.”


Actuarial Science in Singapore universities

Filed under: education — Tags: , , — toru @ 9:03 am

For some strange reason, a lot of Malaysian students are interested in being an actuarial scientist.  I think that there is a rumour (since I was a student many years ago) going around that you can earn a lot of money being an actuarist.  

Anyway, Singapore universities do have programmes in actuarial science.    NUS’ joint programme with ANU is found here.  More information on NTU’s programme is found here.  SMU also offers a second major in actuarial science.  See here and here.  The Singapore Actuarist Society’s Resources website is found here.

This looks like an extremely quantitative programme.  So unless you are a maths whiz, you better not take this course.

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