The Tempinis diaries

April 27, 2008

Something good to report about Higher Education in Malaysia

Filed under: Uncategorized — toru @ 1:45 pm

For once, it is great to have something positive to write about.  It is heartening to note that Khazanah is making a generous donation to University of Malaya to endow a chair.  Hopefully, University of Malaya will make a colour blind appointment and get a world class professor like Danny Quah from LSE or Woo Wing Thye from University of California.


Funds for new chair

KHAZANAH Nasional has given RM30mil to fund a chair at the newly-established Malaysian Centre of Regulatory Studies at Universiti Malaya (UM).

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, who announced this at the official launch of the centre on April 21, said the new centre would help to reduce the lack of trained personnel in the regulatory field.

“There is a need for the establishment of a centre of excellence for law and economics to enhance the regulatory environment as the 1997 Asian financial crisis showed the importance of having a sound regulatory framework to achieve greater economic stability,” he said.

Mohamed Khaled added that there were currently about 100 centres of excellence in local public universities. However, only a handful, he said, had achieved world recognition.

Mohamed Khaled (third from left) witnessing the exchanging of documents between Rafiah (left) and Khazanah Nasional board member, Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof. Looking on is UM board chairman Tan Sri Arshad Ayub (second from left). — Bernama pic



April 26, 2008

Chua Lee Hoong and her Infinite Wisdom

Filed under: singapore — Tags: , — toru @ 2:08 pm

Chua Lee Hoong wrote today in ST: “But the Mas Selamat escape? What loss has there been, except that of face – mostly?”

Gee – I thought that this was a terrorist who wanted to hijack a plane and crash it into Changi airport. What loss indeed?

April 25, 2008

Hishammuddin and the Half Baked Apology

Filed under: malaysia — Tags: , — toru @ 12:40 pm

What kind of stupid apology is this? Sorry to non-Malays for waving the keris around? And sorry to Malays for not upholding the keris? It’s time Hishammuddin and Khairy realise that brainless racism that might stir the masses in the 60s, 70s and 80s no longer work in this day and age.


Hisham apologises for keris act
Apr 25, 08 7:33pm
Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein today apologised for raising the keris “if it had affected the non-Malays”.

He said that he took full responsibility for his actions but gave no guarantees that he would not repeat the keris-waving again during this year’s Umno annual general assembly.

hishamuddin hussein with keris 050805“I am sorry of it had affected the non-Malays,” he told reporters today after attending a BN Youth meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre today.

“I would also like to apologise to the Malays over my failure to uphold the Malay symbol (keris),” he added

Hishammuddin’s keris-raising act has been seen by many as one of the factors in the non-Malays voting away from Barisan Nasional in the March 8 general election.


April 21, 2008

Another Heavyweight Appointment at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Filed under: education — toru @ 1:36 pm

Following the appointment of Professor Shih Choon Fong, the current President of NUS, as the founding President of King Abdullah University Science and Technology (“KAUST”), KAUST has made yet another heavyweight appointment.  KAUST appointed Professor Fawwaz Ulaby, a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Vice President of Research from University of Michigan, as the Provost (equivalent to Deputy Vice Chancellor). Both these very appointments mark the seriousness of KAUST of becoming a world class research institution. With Professors Shih and Ulaby at the helm, KAUST has a good chance in attracting top talent.

It is sad that in Malaysia nothing seems to be moving in the higher education front. Our Higher Education Minister’s (Khaled Nordin) only plan to date is to save Sufiah, a British child genius, from prostitution.


Engineering prof. to become provost overseas

About two years from now, Engineering Prof. Fawwaz Ulaby will be living off the coast of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, serving as the founding provost of what’s expected to become a high-powered new science and technology research university.


April 20, 2008

NEP and How it Hurts the Malays

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — toru @ 12:19 pm

I have always admired Azmi Sharom’s bravery in saying it like it is and his clear headed writing. His latest piece demonstrates starkly how the NEP is ultimately hurting the Malays. Due to the NEP, many talented non-Malays go overseas in search of better opportunities. This migration of talent will also include academics. As such, bright young Malaysians including the Malays are deprived of the best and brightest lecturers at local universities. It’s a terrible vicious cycle leading to a race to the bottom in terms of quality of education in Malaysia. I have previously written on the brain drain from Malaysia here and here.

Out of curiosity, I did a quick google search to look for Malaysian professors who are working in NUS and NTU in Singapore. From NUS, I found the following individuals: Professor Lee Seng Luan (mathematics), Professor Liew Ah Choy (engineering) and Adjunct Professor Rasiah Ignatius Joseph (engineering). At NTU, I found these people: Assistant Professor Ngoi Guat Peng (Chinese dept), Professor Lee Soo Ying and Assistant Lew Wen Siang (School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences), Assistant Professor Ooi Chui Peng (Bioengineering), Professor Lim Chong Yah (Economics) and Associate Professor Tan Joo Seng (Business).

The individuals above were gleaned from just the first five pages of my google search. I am sure there are hundreds of bright and talented Malaysians working in the universities in Singapore. Instead of the hare-brained idea of trying to save Sufiah, the Higher Education Minister, Khaled Nordin, and his deputies, Dr. Hou Kok Chung and Datok Idris Haron, should look into the possibility of tapping into the talent and energy of these people. Since Singapore is so close to Malaysia, the Malaysian government should consider getting these people as either visiting professors to Malaysia or jointly appoint them as professors at Malaysian universities.

Review of Liu San Ge at Bukit Timah Plaza

Filed under: food — Tags: , , — toru @ 11:09 am

Liu San Ge is one of my favourite noodles place in the Bukit Timah vicinity. It serves simple Taiwanese food and is great for a simple lunch or dinner. Mrs. T and I like to eat at this place because we can do our grocery shopping at Bukit Timah Plaza at NTUC Finest after that.

We always order the same things when we go there. Mrs. T will have the ja chiang mian and I will have the tan zhai mian (pork mince and noodle soup). And we will have two plates of dumplings – one fried and one steamed. Usually, I will have a cup of soya as well. The shop owner and his waitresses are quite warm and friendly. I am not so good with the other Taiwanese food served there like their fish cake, mi jiang etc. One day, I will muster enough courage to try the oyster vermicelli.

Overall, highly recommended for a hearty meal at a good price.

April 16, 2008

Fitness Diary: Turbulence Training For Lower Abs

Filed under: exercise — Tags: , — toru @ 1:55 pm

I did Workout B yesterday. It looked pretty easy but it was a killer. The side plank was torture to hold that position for 45 seconds. The left side was especially tough.

I am aching and sore everywhere. What does not kill you will only make you stronger (I hope!)

April 7, 2008

Save Sufiah: The Unbelievable Stupidity of Khaled Nordin

Filed under: malaysia, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — toru @ 2:08 pm

What an ignoble start for the new Higher Education Minister. He wants to save Sufiah Yusof. What a joke! On what basis are we going to use tax payers’ money to save her? She’s not even a Malaysian citizen! The UK government basically told the Malaysian government to fuck off with their ridiculous request to help Sufiah.

It just galls me to think when Chiang Ti Ming, the Malaysian Chinese genius, wanted to further his education in the 90s he received no help from the Malaysian government. Nada. Nil. Kosong. The Chinese community had to raise funds for him to further his education in the US. Of course, the Malaysian government went running to Sufiah’s father to offer her a scholarship to Oxford when Sufiah’s story broke. And now after all these years, they offer to help Sufiah again now that she is working as an escort. Hello Pakcik Khaled Nordin – Why the double standards? Is it because you think that Sufiah is Malay? She is only half Malay – have some pride lah. Is it because Sufiah is Muslim? What about the Malaysian hookers in Chow Kit and Choo Cheng Kay flats? Who will save their souls?

Khaled Nordin – you should concentrate on managing your portfolio instead of menjaga tepi kain orang lain. Remember? Higher Education? Somehow I doubt that this guy will do well in this portfolio.
Ministry can’t help Sufiah
PUTRAJAYA: There is nothing much that the Higher Education Ministry can do for Sufiah Yusof as she is not a Malaysian citizen.

Sufiah, 23, is a British citizen, whose mother Halimathon Yusof is from Muar, Johor. Her father, Faroof Yusof, is a Pakistani citizen.


April 6, 2008

Review of Teochew Cuisine Restaurant

Filed under: food — Tags: , , , — toru @ 12:34 pm

Went to Teochew Cuisine Restaurant at Bukit Batok with Mrs. T which is located in an unassuming HDB Block (Block 132) at Bukit Batok West Avenue 6. We weren’t very hungry and so we ordered three small dishes – duck breast with taupok, nai pai (baby bok choy) with dried scallops and fish soup. We were quite surprised that all dishes were above average. The duck was really good. And best of all the seasoning of the food in this place is very light and subtle – just like how Teochew food should be. The bill came up to S$ 29. The chef and service staff are from China. I found the waitresses to be attentive and friendly. And their dipping sauces are quite unusual and delicious.

We were too full to have orh nee (the yam dessert). But this is a restaurant we will definitely come back to. I will probably return with friends so that we can order more. I have my eye on the cold dish and the crabs.

Review of Cafe Fahrenheit at Eng Kong

Filed under: food — Tags: , , — toru @ 12:33 pm

It seems that restaurants are popping up in all the most ulu parts of Singapore. Lunch was at Cafe Fahrenheit at Eng Kong. Mrs. T really liked the location of the cafe and said she would definitely be back. We ordered a bruschetta and eggs benedict to share. The bruschetta was above average and I liked the tangy pasta salad that went with it. The eggs benedict did not fare so well. While the poached egg, sauce and spinach was quite delicious (Anthony Bourdain would say pornographic – the way the yolk oozed out), the English muffin below spoilt the dish for me. I thought English muffins were supposed to be tasteless, like bread. At least that’s the kind of English muffins I had in England. Their English muffin tasted like – a muffin. The sweetness at the bottom of the savoury dish just totally threw me and spoilt the dish for me. Guess I wont be ordering that when I next come here.

Anyway, I surfed around and saw that they seemed to do very good desserts. I will probably come back here for the strawberry dessert.

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