The Malay College – Benchmarking against the heavyweights, engaging dr bakri musa

Note: I wrote this in response to an article by Dr Bakri Musa comparing the Malay College and KYUEM a private pre-university  collge. It was first posted in a thread in MCOBA e-group. I am an MCOB.

The alma mater is being insulted. The very spirit of the school is being said to be outdated. His Malayness is being rediculed. The responses are expected. Jerky, emotional, defensive and some try to justify and clarify. Nevertheless the spirit to soldier on is evident  amongst the old boys and I am proud of it.,

Nobody would ever dare insult or redicule  The Malay College unless he is an old Boy and dr Bakri musa is one. Wait a minute!! Haven’t we been saying what dr bakri is highlighting? The only difference is that he is saying it to MALAYSIAKINI and to many old boys  that is unacceptable. If you scrutinize the writing you will find  things that have been debated by us all. I take the liberty to list them here.  I am afraid in their defence of the alma mater many old boys are missing the very point Dr bakri is trying to highlight

A. The quality of teachers of the Malay College leave a lot to be desired. I agree, the faculty is mediocre if not poor. Many would say that after the academic session Malay College boys manage their own affairs affairs., and teachers have very little influence in their college life. That hands-off approach has made them what they are. ( teachers, leave us kids alone!!). On the other hand despite the poor quality of teachers many MCOBs have done well. What if we have quality, inspirational teachers?? There are many MCOBs who fizzle out after college. Could it be due to the poor quality of teachers? .

B. The Principal is  the most important personality in a boarding school. It is a fact, qhe Quality of the many Headmasters of the Malay college pale in comparison to that of KYUEM and KTJ.

C. Boarding Schools principals, are too obsessed with SPM results and not the product of the school. We used to measure our achievements by the number of winners to overseas scholarships but the present days headmasters still believe that UM, UKM, UIA are world class universities. YALE, harvard, OXford, UCL, Cambridge are just too alien

D. The inistry of Education, MOE and the many bird brains in the ministry, have many times damaged the Malay College. Remember Musa Hitam in his democratisation of education? remember najib who fired all our houseboys? remrember sulaiman? sulaiman who?

E. Contributions by old boys are miniscule or non existent. He is right!! Compare our contributions to that of old boys of Chinese High Schools

F. Malays thrive on forms rather than substance. Isn’t  this the very thing we  malays are fighting/? It is a never ending battle.

Having said that,there are a few statements by dr bakri that I disagree. Dr bakri thrives on controversies, he spins. In many of his writings he sensationalize, he sometimes relies on half truths and second hand information

1. Project sayong has noble objectives though I am still in the dark as to its content and  implementation

2. The Malay College needs to link to India, Thai and Singapore and many more  to benchmark ourselves. We are not insular and we do not have to be apologetic for being bangsa Melayu rather than kaum melayu.

3. YM Raja Nazrin is Godsend. As the Chairman of the Board of Governors He is the right person  to steer the Malay college to greater heights.The four Malay sultans founded the College. It is befitting that it is being reclaimed by the Conference of Malay rulers.

4. Hishamuddin in my opinion is the best minister of education Malaysia has for at least 4 decades.

 KYUEM and The Malay College are not the right  comparison, but we Malay collegians always benchmark ourselves against those who are one notch or several notches above us. Remember the history of the moderates and the all blacks winning team?

By doing that you Dr Bakri,  are a true MCOB.

P/s three of my kids go through KTJ, but I wish my boy had a stint at the Malay college. There is something   we have that they do not have

4 Responses to The Malay College – Benchmarking against the heavyweights, engaging dr bakri musa

  1. daniel says:

    Dear Mr. Esham,

    I stumbeled upon your writing which I feel is generalising and certainly not fair. I am referring to,
    “A. The quality of teachers of the Malay College leave a lot to be desired. I agree, the faculty is mediocre if not poor. Many would say that after the academic session Malay College boys manage their own affairs affairs., and teachers have very little influence in their college life. That hands-off approach has made them what they are. ( teachers, leave us kids alone!!). On the other hand despite the poor quality of teachers many MCOBs have done well. What if we have quality, inspirational teachers?? There are many MCOBs who fizzle out after college. Could it be due to the poor quality of teachers? .

    I was a teacher in MCKK fro 10 (TEN) years and I did my best!. I loved my students and I believe it was vice-versa. Please do not lump all of teachers together, there were some of us who really cared!. I certainly was not a hands-off teacher.

  2. inspigoblog says:

    Mr Daniel sir,

    Yes sir, I was generalising and I was refering to the faculty. I have also said that I agree with bakri Musa that the malay college has not been having quality headmasters. When the headmaster is substandard, the faculty usually follow suit.

    The Malay college needs to benchmark itself against the best in the world. Good is not god enough. What does the headmaster do if a teacher is substandard.? If he does nothing then and he has no power to do anything then the faculty becomes mediocre.

    There were and there are I am sure and I believe you are one of those dedicatred and inspirational teachers. What if there were more, what if they could match against the best in the world.

    Our boys deserve a lot more then what they are getting now. Of the many teachers that i came into contact with in Malay college I could only name 3 which were world class. The headmaster was a towering classy character. The geography master wrote the textbook for use by schoo;s in the Commowealth. The ustaz was a world traveller and adventurer. They were inspirational.There were about 5 others which were above average, 10 classified as average and 10 below average.

    I welcome highligths on teachers of the Malay college who have been inspirational and world class.

  3. drloysz says:

    dr mr esham,
    i’m a product of the malay college in the late 90’s. when i left koleq, i don’t find myself special in terms of academic, but then only i realized that i need to depend on what i learnt in those 5 years to differentiate myself from the rest of the university students i attended.
    i don’t feel the malay college is treated fairly, but is expected to produce the best when it comes to achievements especially academics. there are something lacking in terms of motivations and role models. i couldn’t really recall any inspirational model when i was there. we were only expected to do what other regular schools supposed to do: get good academic results. nobody told me that there are lots more in the world to explore

  4. inspigoblog says:

    drloysz,

    “malay college boys never leave college”, epitomizes the desire for lifelong learning, and the bond that binds the brotherhood and comradeship. What else do you need? Even with the substandard faculty the tradition, pride and passion for excellence will help us go through the challenges which hopefully are temporary.

    I am just lamenting, what if… what if we have world class teachers, world class headmasters, world view of things….

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