Monday, March 2, 2009

Human capital

The government is beginning to acknowledge that the Malaysian economy will not be immune to the global recession.

The planned economic stimulus package is rumoured to range between RM15 billion to RM30 billion. The details are expected to be rolled out on March 10.

There is no point speculating on the details. So we'll leave that alone for now.

What we need to urge the policy-makers to do is to have an urgent focus on the development of human capital.


The fact that Malaysia is said to have a narrow middle-class base means that the knowledge and technical skills of the average Malaysian worker is very low. There are more unskilled and semi-skilled workers than there are skilled workers.

The key to improving Malaysian human capital is in education and training.

The public universities need to focus on providing quality education in technical subjects like engineering and the sciences.

This should be a key issue in restructuring the Malaysian economy. This is a long term matter.

The rot that has set into the Malaysian education system encompasses the primary, secondary and tertiary level.

Those who do not agree with this should examine the reasons why many graduates are unemployable.

The reform and restructuring is needed. It is urgent. The process of such reform and restructuring can take between 10 to 20 years.

The political will must be there. Vice-chancellors and University Senates must be populated by the best that our Ringgit can buy. No ethnic bias can be permitted. Everyone should be there on merit, not sycophancy. For the avoidance of doubt, by "sycophancy" I mean useless skills in "ball-polishing", "kaki ampu" and, "know-who".

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