…AND WHAT THEY COULD NOT DO WITH SUFIAH YUSOF WHEN SHE WAS AT OXFORD.
By Mansor Puteh
‘PERMATA PINTAR’ AND ‘PERMATA NEGARA’ ARE RIDICULOUS PROJECTS WHICH CAN NEVER DISCOVER RARE TALENTS FROM AMONGST MALAYSIANS. THEY CAN ONLY UNCOVER THE RIDICULOUSNESS OF SOME OF THEIR CREATORS.
THE CREATORS OF THESE PROGRAMS ARE DEFINITELY NOT OXBRIDGE BUT THE ‘OXYMORONS’ WHO CAN’T GET TO OXFORD, TRYING TO BE SMART WHO ONLY HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE SOME SMALL AND INSIGNIFICANT PROJECTS THAT THRILL AND DISTRACT THEM, BUT NOT A SYSTEM.
THESE ARE JUST EXPERIMENTS WHICH MAY NOT WORK BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH THE STUDENTS.
In the first place they don’t know why do they want to get students to excel in their studies to get a string of A-s for their examinations and so they could study at the ten Ivy League and Oxbridge universities in America and England.
That’s explains why they have not said anything about these universities and what they can do with those who are now studying there with some others who have already graduated from such universities. They are dead silent on this.
Because they know they cannot mess around with such persons and can only do so with the young kids who are just past kindergarten so they can treat them like dolls or animals in the zoo.
This is what they can definitely do, which is to neglect those who had already studied at the prestigious universities in the world.
They admired Sufiah Yusof, a British, whose mother is Melayu and father, Pakistani…but had never really bothered with her to find out what she can do in Malaysia.
The least they could have done was to invite her to Malaysia, and then to ask what she needed and how she could be of use to the Melayu here and Muslims everywhere in the world, being a mathematic genius and a child prodigy, so she could find her roots and be given a tour of the country to meet as many people as possible so she can find interesting experiences that would allow here to feel at home and how she could study better so she could return and serve the country and her own people and religion here.
They only know how to praise here and her parents, but not how to use her intelligence properly.
They said they were happy for her for gaining admission into oxford at a young age. But what they did not say was what they could do with her and her rare talents.
They left her until she could not fit and left Oxford. They are still ignoring her because they still do not know what to do with her.
Yet, they now want to say, they are interested to discover rare talents amongst the kids in Malaysia and to develop those who have potentials.
They want many young Malaysian students to be like her, to be able to excel in their education and perhaps get into some of the most prestigious universities in the world. And then what?
So they created a plan to do this, by establishing special schools with special regimentation to ensure that those who are in the programs are able to excel in their studies and extra-curricular activities.
And the programs are called the ‘Permata Pintar’ and ‘Permata Negara’.
They sound odd if literally translated into English as ‘Bright Sparks’ and ‘National Sparks or Sparklers’.
Yet, these are supposed to be programs to encourage the young schoolchildren to excel in their education so they can gain admission into the top league universities abroad.
But can’t it also be a cheap publicity stunt…to prove that the national leadership has stunted, can’t it?
They will definitely become another interesting place for wives of foreign dignitaries to visit, so they can look at how some privileged Malaysian students look and behave, like they are also visiting a zoo.
Whereas they are not ‘bright’ themselves.
It will also be most ironic if their own children are not accepted into the same programs because they are not smart and qualified.
They want to talk about developing human capital but their only way is to get cheap publicity for doing silly things.
How many university vice-chancellors and professors who have children who have excelled in their studies? How many members of the cabinet and politburos of the respective political parties have children who are smart? How many members of the Melayu royalty impressive university education?
Many of the smartest persons in the country are some of the poorest, and those who are the wealthiest are hardly highly qualified, with some who do not even have any formal education or who could speak in Melayu or English well.
So do the creators of the ‘Permata Pintar’ and ‘Permata Negara’ want those whom they want to push to high excellence to be neither this nor that? Who will take care of them when they grow older and have a string of university degrees?
Where can they go to?
If those who are qualified today cannot be sure of being absorbed into the workforce so that they can utilize what they had learnt about, what chances are there for those who would be in the same position of they are today, then?
And how many of the sports programs have actually created world class athletes and sportsmen? Those that we appeared out of the blue on their own accord?
In fact, those that were encouraged by the sports associations and other agencies did not fare well. The same will happen with the children in the ‘Permata Pintar’ and ‘Permata Negara’ projects, who will falter along the way.
They said they wanted to create top brains for the country to meet with its future expectations and development, so they could create more in the likes of Sufiah Yusof, the thirteen-year-old child prodigy who got admission into Oxford University.
In fact, if they are sincere, they can still utilize the academic achievements of Sufiah and give her a special position in any of the programs so she can become a good example of someone who had achieved academic excellence not in Malaysia but in England, where it matters more.
It is not too late. But can we expect the creators of the ‘Permata Pintar’ and ‘Permata Negara’ to be able to do something to Sufiah? I doubt it.
Malaysia is not short of qualified persons. What it is short of are leaders who know how to capitalize them and to find them, so that they are not left to their own devices and rot.
Many have. Some have decided to leave the country where they could not excel.
There is no special program for those who have already excelled in their studies. And this is where the ‘Permata Pintar’ and ‘Permata Negara’ and those who back them look exceptionally stupid.
What could they do for her? They did not know what they could do with such a talent.
I thought the least that they could do was to give her a grant or scholarship to study at the university so when she graduated, she could be given an important and interesting post in the government think tank or some relevant ministry or agency.
This was not to be and we have seen how Sufiah was conveniently neglected until she got into some personal troubles on her own.
She became the talk of the town and of the Melayu leaders who were all proud of her academic achievements getting into Oxford at such a young age, and mostly for the fact that her mother is a Melayu woman from Malaysia. And for that she became a symbol of much pride to all Melayu and Malaysia. This is despite the fact that her father is a Pakistani and she is a British citizen.
Yet, none of the Melayu leaders were able to say much about what they were able to do with her, if she would be of any use to the Melayu, Islam and Malaysia.
None of them had tried to make contact with her to find out what she might be able to do upon graduation from Oxford or if her qualification and personal experiences could be put to good use in Malaysia.
Nothing. They were all proud of her achievement in getting into Oxford at such a young age of thirteen years.
The only thing that some Melayu groups were able to do for her was to try to ‘save’ her from her troubles. None was able to use her qualification for anything.
Maybe it’s still not too late; they can still find her and give her an offer she cannot refuse. But what sorts of offer that they can think of? What can they benefit from her talent? I doubt it if they know what to do with her now, if she could be their mascot at least!
They had tried to get her mother, Halimaton to help train young children so they could also excel in their studies. But so far nothing has come up of it.
They can’t even think of offering Sufiah the post of the director of ‘Permata Pintar’ and ‘Permata Negara’ to start with.