Saturday, August 31, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

Not enough by being sidelined by the public or state universities, the private universities annoy the academic circle further by offering degrees to students who come to them to get education without ever having to attend class sometimes; and worse, prominent international personalities too become their target for them to benefit from.

And one can bet that local personalities where the private universities are at are not their target; they only target international personalities who they think they can use their names and reputation.

The reason being the local personalities do not have the pull; they cannot trust the universities further.

These private universities are normally operated as a private company, which do not have an official senate who can decide who that they can offer their honorary doctorates or other academic recognition.

The decision rests on the charity of the owner of the university and nobody else.

At prestigious universities in America or England, the vice-chancellor or president of the universities do not pose with the recipients of the awards, but at the small private universities, the owners are the ones who want to be featured with the recipients of the awards they gave. 

So no wonder they are some who like to describe some of the small private universities as ‘degree mills’. Now some of them are ‘honorary doctorates mills’, too.

It is not a surprise how some private universities can get a lot of cheap publicity by offering honorary doctorates and other semi-academic recognition to personalities who are prominent in the world, despite some of them who cannot be said to be interesting.

Why do these universities like to do so?

Simple: They want to get cheap publicity by offering a scroll which they make sure they frame and invite the persons to their campus and make a big deal about the recognition they are offering.

And they would then put out full-page advertisements to personally pat themselves on their backs.

They are the real winners, and the recipients are the ones who should know that they are the real losers; that they did not know what was happening and what the universities had tried to do, which is no more than to make use of them for their own benefit and self-promotion.

The most unusual part is how those who had been given the honorary doctorates or other recognition have never been given the opportunity to speak in the functions.

And no other university in the country they are at, is invited to attend the functions.

It seems this may be just an extension to the ploy by some other internet universities that offer university degrees for a small fee.

These universities exist in cyberspace and that those who ‘graduate’ from them do not attend any formal commencement ceremony; they get their scrolls and also graduation gowns for a fee, and they pose in front of stacks of books all lined on a wall, in the form of a photo.

And those who have got a degree this way, will go on to get a few more. Yet they do not get invitation to teach at any university or to speak in forums.

Some are company directors of cake houses or confectionaries.

Yet, those who are given the honorary doctorates did not seem to care which university or what type of university that has given them those recognition.

How come the public or state universities do not offer similar recognition on the same individuals, if indeed they were deserving to get them?

Public universities are more genuine in that their campuses are formal and they have all the facilities including a stadium and large halls and student activities, whereas the small private universities exist on the fringe of the education system in the country.

They only have classrooms and a teaching staff comprising of people who are not generally recognized by their peers.

Worse, these private universities do not give their students a life on campus as their only place to go to for recreation is their canteen. They do not have a stadium or hall that can accommodate the students’ sporting or cultural interests.

In the end some of their students also do not attend class; they loiter around and still get their degrees, with a small number who are involved in illegal activities including drug pushing, and internet-cheating.

Of course there is a small number of the students in the private universities who excel, but they often do it on their own accord and not because the university took them there, and their successes could take them another step further so that they could further their education at formal universities abroad especially in America and England.

Those universities too did not bother to check which universities they had given places to the students, to determine if they had given places to the right persons or not.

Some of these universities only wanted the business they can get from the students.

Who gave the private universities the right to confer academic recognition in the form of honorary doctorates to the individuals who have already created a name for themselves?

And why were they given those recognition in the first place? Was it for the university to use them?

Those who accepted the recognition did not seem to care.

On the other hand, they are the ones who should have shown caution by not accepting the recognition because the universities are not well-known and it does not mean much for them to receive the recognition from the universities that the universities in their own countries had not bothered to offer them.

Worse, is when the same universities are the ones who keep offering honorary doctorates all the time.

They give anyone who they think they can benefit or con from.

It is not often that a recognized and prominent or prestigious university in America or England which offer similar recognition to anyone; those who have got them, are truly deserving.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

What is obvious is that the Chinese and Indians or more specifically the Tamils who studied in the sekolah kebangsaan are the ones who seem to be settled well and comfortably in Malaysia.

They are also the ones who do not have issues with the Constitution and other national matters.

And most of all, they are economically better off, with none or not many of them who are in the illegal businesses.

But those Chinese and Tamils who studied in the vernacular Mandarin and Tamil schools seem to be the ones who have some or many of them.

They are the ones who support the opposition Chinese political parties and whose NGOs often raise sensitive issues like they do not know that they are in Malaysia and not in China, which ironically does not care about them, and they also do not relate to the Chinese that much.

The Chinese from China who work here or who visit the country as tourists are not fascinated with their brethren here or in the other countries; they cannot relate with each other.

The Chinese from Malaysia, too, feel the same way towards them and if they visit China, they hardly ever relate to the Chinese there.

The same with the Indians in Malaysia and those from India who work in Malaysia.

But it is not the same with the Melayu who can relate with their brethren from Indonesia who are working here and living in the country, and those in Indonesia or even Brunei.

The Melayu can relate with each other wherever they are in the world.

And those Chinese and Indians or Tamils who make it in education would find themselves being absorbed into the mainstream education system or sekolah kebangsaan.

But the irony is that they are the ones who think that the vernacular school they had studied at earlier in their lives was what had created them to be who they are now, so they try to exert themselves to champion the cause of the vernacular schools.

Unfortunately, even those Chinese and Tamils who fail in education at still attracted to such schools despite these schools having caused them to be where they are now, at the lowest rungs of society.

Many do well earning a decent living and speaking fractured Melayu and almost no English at all.

But there is a sizeable number of them who had no choice but to go into illegal trading, with some even entering the Crime Sector.

No wonder most of those loan sharks or ah-long are Chinese and they are the Chinese who failed in their education at the vernacular Mandarin schools.

And the Indians who have financial and social issues are mostly those who are in the same boat as the Chinese who are in the Crime Sector and doing illegal trading.

There are so few Indians who manage to rise in the society, but it is not the Tamil schools which had caused them to be at that level now, but the sekolah kebangsaan.

Yet, there are some Indian noise-makers and community leaders who insist that the government allocate places in the ministries and government agencies and also GLCs to accommodate them.

How could these agencies do so when the Indians do not have the proper qualification?

And the Chinese, too cannot be absorbed into the Public Sector for the same reason.

Worse, when the Chinese and also Indians do not write and speak well in Melayu.

Even those Chinese and Indians who excel in small trading have to use Melayu to communicate with the customers comprising mostly of the Melayu.

Without a good command of this language, they will languish and not able to communicate and relate with the general public which is now more Melayu than ever before.

The Mandarin or other Chinese dialects and the Tamils and other Indian dialects that the Chinese and Indians speak in are only good for social communication; they are not good for them to acquire knowledge or education.

So no wonder, not many or none of them had bothered to study at universities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and India where the medium of instruction are Mandarin or Tamil.’

The Chinese chauvinist groups who insist that their vernacular education system is superior do not know reality; they can behave so because they do not need to relate with anyone.

They are officers of their own NGOs or organization, so they can carry on with their lives speaking and thinking in Mandarin without having to speak in Melayu or even English.

But for the many Chinese and also Indians who have to face reality, they must be told the truth about the situation in Malaysia now.

It is not good for them to hole themselves up within their own communities which are shrinking.

They cannot assume that Malaysia today is like the Malaysia or their ancestors or past generation.

Malaysia today is more Melayu. And Bahasa Melayu is now more prominent and dominant than it was before.

Even the younger generation of Chinese and Indians speak better Melayu and can relate with the Melayu better than their parents or grandparents could.

This may be yet another factor why the leaders of the Chinese chauvinist groups are feeling an angst about that their own hold of their own societies too may be diminishing.

It won’t take them long to realize that they are being cornered. And soon, they too have to speak and write in Melayu, as much as their own children and grandchildren, who cannot survive living in the New Malaysia today and in the years to come.

Does the population of the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia have to shrink further before the numbers factor finally causes the most chauvinists of them to finally realize their lot?

Thursday, August 22, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

May be this matter has escaped everybody’s attention, especially the policy makers, for the issue is quite petty really.
          Television, or more specifically, Malaysian television, which to many is just for the government to relay information to the public, and for the stations to broadcast programs of all sorts to enable them to earn as much advertising revenue as possible. However, this is often done without due care.
          The end result is that we, as a people of many diverse racial backgrounds and interesting peculiarities, are still strangers amongst ourselves and can be said to be unfamiliar with our different and sometimes strange likes and dislikes.
          We only relate with each other socially bumping in the streets without really caring or too concerned about each other’s presence and concerns.
          I cannot watch television if I want to see the faces of our Chinese and Indian friends and those of the other minor races and groups that we have in the country. For they are not represented on television, except for the faces of the broadcasters who read the news bulletin or who appear in some talk shows and other minor programs.
          And I cannot fully appreciate the fact that Malaysian television still, after forty-four years of its existence, favors to promote alien faces on the screen – the faces of the Chinese, Indians and the Americans, in particular, as opposed to the Malaysians of all races.
          The problem is that Malaysian television, since its inception in 1963 has become more of a tool for the stations to over-promote alien cultures, peoples and their ways which often come with their peculiar social, cultural as well as psychology.
          The main problem is because many of those who operate these stations are not fully qualified, or those who have the necessary academic qualification and professional experience to run any television station. They end up doing what their predecessors had done, i.e. by going to the film and television markets in Europe, America and Hong Kong to buy all sorts of programs by the busloads, so to speak, so that they can show them throughout the year.
          What they are doing in effect is to continue encouraging Malaysians to be lazy to produce their own home-bred programs of all types and sorts, so we can become self-sufficient in television programming, while they cruise along easy street without having to worry about getting enough programs to show on their television.
          How naive of them! Don’t they realize what they are doing which is also to promote the television and film industries of those countries while helping them to create more employment to their creative people?
          What these television stations and their executives are doing is to lower their personal stature and become lackeys for the program producers in Hong Kong, India and America and causing the development of the Malaysian culture on the ‘sleep mode’.
          Is this what they want to be called? Can’t they use their televisions to promote the development of local talent so they can come up with more meaningful programs that are liked by viewers of all races, instead of breaking them into the three major groups plus the Americanized viewers, by showing programs for the Malays, Chinese, Indians and the English-speaking Malaysians and those who are fascinated with things American or western?
          It was I who asked why the stations had broken the programs in this country in the ‘Malay, Chinese, Indian and American belts’. They later turned the same four belts into colors or imageries that still reflect their racial backgrounds.
          This set up clearly shows the unconscious act by the television stations, acting in concert with their advertising agencies to segregate the viewers in this country into the three major racial groups plus the American or western group.
          I wish to see the Malaysian belts to replace all those belts so all the major programs of all sorts that are broadcast everyday on Malaysian television can be appreciated by all Malaysians regardless of who they are.
          If this cannot be done, then there is no hope for anyone in this country to use the medium of television to bring all Malaysians together, so that in time we will be able to look at each other more and appreciate who we are, without having to look in such awe of those from Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, India and especially, America. 
          This may be good if we only wish to study how those who live in other countries are doing and it is only necessary for us to know them, but up to a certain point, beyond which we have to start to turn around and look back at our own selves.
And this is where Malaysian can be said to have been negligent. It may have also created insecurities amongst many Malaysians, which should not have happened in the first place.
          In short, the Malays have not seen or looked at the other races, especially the Chinese and Indians good enough to really and truly appreciate who they are.
          The same can be said of the non-Malays who are always looking elsewhere especially at the Chinese, Indians and Americans and other foreigners, that they simply do not have time to appreciate what the Malays have to offer them.
          Malaysian television, I dare say, you are one of the major reasons why Malaysians hardly look at each other.
The television stations have only showed programs from Hong Kong, India and America, so that over the decades, many Malaysians find those who are portrayed in the television dramas and other entertainment programs interesting.
          The Malays, have also found it difficult to fully relate to the Chinese and Indians in this country, while watching television because the Chinese and Indians that we always see on television are not those who are amongst us, Malaysians, but foreigners, from Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and lately ‘Chinese’ from South Korea; and Indians from Mumbai and India, who are all alien to the Malays, whom the Malays can not relate to or fully understand what they really want, other than to sing and dance and other times cry over petty social and cultural issues.
          The worst culprit is Malaysian radio which is conveniently introduced to support the notion that in order to operate a radio station, they have to appeal to just one particular race, instead of all of them.
          The print media is also responsible for the racial division where the English-language publications often over-promote foreign cultures, especially those from Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, India and America, too, like without them, Malaysians will be uncultured and whose worldview will be shallow.
          What we can all see in our newspapers especially the English-language and vernacular ones are news and other stories on foreigners in their own countries, but less on Malaysians.
          It seems that Malaysians make news only when they are involved in any type of personal or group tragedies or if there is a scandal of any sort. The types of news Malaysians can make are very limited. We have to be foolish to get into the newspapers.
          If we are smart, there is little likelihood for it to be highlighted by the local media, which are too eager to publish even gossips of foreign artistes whom we do not know of, especially those that relate to their unhealthy and immoral lifestyles.
          One particular English language tabloid is so fascinated and excited to act on behalf of the western fashion designers, like they are paid to do the job of promoting their clothes brands. This paper hardly publishes stories on the Malays except those who face tragedies of any sort.
          Malaysian television has caused a major flaw in the psyche and thinking of all Malaysians regardless of whether they are Malays, Chinese, Indians or the others.
          Malaysians must be made to fully appreciate each other’s peculiarities in the media and on television and radio everyday and not just when there are religious and cultural or nationalistic festivals, where we would gather to eat together.
          We must see ourselves more on television and in the cinema.

Friday, August 16, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

I have been donating blood regularly for many years. And today, I just donated blood for the 390th time today; and thanks to my classmate in Form Six in Petaling Jaya, Alex of Kelang, who brought me into this exciting habit, who asked me to join him to donate blood as he had already started to do it earlier. 

I could have become the top blood donor of the country if I had not forgotten to donate blood for ten years.

The reason being I left the country to pursue my education abroad and during the three years I was there I forgot to donate blood.

And upon my return I still forgot to do so, until seven years later when I remembered and immediately went to the Pusat Darah Negara which was then at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

It moved to another place and returned back to the original place before they were given a brand-new building all by itself, and which sits beside the Balai Seni Visual Negara (BSVN).

For me it was convenient as I could go to the gallery and donate blood in one trip.

My life seems to be around blood donation, as I often arrange for appointments and meetings when I am donating blood, which is every two weeks.

Unlike many others whose lives are around their trips to the shopping complexes and accessing the internet, and other hobbies, etc.

And if I have to travel abroad, I make sure I do it after I have donated blood a day or two later, so when I return I can immediately donate again.

In June and July I made few trips abroad and I made sure this schedule was adhered to, so that my next trip to Portugal on 13 August, happens a day after I have donated blood another time.

I look forward to being able to donate blood for the 400th time in January or February next year.

There were few times when I returned to the blood center after nine days because I had forgotten when was the last time I had gone there to donate.

And over the years, I have come to know all the nurses and doctors at the blood center, some of whom had retired.

From what I have found out, there has been just one case when a donor got married to one of the nurses.

I found all the nurses and doctors to be remarkable treating each donor like they were welcome guests, even though many of the donors are shy and do not talk that much. 

And of the top and regular blood donors I have not heard of anyone of them suffering or dying of major diseases, which is comforting; this may due to the constant blood pressure and other tests that they are subjected to during the whole time they are donating blood. 

I like to cheer them up by saying, jokingly, how if they do not smile and if the donors also do not smile, those who receive their blood would be affected by the moods of the donors.

The sad truth is that, there are many Malaysians whose lives are arranged around this activity and over the many decades they have donated so many times.

I have not seen anyone who have donated so many times, as the donors come from all backgrounds and no one can tell who has donated how many times and how often.

But there are there, coming to the blood center to do their civic duty without seeking any fame or monetary rewards.

Yes, they do get some interesting presents in the form of ballpoint pens, tee-shirts and mugs, but that’s about all they could get from their contribution to society, which does not care to know who they are, and why they have been donating blood.

But I do care, and I am sure many Malaysians too want to know who they are.

Unfortunately, till now there has never been any documentary produced to highlight the country’s top blood donors.

I am certain they are the ordinary folks who one can see doing about their daily activities, the ones who do not talk too much about their blood donating activities.

Personally, as a regular blood donor, I also want to know who are the top blood donors of Malaysia, as much as the members of the public, who may have benefited from their personal charity, without knowing who the donors are. 

He can be out there, unassuming and undeclared and unrecognized – and he could be the man who sits quietly in the bus going about his daily business and conducting his personal chores.

He is, no doubt, a True Malaysian Hero, the unsung and unrecognized type.

And can we see the Blood Donors of Malaysia Wall of Fame in the lobby of Pusat Darah Negara?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

Blood donation is not exactly a sport. One does not donate blood to win awards or recognition. But don’t the top blood donors of Malaysia also count?

Even the Guinness Book of World Records has an entry on the top blood donor of the world. But there is no mention on the top blood donor of Malaysia in the Malaysia Book of Records.

Too bad that the Malaysia Book of Records people are not aware of this ‘feat’, because they were busy looking elsewhere at some of the more outrageous and media attractive events to take note of.

Athletes and other high-achievers including those in the entertainment industry are better, in that whatever they achieve and even do is given the right amount of media support and coverage, and encouragement from the authorities and public sector.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared ‘Blood donors are Heroes!’ Yet, WHO has neglected to take the act beyond to the next level.

In this regard, is it also not fair for many Malaysians to ask, who are the real ‘Heroes’ of blood donation of the country?

There are some 80,000 Malaysians who donate blood which comprises of about a mere 0.003 percent of the population of the country, many of whom do so regularly, and the number is increasing with the soft campaigning conducted by the National Blood Center and Ministry of Health causing more and more people from those in secondary school to be more aware of the benefits of blood donation.

It is therefore so amazing how so few people in a country with an estimated population of 26 million could be supplying blood to so many, all of whom have never actually given any due recognition or thanks to them?

Maybe they are taking for granted with the blood that is constantly flowing in their own bodies to sustain their health that allows them to pursue their own personal and life’s goals, to realize that later on in their lives, it will be the blood of others who could help to further sustain the last few weeks, months or years of their lives before they give up on living altogether, irregardless of at what level of society they may be at. 

Unfortunately, Malaysian television is slow in using blood donating as the main or even a subplot in any of their programs, especially dramas and documentaries.

Ironically, many local television dramas prefer to show acts which do encourage the spilling of blood in cruel and senseless action dramas without the producers and television stations not realizing the negative implications on society.

And of course I had not seen any of those officers in the many charitable, social and even cultural and artistic organizations who like to preach acts of charity and decorum in society and a refined lifestyle and taste and the humanity they often like to show in their works, coming to donate blood in all the years I have been doing that.

It is therefore easier for anyone to claim to be humane and charitable and compassionate and kind, but it is not so, to translate it into action.

I have also not seen any religious preacher of all religious affiliation donating blood.

Yet, they are the ones who like to preach to the others about the virtues of helping society and strangers, yet, they have found it not convenient to actually do what they like to preach about.

Some of them only prefer to register themselves to be organ donors, but unfortunately, this act only amounts to one having to sign a declaration and getting a certificate to say that he is an organ donor.

Compared to the regular blood donors who have to either take the bus, train and drive to the blood center every two weeks, and go through the process of donation which takes from twenty minutes to two hours including waiting time, and not including travel and personal time. 

The blood donors would go to the National Blood Center or Pusat Darah Negara in Jalan Temerloh off Jalan Tun Razak every two weeks for years. Some do so every three months.

Many donate blood irregularly because their work schedule does not allow them to do so often unlike some others who make it a point to donate blood and their daily activities are around this.

So over the last many years, we now have people who have already donate blood from 300 to 500 times or more.

Some of them have stopped donating blood when they reach the age of 60 or if they choose to go on donating blood, they can do so till the age of 65.

But they have to undergo some medical tests and if they are found to be healthy, they are allowed to donate for five more years, during which time they can donate another 100 times.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

Don’t all those women, men and other social and religious activists cover themselves up from head to toe in the thick of winter? They all know how to cover themselves with layers and layers of clothes.

Why do they have to do that?

When it’s convenient for them to do so they did not freeze to a certain death due to hypothermia?

But in the warmer months and especially in the middle of a nasty summer, they start to peal off their layers of clothes to reveal their bare skin.

And this is also when they start to bare their fangs and blame those who still want to cover themselves up.

It’s as though they are not aware that they also have to cover themselves up when they attend formal functions and especially when they are participating in the masquerade parties when their women cover their faces with masks.

There are many westerners and those who are not Muslims who do not have issues concerning the covering up of Muslim women. Many of them are the more religious. It’s only the small group of the zealots and bigots who seem to be interested to bring this matter up when it is convenient for them to do so.

The Eskimos do not have any reason to dispute or criticize the way Muslim women wear, and cover up their body, even they are not Muslims.

The reason being, they know such clothes do protect themselves from the elements, like how they also cover their bodies all through the year.

Not only the Eskimo women who cover up their bodies but the men, too.

The better educated Westerners such as their surgeons, spacemen from all those countries that had sent them to outer space to also land some of the astronauts and cosmonauts on the moon do not complain.

In fact, there are more westerners or non-Muslims who do not take any issue regarding this, other than that small bunch of confused westerners who have already rejected their own religions mostly Catholicism and Christianity who seem to have some unsettled issue to deal with.

After more than 1431 years since the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, made his flight or hijrah from Madinnah to Mekkah, this issue concerning Muslim women’s clothes seems to be a very convenient target for some in the west.

And worse, it has also taken another dimension – a national one which concerns a country in Europe which is France.

France has taken the lead to ban the ‘burqa’ by their women.

Will the other countries in the European Union take the lead and do likewise to jump on the anti-burqa to rip off the cloths from the hapless Muslim women all of whom were in these countries not through their own fault by through the indiscretion of the leaders of those countries in an earlier time?

If not for them and their military adventures, there would not have been that many Muslims in their countries today.

So they just have to take the blame of having them now. They have no choice because what is happening now is not due to their own fault by the fault of their earlier leaders.

France, the center of fashion in the world, where all sorts of strange and funny ideas concerning human existence whose leaders in many fields had taken the lead to their own deprivation and social and cultural degradation and religious strife, is not trying to penalize some innocent Muslim women for their fashion choice.

This is strange, especially when the concept or pseudo-philosophical or pseudo-religious behavior of self-isolation was indeed created and introduced by the Europeans.

Yet, when this matter is taken up a step further, they balk.

Is it because they are not the ones who had done it but some innocent Muslim women?

So no wonder issues concerning the covering up of the women’s body are not raised by the Eskimos and those who live in the North or South Poles and other areas where the weather is very, very cold most of the year where their summer is too limited to a few days, and even then they still have to wear thick clothes.

No wonder the issue of Muslim women’s attire has never become any issue in the media in Alaska and the other countries in the Artic, who do not cover such stories.

They are only covered and debated by the media in the west, where the temperatures are less inhospitable, and their summers are very hot.        

Here, their media have some valid reasons to want to discuss such issues.

They are only raised by those who enjoy different seasons in the year and especially those living in the west or Europe to be exact. But they only get tensed up in summer and not in winter.

But don’t they realize that they also cover up in the cold months?

If the issue of covering up of the body is bad, then why practice it when it suits them? Why not go about half-naked even in the cold months and see if nature does not act harshly on them and on their protestations?

The issues of how the pious Muslim women dress are only raised by those non-Muslims in the west only in the summer.

This is when they peel off their clothes to reveal their skin and sun-tan to everybody.

But in winter, their mode of dressing is no different than that of the Muslim women. They cover up their body and mostly, they also cover-up the issue and put it off through the winter and other cold months, only to raise it again in the summer.

This has happened almost ever summer.

But don’t they also know that western and non-Muslim men and women also cover themselves up if they are astronauts and surgeons, etc. Are they also subject to the protests and criticisms of those who want to create their sins of summer, too?

They should, since they are also covering up much like the Muslim women do.

And if France is intent on banning the burqa, then why do they have to pride themselves as the center of fashion in Europe if not the world?

Even the atheists are not bothered by what the Muslim women wear because they practice democracy more than those who are supposed to religious and secular.

One Muslim woman in Australia was killed when part of her headscarf of ‘hijjab’ got caught in a machine.

But there are hundreds of women in the west who had got skin cancer which was mostly due to exposure to the sun.