December 27, 2013

It is about our Humanity.

By Aldric

‘’The day when all Malaysians start caring for each other…That day we will grow higher than Singapore and even Australia!”


I agree with Ganesh.

Remembered Quote: “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes.

Why do we aim for technological and economic advancement? To may our lives better each day. Innovation and invention comes when we need to do something better. It means you and I must be human.

Sadly this is not the case today.

Dissatisfied with something? Find someone to blame. Distract yourself and ignore the problem. Brush those problems under the carpet. Rarely do we take meaningful and valuable changes.

It’s How We Think

Yesterday en route home, I was discussing about our [higher] education system with my friend. He is currently taking his Master’s degree in a local public university. He relates to me an experience.

Sometime back his former girlfriend and her teammates asked his help. They needed him to proofread the research paper for their Master’s. Their Master’s degree is from another local university. The scope, and title, of their research were “Awareness on Halal Certification among a community of a certain village in Central Sarawak”. No doubt the put in the effort to conduct surveys, gathered the data and interpreted it. They quoted works from other authors to strengthen their literature review. Sadly the quoting method is the same technique they learnt from their diploma years!


First, I argued that the research was useless. Why? It carries neither academic nor commercial values. “Awareness on halal certification among 1,500 food operators making under RM500,000 per annum in Sarawak” may be a better alternative. You may investigate the effectiveness of the Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak (JAIS) in promoting the certification. You may even explore the resistance from the food operators and how it may be addressed.

In the alternative title/scope, JAIS may be interested. The university may benefit. Trainers and experts may come in and develop modules effectively improving the awareness and implementation. You can make a lot from the findings! Not merely getting a scroll.

Secondly, their literature review was mere quoting my friend said. There is no coherent flow. It seemed like they copied and pasted the sources.

Poor Reasoning

In my view, the literature review are like court cases cited by lawyers and judges. The lawyer would like to argue why this case corresponds to the last or relevant decisions. At the same time, they may argue why this case ought to depart from precedent. How and why is it different? Why should the court treat this case differently? What does this case mean if it is decided in this manner and not the next.

Literature review examines relevant work. It gives the researcher some avenue to introduce something refined if not completely new. In fact, it barely addressed the problem posed from the findings.

Mere Compliance

My friend’s former girlfriend and her team members were merely conforming to the norm. They followed a checklist for pure compliance. Instead of being guided and exploring, the guidelines became restrictive and limiting. It becomes the rule and a mere item to cross out.

In all academic levels, the student must perform research one way or another. To clarify, to explore, to prove or disprove etc. Yet one cannot simple use the same skill set from a diploma and completely apply it into the following levels!

Outcomes for a diploma holder, an undergraduate and a postgraduate varies for the various roles they will play. It plants the seeds for reasoning and synthesising. If this team merely replicates their methods for the diploma, would that also mean the outcome in the next to qualification be similar to the diploma?

It is about us.

Progress – whether promoted by Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat – has always been about us. Us the people. Us the members of the communities. The individual units as well as the household collectives.

Inventions that are successful (see the computers, software, phones et al.) all meet a sizable market. Market that has the means to pay and the need. Sometimes, they may not have the means to pay for themselves, but contributed by others.

But progress, at a human level, is not measured by the number of posh cars on the road. Nor is it measured by the number of bling-blings on a person. It is measured by the character of the community. By its values, beliefs and behaviours.

It is seen by how we treat those who cannot help themselves. By the value we bring forth to and for one another.

Kudos to these three ladies. They overcame a fear/phobia of dogs that the Malay culture typically has. That alone is a brave act! To face what they are afraid of. What makes them respectable human beings, is they kindness they showed these strays.

Let me also tell you: there are many young men and women out there who cares for strays, for the poor, the sick and the wounded. Especially among the people who need assistance, but cannot repay the favour.