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The Challenges Facing Education in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Janelle Chuah is a soon-to-be college sophomore studying biology and pre-medical studies at Waynesburg University in southwestern Pennsylvania. Despite Chuah’s near perfect English and her visible ease on campus, she is originally from Malaysia, a country struggling with complex educational problems.

Chuah is from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. In an interview, Chuah spoke passionately about her parents’ many sacrifices to keep her and her two older sisters in better educational programs than the nation’s public schools. She was fortunate to attend a prestigious Chinese public school for a time, but she says that her parents soon put her into homeschooling programs to better prepare her for college abroad.

Chuah’s strong desire to attend college is not the norm in Malaysia. World Education News & Reviews reports that relatively few students in Malaysia go on to college after secondary school. The World Bank considers funding for education in Malaysia to be adequate, but students from this country still do not do as well on tests as other low-income nations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The World Bank claims that poor training for teachers and a highly centralized educational system contribute to Malaysia’s educational shortcomings. Schools in Malaysia are limited in their ability to respond to local needs as a result of centralized education policies that hinders schools’ autonomy.

Chuah’s parents recognized the problems in the Malaysian public educational system. They enrolled Chuah in an educational center and then an eight-year cyber school program called K12 that teaches in English. Her tuition was expensive, and Chuah explained that her parents used their income tax returns to pay for her to stay in this more advanced program.

Chuah’s father was suddenly out of work just before she graduated from high school. In order to financially provide for Chuah to stay in her cyber school, Chuah’s parents began to sell their assets one by one. When the time came for Chuah to apply for her U.S student visa, her parents sold their family’s house so that Chuah could meet the financial requirements necessary to obtain the student visa and study in the U.S.

Although problems exist for education in Malaysia, the government introduced the Malaysia Education Blueprint in 2013 to begin correcting some of these issues. The Blueprint recognizes the need for closing social gaps, keeping children in school until upper secondary school and improving test scores to begin tackling the problems. The Blueprint suggests many reforms that include making teacher requirements stricter and promoting creative and leadership skills within schools.

The Blueprint aspires to produce “access, quality, equity, unity, and efficiency” within education in Malaysia. These goals are ambitious considering the work the nation still needs to do in order to achieve them, but the Blueprint’s plan provides the structure in which these changes can occur.

Chuah’s story of sacrifice and dedication to get a more advanced education came with extreme consequences for her family. Her story shows just how difficult it can be for someone in Malaysia to get a quality education that adequately prepares him or her for further studies. Hopefully, the Blueprint’s acknowledgment of and plan to solve the problems with education in Malaysia will improve the system for future students in the nation to succeed.

Addie Pazzynski

Photo: Flickr

Science teacher education in Malaysia: challenges and way forward | Asia-Pacific Science Education

Lee (2004) argued that the Malaysian education system is highly centralized. Thus, the development of science teacher education is closely related to the development of the national education system. The structure teacher education programs i.e. pre-service and in-service trainings are also developed based on the need of the educational system, socio-economic, politics of the country and the impact of globalization.

In 1987, the National Philosophy of Education (NPE) in Malaysia was developed and it reads as:

“Education in Malaysia is an ongoing effort towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner so as to produce individuals who are intellectual, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonious, based on a firm belief in and devotion of God. Such an effort is designed to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards and who are responsible and capable in achieving a high level of personal well-being and being able to contribute to the betterment of the family, society and nation at large” (Ministry of Education 2013, Page 4).

This NPE has provided a framework for philosophical changes in content and pedagogy in the primary and secondary curriculum. The NPE has implications for teacher education programs, namely on the recruitment, content and method of teacher trainings. Based on the NPE, Malaysian science teachers are not only able to inculcate an understanding of science content, science process skills and positive attitudes towards science, but also able to inculcate ethics, moral values, and foster unity among students of various ethnic groups.

The recent development in global science education, namely the STEM education, has also influenced the landscape of science education in Malaysia. In particular, the national science curriculum has been revised to accommodate the philosophy of the STEM education, as envisioned by the Ministry of Education (MOE). The STEM education is viewed as: (a) STEM field which covers traditional disciplines such as Physics, and contemporary fields such as Bio-Chemistry; (b) STEM stream- enrollment of students in stream of their choice at the upper secondary level; and (c) STEM approach which is pedagogical approach that emphasises on students’ activities solving real-world problems (MOE 2016). Thus, the nature and structure of the science teacher education in Malaysia are inevitably affected.

Brief historical overview of science teacher education in Malaysia

According to Halim and Meerah (2016), science teaching began in Malaysia in 1937. After the independence of Malaya in 1957, science education was given a special place in the educational policy due to several reasons. First, before the independence, Science for all was not possible due to the lack of adequate equipment and qualified science teachers. Second, Science is considered as an area of the curriculum that most likely to provide the supply of scientific and technical manpower for the economic development of the country. Lee (2004) observed that teachers of low academic qualification were recruited and given part-time training during school holidays at teacher training colleges to ease the acute shortage of school teachers at the primary schools. Meanwhile, the graduate teachers were engaged from UK and India to teach at the secondary schools. In science education, the Scottish Integrated Science Syllabus for lower secondary school, the Nuffield Secondary School Science Curriculum, and the Nuffield O- Level pure Science Syllabus were implemented respectively for non-science and pure science streams at upper secondary level from 1968 to 1981.

Lee (2004) further reviewed the teacher education in Malaysia and described that the number of teacher training colleges had increased in the 1980s. The faculty or school education that played the role of training the graduate teachers for secondary schools had begun to develop. Nonetheless, Sumintono (2015) argued that there was still a shortage of a large number of teachers. Thus, the science teachers from Indonesia were engaged to teach Science in various schools. In the mid-1980s, the medium of instruction was switched from English to Malay at primary and secondary schools. The Faculty of Education The National University of Malaysia, was the first faculty to train science teachers to teach science subjects in Malay.

In 2003, there was another major development in Science teacher education in Malaysia. It was when the Malaysian government decided that Science and Mathematics to be taught in English at all levels in primary and secondary education, which was known as PPSMI (Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik Dalam Bahasa Inggeris) (Sumintono 2015). The political leaders argued that, for Malaysians to leverage on the outcome of the scientific knowledge and know –how, which is often conveyed in English (Halim and Meerah 2016), Science and Mathematics educations need to be taught in English.

As a result, the content and method of Science teacher preparation program were revised. Educational studies, science content and methods courses were taught in English. Various related activities were conducted for in-service programs. The activities included offering short-term in-service training courses to enhance the linguistic skills and the confidence level of science teachers; providing science teachers with pre-prepared multimedia teaching course to facilitate the teaching; and learning of science through the integration of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Moreover, Science and Mathematics teachers were given incentives for the implementation of the policy (Sumintono 2015; Halim and Meerah 2016; Idris et al. 2007).

As the national long-term strategy is to improve the quality of teaching, thus the MOE aims to have 100% graduate teaching force at all secondary schools and primary schools. To meet this challenge, various collaborations between teacher training colleges and local universities were organised for increasing the number of graduate science teachers (Lee 2004). For the purpose of meeting the demand for graduate science teachers at the primary schools, in 2005, all teacher training colleges were upgraded to teacher education institutes that led to the institutes conferring degrees. Thus, the teacher education programs shift its focus to awarding degrees instead of the diploma in teaching.

Current policies, practices and emerging issues in Malaysia

The historical development of teacher education in Malaysia has contributed to two public institutions i.e. the universities and the Institute of Teacher Education (ITE), which offer teacher training programs in Malaysia. ITE is controlled by the MOE through its Teacher Education Division (TED) to train science teachers for the primary schools. Today, there are 27 ITE interspersed throughout different states in Malaysia.

The curriculum structure of Bachelor of Science Education (Primary) offered by the ITE is more of general science content. It is a common view that the lack of content knowledge on the part of the teachers might influence students’ comprehension and the development of inquiry-based science teaching Meanwhile, public universities under the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) conduct 4-year Bachelor of Education through the faculties of the universities. Qualified teachers with a teacher education degree from the universities can teach at the secondary schools and matriculation programs. The universities have autonomy in structuring their teacher education curriculum, whereas ITE has a common curriculum controlled by TED. Nevertheless, the structure of the curriculum is framed by standard curriculum set by the Malaysian Qualification Agency. The five components for teacher education, include (a) the educational component; (b) the professional practice component; (c) the school subject content; (d) the educational electives component; and (e) the educational specialization component. The universities also conduct the Postgraduate Diploma in Education for those candidates who wish to pursue teaching after obtaining a non-educational first degree.

MOE sets up in-service training programs which often serve as the platform to train the teachers for any curriculum reforms. The training is often conducted by using the cascad model. The selected teachers are to be trained by the master trainers. As a result, the selected teachers are expected to conduct training with other teachers at the state and district levels. Another form of in-service course is through the initiative of the teachers, such as short-term in-service training and development program for teachers teaching critical subjects, namely Science, Mathematics, ICT and English, or enrolling into a Master of Education program.

The Malaysian government has been putting efforts to strengthen the quality of both in- service and pre-service teachers. The budget allocations of the Malaysian government have been increased for in-service training programs and teachers’ continuous professional development (Jamil et al. 2010). Thus, Malaysia has made a great progress in its initial teacher education after its independence, by providing equal access to schools and achieving educational prominence in the region.

Some educationists argued that the nation’s education has shown a noticeable incline (Goh and Blake 2015), as evidenced in the recent low ranking at the PISA and TIMSS. When Malaysia first participated in TIMSS in 1999, the average score of its students was higher than the international average score in both Mathematics and Science. In 2011, the performance of the system slipped below the international average score in both Mathematics and Science, resulting a commensurate drop in ranking. 35% to 38% of Malaysian students failed to meet the minimum proficiency levels critically in Mathematics and Science in 2011(MOE 2013). These students were identified to possess a limited mastery of basic Mathematical and Scientific concepts. The results from PISA 2009 were also discouraging. Malaysia was placed in the bottom-third, ranking 55 out of 74 participating countries, below the international and the Othe rganisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average. Almost 60% of the 15-year-old Malaysian students who participated in PISA failed to meet the minimum proficiency level in Mathematics. As the TIMSS and PISA international assessments have demonstrated, Malaysian students struggle with higher-order thinking skills.

Questions have been raised as to whether teacher education in Malaysia is able to prepare the teachers and students for the demands and challenges of the evolving global landscape. The MOE has set up a goal for Malaysia to rise to the top-third of system in TIMSS and PISA (MOE 2013). One of the actions has been taken by MOE to achieve this goal, is to revamp the ITE for pre-service teacher education. The MOE will review the current pre-service training curriculum to ensure the teachers are adequately prepared to teach the higher-order thinking skills desired of Malaysia’s students. This will include increasing the percentage of time spent on practicum training to 40% across all programs.

Furthermore, the MOE emphasizes on continuous professional development. MOE also recognizes the teachers who may require assistance in meeting new competencies, such as teaching the students the higher-order thinking skill. Nevertheless, according to a study conducted by Che Seman et al. (2017), the teaching and learning in Malaysia were still monopolized by low-level thinking instead of higher order thinking. In addition, the findings from Kassim and Zakaria (2015) showed that the teachers had difficulties in constructing higher order thinking questions for students’ assessment. Moreover, a study conducted by Hashim (2003) found that the courses or exercises related to this high-level thinking skill were not being introduced to teachers during teacher training and service. The teachers are not given enough exposure to teaching methods and pedagogy of high-level thinking skills. This proves that there is a problem that needs to be studied for the good of the Malaysian educational institution.

In addition, the MOE also emphasizes on training the science teachers regarding the teaching of higher-order thinking skill. In the latest Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013–2025 (MOE 2013), the MOE focuses on strengthening the quality of STEM education through an enhanced curriculum, testing and training of the science teachers. In 2013, the MOE conducted a diagnostic exercise to identify the gaps in the content knowledge and pedagogical skill among the teachers for STEM subjects, through a combination of testing and lesson observations. As a result, the MOE is able to develop a more tailored approach for professional development. In 2014, the MOE rolled-out School Improvement Specialist Coaches (SISC+) for Science subject.

In 2016, 300 primary and secondary schools were selected for the DLP. The main purpose of DLP is to provide the opportunity for students to use either English or Malay in Science, and Mathematics. This program is expected to enhance students’ future employability opportunities. DLP is a continuation of the abolition of the Teaching English and Mathematics in English Program (PPSMI) in 2012. PPSMI was also to ensure both Malay and English reserved without downgrading one of the languages. Unlike PPSMI, DLP works as a voluntary program. DLP involves standard 1 and 4 at primary level and forms 1 at the secondary level. The MOE has set up the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) online to help science teachers. Nonetheless, a study was conducted by Unting and Yamat (2017) on teachers’ perspective about the DLP. Unting and Yamat (2017) discovered one of the obstacles in implementing the program is the lack of support and guidance to the teachers. Teachers are the implementers and thus play important role in making a program a success. Therefore, teachers should be equipped with ample information and knowledge on the newly introduced program.

The curriculum revision in 2017 has led to the introduction of computational thinking across the curriculum including science subject, beginning with the students in at primary one in 2018. Wing (2006) argued that apart from reading, writing and arithmetic, every child should learn and master computational thinking. Along the same vein, National Research Council (NRC) (2011), and Barr and Stephenson (2011) reported the need of exposing students to computational thinking as early as possible since these group of students will go into the workforce which is heavily dependent on computers To date, primary teachers are trained on how to integrate computational thinking in the subject matters. As mentioned earlier, training of primary teachers is under the jurisdiction of MOE. Thus, they are able to conduct training in line with the curriculum changes. Teacher training at university level also needs to be alert in response to the rapid changes.

Future directions for teacher education

Teacher education institutions in Malaysia are facing multiple challenges in preparing skilled science teachers to meet current and future economic as well as political challenges. In this case, teacher education programs are forced to devise a systematic and strategic action plan to: (a) facilitate the emerging role of science teachers in promoting STEM learning; and (b) improve the level of English proficiency among science teacher to teach DLP. ; (c) assist science teachers to integrate computational thinking-based science learning in class; (d) equip science teachers with the knowledge, understanding and practices of higher order thinking skills; and (e) upgrade science teachers’ ICT skills. This section discusses some of the current and critical issues which are related to the training of science teachers.

  1. (a)

    Facilitate the emerging role of science teachers in promoting STEM learning

The recent popularity of STEM as an integrated academic discipline, is essential in meeting future social and economic challenges. Such challeges have spawned a worldwide STEM-focused educational movement (Kelley and Knowles 2016). Despite STEM education has long been contemplated in the USA, the concept and idea of the STEM are still new in Malaysia (Bahrum et al. 2017). To keep up with the global trend of STEM, the Malaysian government has initiated Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013–2025) to increase students’ and teachers’ interest, attitude and motivation in the STEM, and career awareness related to STEM field.

As reported by many researchers, a majority of the science teachers are struggling in making connections across the STEM disciplines. The lack of an exhaustive understanding of STEM could potentially lead to the feeling of incompetency among science teachers (Ramli and Talib 2017; Roslan et al. 2012; Siew et al. 2015). Ramli and Talib 2017 asserted that most of the science teachers are not confident to integrate STEM in science teaching. As indicated earlier, the MOE has developed and conducted a diagnostic exercise to identify gaps in content knowledge and pedagogical skills among teachers of STEM subjects. Based on the outcome of the diagnostic test, teachers are tailored to the relevant in-service and professional development program.

Despite science teachers are held responsible to teach STEM, they do not receive any comprehensive training on STEM education. Furthermore, the current science teacher education program was specifically designed to focus only on specific disciplines, which contradicted the basic principles of STEM teaching (Mustafa et al. 2016). It should be taken into account that STEM education is relatively new in Malaysia and substantial time is required for the science teachers to develop a cohesive understanding to effectively apply the STEM pedagogical approaches in the classroom. Therefore, science teacher education program should be meticulously designed in response to the changing responsibilities and roles of the science teachers. To achieve this goal, it is suggested that science teacher education should expose prospective science teachers to various practical STEM teaching approaches.

Apart from that, Informal Science Education Providers (ISEP) in Malaysia, such as National Planetarium, National Science Centre and museums, play a very important role in helping science teachers to integrate STEM learning among students by offering various experiential and hands-on learning activities. STEM education learning activities, projects and exhibitions conducted by the ISEP focus not only on school students, but also the society at large. For example, ISEP provides training for teachers in integrating technology to motivate students’ STEM learning. Moreover, teachers can also enhance their content knowledge as well as pedagogical knowledge by learning and applying the approach provided by the ISEP in their formal science learning process through site-visits.

In addition, science teachers also need to be trained in the most associated pedagogical approach in STEM i.e. inquiry-based teaching, problem-based teaching and project-based teaching. Despite these approaches appear to be common, the adoption, understanding and acquiring the skills to conduct these active-oriented teaching, are still lacking among the Malaysian science teachers (Halim and Meerah 2016). Halim and Meerah (2016) also suggested that the science teacher educators can collaborate with STEM researchers in drawing up the curriculum, namely the content, STEM practice and philosophy in relation to STEM.

  1. (b)

    Improve the level of English proficiency among the science teachers to teach Dual Language Programs (DLP)

Due to the inadequate understanding of STEM, the science teachers in Malaysia encountered a problem when some teachers were required to teach DLP (Yunus and Sukri 2017). Despite DLP was based on voluntary choice, it is advisable that schools are not solely accountable in making sure that their science teachers get the assistance they need to teach science in English, as increasing bilingual proficiency in Malay and English among students is regarded as one of the national vision (Chan and Abdullah 2015). The shortage of well-trained science teachers to teach Science in English, should not be taken lightly. The incompetency of the science teachers to teach science effectively has an adverse impact on students’ learning. A study conducted by Halim et al. (2012) showed that the lack of competency in the language affects the Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) of the science teacher. Therefore, it is important for science teacher education program, especially the teaching methods course encourage the development of PCK in English, in which the repertoire of instructional activities is able to assist students understanding of the science content in English effectively. The studies conducted during the first time the policy of teaching science and mathematics for English in 2013 (Othman and Mohd Saat 2009) stated that pre-service and in-service teachers can benefit a course on English for Specific Purposes in their training programs in order to develop them to integrate language and content.

  1. (c)

    Assist the science teachers to integrate computational thinking-based science learning in class.

The importance of computational thinking was emphasised by the National Council of Research (NCR) (2011). The NCR stated that every individual has to learn and master computational thinking as it forms the foundation of cognitive skills. Calao et al. (2015) reported that students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills have significantly improved when they are exposed to computational thinking. Since this is a new concept for the Malaysian science teacher education program, the initiative is to train teacher educators the concept and method related to computational thinking. As a result, the teacher educators are expected to prepare prospective teachers in supporting students’ understanding of computational thinking. Through the application of computational thinking, the students are able to solve both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary problems.

According to Yadav et al. (2017), in preparing the teachers to incorporate computational thinking, the teacher educators need to develop pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skills on how to think computationally. For the purpose of developing pre-service teachers’ competencies to embed computational thinking in the classroom, the pre-service teachers should be able to think computationally. Nonetheless, teachers’ ability to think computationally is not sufficient as it does not guarantee the teachers to teach computational thinking effectively. Therefore, the pre-service teachers should also be taught on how to teach their students to think computationally. In general, the teacher educators should equip the pre-service teachers with specific pedagogical content knowledge which enables the teachers to incorporate computational thinking into their curricula and practice in meaningful ways.

  1. (d)

    Equip the science teachers with the knowledge, understanding and practice of higher order thinking skills

Despite there are pre-service and in-service courses in the programs which are dedicated to teaching thinking, it is more important to provide hands-on activities during the training. The activities include developing higher order questions, creating rubric to assess students’ activities, and evaluating the outcomes of a project-based science activity. The training should focus on developing knowledge, understanding, awareness and affinity towards alternative assessments, such as creating portfolio and journal writing.

Most importantly, there should be a periodic needs assessment research on science teachers in terms of knowledge and skills. Such needs assessment would not only inform the development of an effective training program, but also to be able to keep pace with the ever-changing revision of the science curriculum. The cascade training model which is being practiced in Malaysia is good in principle. Nevertheless, in practical terms, not all the teachers have the opportunity to experience in-service training or professional development. Hence, the Ministry of Education should look for other alternatives in making sure that the attempt to effect large-scale change at the classroom level is achieved smoothly and successfully.

  1. (e)

    Upgrade science teachers’ ICT skills

Due to the rapid growth of today’s technology, science teachers should equip themselves with ICT skills to integrate ICT in their teaching process. For instance, the ICT integration in science teaching and learning includes the use of augmented reality, hologram and drones. The drone industry is expected to be a multi-billion industry in the future. Therefore, science teachers should prepare the students to be skilled workforce who are able to apply the drone technology in various fields. Technology integration in science learning has a potential to attract students to study Science. It also supports STEM’s main idea of innovation and technology (Barak, 2014). Furthermore, ICT is able to assist the teachers in providing the students with an effective and meaningful learning experience. As a result, ICT can enhance students’ engagement (Barak, 2014).

Despite the benefits of ICT integration in education, a study conducted by Sing and Chan (2014) identified that Malaysian teachers are still lack of skill to integrate ICT in their teaching. This situation occurred due to the inadequate training of integrating ICT in teaching (Sing and Chan 2014). In addition, a study conducted by Rosnaini and Mohd Arif (2010) identified that the pre-service teachers were exposed only to the theoretical aspect of ICT instead of its practical aspect during the teaching training. They continued to suggest that in order to improve the teachers’ ICT skills, emphasis of practical aspect of the ICT should be integrated into the science teachers’ education. Furthermore, the early exposure of pre-service teachers to the ICT integration would convince and better prepared the teachers on the importance of integrating ICT in teaching (Albirini, 2006).

Malaysia’s Education: Can It Get Worse? – Part 3

Reported by BBC’s News Asia

By Jennifer PakBBC News, Kuala Lumpur

Is Malaysia university entry a level playing field?

Mr Soh and Ms Hanie both applied to government-funded medical universities

Soh Boon Khang scored a perfect mark of 4.0 in his high-school exams.

He was confident that this grade would allow him to become the first doctor in his Chinese family. Mr Soh wanted to become a surgeon, specialising in oncology.

He applied to medical school but did not get a single offer from a government-funded university.

“I feel very frustrated and very sad. I cried three times because I used to believe that a diligent student who excelled at academics stood to get a chance,” he said.

Hanie Farhana, meanwhile, who achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 out of 4, was recently accepted into medical school.

She comes from the country’s Malay majority, also known as Bumiputera. Some of her non-Bumiputera friends who scored higher marks did not get into government-funded universities, she said.

Ms Hanie felt she was given advantages over other races, such as access to certain scholarships not available to non-Bumiputeras.

“It is stated in the social contract back to independence [from the British] that Malays get special privileges and rights, whereas the non-Malays have their citizenship,” she said, but added that she still worked hard and deserved her place.

‘Something broken’

Malaysia is made up of 60% Bumiputeras, 23% ethnic Chinese and 7% ethnic Indians, with the remainder made up of other races.

Since Bumiputeras traditionally lag behind in education and business, under national policies, they get cheaper housing, priority in government jobs and business licenses.

Malaysia also used to set ethnic quotas in government-funded universities to ensure that more Bumiputeras had access to higher education, but that system was abolished in 2002. Since then, Malaysia’s education ministry has said the system is based on merit.

Ethnic minorities dispute this. The academic year begins this month, and of the 41,573 places in government-funded universities available, 19% were awarded to ethnic Chinese and 4% to ethnic Indians. The rest of the seats were mainly allocated to Bumiputeras.

Senator Jaspal Singh, with the Malaysian Indian Congress, which is part of the governing Barisan Nasional coalition, described it as the most unfair and biased university intake for ethnic minorities in decades.

Mr Jaspal said records showed that the number of Indians who applied to government-funded universities had remained steady, but those who were offered a place had dropped by more than half compared to a decade ago under the racial quota system, where at least 8% of the public university intake were Indian.

Ethnic Chinese representatives report that their student intake went down by a third in the same period.

“This year’s intake resulted in many students with [perfect scores] of 4.0 cumulative grade point averages not getting courses of their choice, or worse, not being given places at all,” said Mr Jaspal. Something was broken in the system, he said.

Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan was unable to confirm or deny whether the number of Chinese and Indian students accepted into public university had gone down since 2002. But he told the BBC that this year’s figures alone showed that the system was based on merit.

“The success rate of the Chinese community in university is the highest in this country,” he said.

Mr Kamalanathan said of all Malaysians who applied to universities in the 2013-14 academic year, 76% of ethnic Chinese were successful compared to 72% of Bumiputeras. The success rate for ethnic Indians was 69%.

A poster showing Malaysia being a multi-racial country against the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia has 60% Bumiputeras, 23% ethnic Chinese and 7% ethnic Indians.

students were left out, he argued, because there was big competition
for a limited number of places on courses traditionally favoured by
ethnic Chinese and Indians. Government data showed that there were 10
applicants for each of the 119 spots in the dentistry programme this

Some students with perfect scores refused to be placed in programmes other than the ones they opted for, he added.

system is also not all based on academics, he said. Under the merit
system, a student’s academic marks account for 90% of the evaluation
while 10% is based extra co-curricular marks. A student could also be
rejected if they did not do well in a face-to-face interview with the
university administrators.

“The entire university intake issue in Malaysia has nothing to do with race,” he said.

is a statement that is not easy for Mr Kamalanathan to say, since he is
also part of the MIC party that Mr Jaspal belongs to – which is now
pushing for more transparency.

He said that the problem was
perception, and admitted that the ministry had not been forthcoming in
the past with figures of the racial breakdown in universities.

”Unfair platform”

But others argue that university entrance is an unfair playing field and racially segregated.

of the most popular pre-university courses are matriculation and STPM.
The former is in practice mainly reserved for Bumiputeras and can be
completed in under one year.

Most ethnic Chinese and Indians are
therefore limited to STPM, which takes almost two years and is seen as
more academically challenging because it is tied to the University of
Cambridge local examination syndicate and equivalent to British

The education ministry says the two programmes are comparable.

it’s already an unfair platform even before you apply for university,”
said Mr Chong.But Chong Sin Woon with the Malaysian Chinese Association
said there are big discrepancies in the marking system in pre-university
courses that has led to a widespread belief that the Chinese and
Indians have to work much harder to compete with the Bumiputeras for the
same university places.

As the party’s youth education bureau
chief, Mr Chong used to receive a couple of complaints from students who
achieved perfect marks but were not offered anything.

This year, the MCA said it received a record 19 cases, which is alarming for Mr Chong.

this year Prime Minister Najib Razak blamed his Malay-dominated
coalition’s weaker performance in the May general election on a “Chinese
tsunami” – Chinese voters deserted him to back the opposition.

lower number of Chinese in government-funded universities is perceived
by some as a backlash against the community, said Mr Chong.

MCA party, traditionally the voice of the Chinese community within the
governing coalition, lost half its seats in parliament. For the first
time since Malaysia’s independence from the British, the MCA has no
members in the cabinet.

Mr Najib has said he will help the
affected students, but did not address the underlying feeling of
discontent among the ethnic Chinese and Indians.

Mr Chong said the country needs to streamline pre-university exams for all races to create true meritocracy.

Otherwise they will leave, and they do, says Mr Chong. According to the World Bank, the ethnic Chinese make up the majority of the brain drain from Malaysia.

“The system should nurture talent,” he said. “Instead, we are creating generations of people who think that this country is unfair.”

Meanwhile, Mr Soh’s appeal against his university rejection is still pending with the government, but he has already decided to register in a private institution.

He said he is disappointed with the government-funded universities, saying the whole experience had made him question his love for the country.

“If I have offers from overseas for a job after graduation then I think I will leave the Malaysia because the country doesn’t appreciate me,” he said.

More on This Story

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Malaysia [Population education in countries of the region]

Bull Unesco Reg Off Educ Asia Pac
. 1982 Jun;(23):89-103.

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Although Malaysia has the potential to support a population of 50-70 million, its 1980 population size was only 13.4 million. If the current 2.6% annual growth rate persists, 50 million population will be attained by 2030. Population policy is aimed at lowering the rate of natural increase to 2% by 1985. Natural population growth is to be linked with national economic development to continue to improve the quality of life in Malaysia. An in-school population education project was established by the Ministry of Education in 1973 and will be implemented in 1982. The relationship between population growth and individual aspirations and national well-being will be stressed. Population education at the university level provides for both in-depth studies of population issues in development and planning and the training of community leaders in population communication and community development services. Nonformal education is also carried out in the rural areas where 75% of Malaysia’s population lives. Population education for the out-of-school sector stresses the relationships between family size and family welfare. Resource personnel at national, district, and local levels are selected from those already involved in community development programs and are given an orientation not exceeding 1 week. School teachers are provided with self-learning materials to enable them to assimilate curriculum material at their own pace. The various population education programs are linked at the national level through the National Family Planning Board. When population education was 1st introduced, it was misinterpreted as aimed only at limiting family size. Acceptance increased when program aims were clarified, as indicated by the increasing numbers of community and social development agencies that incorporate population education into their programs.

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    Hardjosawarmono S.
    Bull Unesco Reg Off Educ Asia Pac. 1982 Jun;(23):80-8.
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MeSH terms

  • Organization and Administration

Malaysia – Preprimary Primary Education – Schools, Students, School, and Secondary

In Malaysia, the preschool education, outside the home, begins at the age of four or five in kindergartens, which are run both by the government as well as nongovernmental agencies and the private sector. The Ministry of Education interferes the least at this level of education. It does provide broad guidelines in terms of a “curriculum,” teaching approaches and how to provide a “secure and stimulating environment” for preschool children, but it also allows considerable flexibility to the managements and teachers of such schools to make variation in the style and content of teaching. Such variation is specially allowed at the preschool and tertiary education (university education) levels. In 2000, there were 1,076 public kindergartens with 27,883 kindergarten students and 1,699 teachers. Additionally, there were 2,161 private kindergartens.

Education is provided free by the government. It is not compulsory. Yet, 99 percent of all six-year-olds attend the primary school and 92 percent of all students go on to the upper secondary schools. Sensitive to the multi-ethnic character of its population, Malaysia has set up two categories of schools: national schools and national-type schools. Schools of all levels operate on a semester system for a total of 41 weeks in a year. Because of a shortage of school space, some schools in urban centers operate in two shifts: morning and afternoon.

While most of the primary and secondary schools are run by the government, there is a growing number of private schools. They are becoming increasingly popular because they give students a greater degree of mobility. At any stage, they can opt out of the private schools and join the national schools and vice versa. Such private schools use either a Malaysian syllabus or one from an overseas school. Some private schools also offer a 2-year Sixth Form program which prepares the students for entry into local or foreign universities.

The Malaysian system of education comprises four levels: primary, lower secondary, upper secondary, and postsecondary schools. Parents are free to choose the type of school, national (Bahasa Melayu) or “nationalist-type” Chinese or Tamil. Students completing six years of primary education are automatically promoted to lower secondary level. Those from the “national-type” schools are required to spend a year in transition class in order to acquire sufficient knowledge of Bahasa Melayu to be able to follow the instruction at the lower secondary school level (or Form I as it is called), where the medium of instruction is only in the national language, Bahasa Melayu. At the primary level, the emphasis is on the acquisition of strong writing and reading skills as well as a good foundation of maths and basic sciences. Two assessment examinations at the end of the third and the sixth years enable an evaluation of the student’s performance. Those who perform extremely well at the third year examination are often allowed to skip the fourth year and go directly to the fifth year. The government also runs some residential schools providing a stimulating environment for some specially gifted students interested in specializing in sciences. In such schools, there are special facilities for students to cultivate fluency of English so that they are better able to assimilate advanced knowledge in science and technology. In 2000, there were 7,084 primary schools with 2,870,667 students and 150,681 teachers giving a teacher-student ratio of 1:19.

The Ministry of Education’s policy is to try to accommodate the particular needs of the visually and hearing impaired as well as of those with learning difficulties, within the mainstream school system. Special facilities may be given to some students for some time, but the goal is to integrate them in regular classes as early as possible. In 2000, there were 283 schools that were equipped with special facilities and qualified teaching staff to help integrate such children within the general school system. However, there were 31 “special education schools” for those who need more intensive and personal one-on-one care and attention and who cannot be integrated into the mainstream schools.

Malaysian students torn between staying safe from Covid-19 and getting an education, SE Asia News & Top Stories

KUALA LUMPUR – Eleven-year-old Hakim has not been to school since it was closed from October last year after a third wave of Covid-19 hit Malaysia.

Now he spends his days doing household chores in his family’s two-bedroom flat in Kuala Lumpur.

“We can’t afford to buy a new smartphone, let alone a tablet. I wish we could get even just a cheap tablet so he can join the online classes at his school,” his mother, Madam Liana Malik, told The Straits Times.

“He misses school and wants to be a good student as he feels it is a chance to improve our lives. But he finds it hard to catch up and revise on his own, and we don’t have a printer to print out worksheets sent by the teacher,” said the 44-year-old hotel worker.

Malaysia announced on Jan 2 that government schools will reopen as scheduled on Jan 20 despite new Covid-19 infections staying stubbornly high. The number of daily cases on Thursday (Jan 7) hit a new record high of 3,027 cases.

Parents and experts have differing views on whether pupils should return to classrooms, with some fearing outbreaks, while others welcoming a return to in-person learning, citing a lack of access to online learning and poor mental health.

Housewife Julia Muhamad, 40, from Selangor said: “I really want my kids to go back to school because they need social interaction. However, as a parent, I am not without worries. But we can’t live in fear forever and we need to try to resume a new normal life somehow.”

Publishing editor Joanne Lee, 38, who lives in Johor Baru, said: “I will be sending my son to school. Based on how they ran things last year, I have full confidence in their SOP (standard operating procedure). They are even stricter than I am at home.”

Bank executive Huang Paik Ling, 44, said her four children find it difficult to focus when learning online.

Aged between eight and 14 years old, they are easily distracted by each other, gadgets and pets at home. “They are physically present but their eyes are somewhere else,” she said.

“Their energy levels are perpetually high due to the lack of physical movement, so it becomes even more disruptive. At least in school, they need to walk between classrooms, hall and canteen.”

“I am also working from home, so it’s almost like having two jobs at one time,” she added.

On the other hand, housewife Rina Razali, 40, said she prefers to keep her children at home. “It feels a bit futile. I mean school reopens and then say there’s a case of someone with Covid-19. Then the school will have a total shutdown with the rest worrying sick if their kids may have been infected as well.”

The other worry is that reopening schools may further strain public hospital resources if there are outbreaks. The Health Ministry said this month it was mulling over home quarantine for asymptomatic cases as hospitals were dealing with a high number of cases.

Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar, a professor and director of the Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre at Universiti Malaya, said: “Before schools open, they should first do random samplings of children from the different parts of the country or states to determine the community transmission rates. If it is very low to low, perhaps then they can allow reopening, making sure of full compliance with the preventive measures.”

Professor Datuk Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, an epidemiologist with Universiti Malaya, said: “There should be a proper assessment of where schools and kindergartens can open and where they cannot, and where online learning needs to continue.”

He noted that there has been a “lost generation” this past year in terms of schooling and the level of education received by children in Malaysia has been unequal.

“Some children have managed to receive some online instruction, while there are many others who have not due to a lack of devices and patchy Internet access as well as a lack of online material suitable for the national curriculum.”

In the time that schools and kindergartens have been shut, a comprehensive plan should have been drawn up to address the issues surrounding schooling, he said.

“An online learning plan to enable students from lower-income families to continue online learning needs to be in place. Perhaps there should even be a scheme to loan laptops or tablets to schoolchildren who do not have such devices and for ensuring that low-income families get the Internet support they need,” he said.

National Union of the Teaching Professions secretary-general Harry Tan said parents and teachers need to work together to help students keep up with their studies, especially those who lack the means to follow lessons online.

“They could personally hand over learning materials, send recorded videos or even do correspondence learning,” he was quoted as saying by The Star yesterday. “Teachers are a creative lot and they adapted pretty quickly as they understood the need for change.”

The last time schools reopened in June, more than 700 schoolchildren contracted the virus. Schools were ordered to close from October as more districts were hit by a resurgence of Covid-19 infections stemming from the state-wide polls in Sabah in September.

Schools were previously closed in March, with classes going online for some. The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations, equivalent to the O levels, have been postponed several times, from last November to next month.

Inclusive Education into Mainstream Primary Education: A Comparative Study between Malaysia and Bangladesh | Hoque

Inclusive Education into Mainstream Primary Education: A Comparative Study between Malaysia and Bangladesh

Kazi Enamul Hoque, Mosa Fatema Zohora, Reazul Islam, Ahmed Abdullah Ali Al-Ghefeili


This study primarily attempts to compare primary education system between Bangladesh and Malaysia and then compares government initiatives of both countries to integrate special needs children into main stream primary education. Literature review and secondary data were used for this comparison. Findings show that student enrolment rate in both countries is almost same. But there are significant differences in the drop-out rate, infrastructure and government-budget. The percentage of boys’ enrolment is higher than girls’ in Malaysia but girls enrollment is a little higher in Bangladesh. Girls generally outperform boys in Malaysia but in Bangladesh boys perform better. Teachers-pupil ratio is 1:12.6 for Malaysia but it is very high 1:50 in bangladesh.  The Government of Malaysia has taken different measures such as incentives for special needs children and teachers as per head count, allocation of special budgets for facilities improvement and accomodation, supplying of available teachers and special needs students’ friendly infrastructure. In Bangldesh, the Government has made the policy and  instructed school management to be supportive towards special needs children. But the Government effort can be considered as planning stage rather than implementation. The Government is also planned to recruit teachers with special needs training but no effective initiative is visible.  Comparing to Malaysia, Bangladesh has to face many challenges to reach to the stage where Malaysia is now. The identified issues need further attention of the researchers and policymakers to be clarified.


Key words: inclusive education, Primary education, Malaysia



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Copyright (c) 2013 Kazi Enamul Hoque, Mosa Fatema Zohora, Reazul Islam, Ahmed Abdullah Ali Al-Ghefeili

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Monash University in Malaysia: programs, campus, affordable prices

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  • Monash Malaysia: Australian quality education and Malaysian living prices

Monash University is undoubtedly one of the flagships of Australian education. The university is included in the group of the best Australian universities in the Group of 8 and has repeatedly entered the top positions in the rankings of the best universities in the world. According to the Global Employability University Rankings, 2014 Monash University is the 33rd most popular university among employers worldwide.

However today Monash
it is not just a university, it is a large educational organization that
operates on 4 continents. One of the most popular among international students
branches of Monash University are located in Malaysia. Does this mean that in Malaysian
branch of the university you will receive the same quality education as in
Australian? Yes, definitely.

In Monash Malaysia on
today more than 6 thousand students study, 1.5 thousand of whom have arrived
from 72 different countries of the world.Malaysia is home to such a cosmopolitan
university: today in this country with a dynamically developing economy
representatives of different cultures interact with each other in business, industry,
entertainment and education every day.

Monash Malaysia
located just 20 kilometers from the capital and richest city of Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur. The campus of the university is equipped with the latest technology and created
for the most comfortable life for students.The campus is guarded around the clock and
is monitored by cameras, so even the most restless parents here
nothing to worry about.

Cost of living and
household expenses in Malaysia is one of the main advantages of Monash
Malaysia versus the Australian affiliate of the university. Australia is
one of the leaders in terms of living standards in the world, but this often means that
the cost of living there can be quite high. Malaysia has such a problem
in front of the students, no.Accommodation on campus, everything you need to study, as well as
entertainment and shopping on campus and in Kuala Lumpur will cost
much cheaper than on the green continent.

Australian Monash
University is renowned for its research throughout the world, and its “younger brother” in
Malaysia is trying to keep up. Monash Malaysia today conducts cutting-edge research in Advanced Engineering, Brain Research, Tropical
Medicine & Biology, Social & Economic Transformation in Asia and Halal Ecosystem.All these studies
are extremely important for Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region, therefore they
often supported by generous government grants.

More information:
Monash University Malaysia on our website

Related publications

90,000 Malaysia at a glance – BBC News Russian Service

Malaysia is one of the most economically active countries in Southeast Asia, the result of decades of industrial growth and political stability.

Many ethnic groups and religions are represented in the country. The majority of the population is Muslim. The Chinese diaspora occupies a strong position in the country’s economy.


The country consists of two parts, between which the South China Sea stretches for a thousand kilometers. Administratively, Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories.

With its beautiful beaches and scenic landscape, Malaysia is one of the main tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.In the dense jungles of the eastern states of Sarawak and Sabah, on the island of Borneo, rare species of wild animals and centers of traditional tribal culture of the aborigines lurk.

Malays make up about 60 percent of the country’s population, Chinese 26 percent, the rest of the population is Indians and representatives of various indigenous tribes. All of these communities live together in relative harmony, with different ethnic groups rarely mixing.

Although Malays have been granted special privileges in business, education and government service since 1971, the economy is still dominated by the Chinese, the wealthiest ethnic group.The country’s political life is dominated by the Malays, while the Indians are among the poorest segments of society.

Malaysia has fairly good economic prospects, despite fierce competition from neighboring countries, as well as China and India.

Free trade negotiations with the United States are under way, but the United States has said it will not be able to conclude an agreement in 2007 because the United States and Malaysia were unable to reach an agreement on time before President Bush’s mandate to develop trade under the procedure expired in June 2007. ” fast track “.

Malaysia is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of computer hard drives, palm oil, rubber and timber. The country is releasing its “national” car model – Proton. The potential of the tourism business is also far from being exhausted.

At the same time, Malaysia faces a serious political problem – how to maintain stability in the face of growing religious divisions and huge differences in living standards between different ethnic groups. The ecological problem of preserving valuable forests also requires a solution.

Overseas have raised criticism of human rights violations in Malaysia. The country’s internal security legislation allows suspects to be detained without trial or investigation.

  • Official name: Federation of Malay
  • Population: 90,025 27.5 million (UN data, 2009)
  • Capital: Kuala Lumpur
  • Area: 329 847 sq km
  • Main languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese dialects, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam
  • Main religions: Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism
  • Life expectancy: 90,025 72 years (male.), 77 years (female)
  • Currency: 1 ringgit = 100 sen
  • Main export items: 90,025 electronics, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, chemicals, palm oil, timber and timber, rubber, textiles
  • Average annual income per capita: $ 6,970 (World Bank data, 2008)
  • Internet domain: .my
  • International dialing code: +60

Idris Yala.Fostering a new culture of public administration. Example Malaysia

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Idris Yala. Fostering a new culture of public administration. Example of Malaysia // PUBLIC SERVICE,

2015, No.5 (97)


Idris Yala , Minister of the Government of Malaysia, Director General of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) (3rd Floor, East Block of the Federal Government Building, 62502, Putrajaya).E-mail: [email protected]

Annotation : The article is devoted to the Malaysian experience of fostering a new culture of public administration and was prepared on the basis of the speech of Idris Yala, Minister of the Government of Malaysia, General Director of PEMANDU, at an event with the participation of members of the Government of the Russian Federation “Modern management technologies and their use in public administration reform” on the campus of the Sberbank Corporate University in May 2015.

Keywords : public administration, management culture, Malaysia

In May 2015, the Sberbank Corporate University campus hosted an event entitled “Modern management technologies and their use in public administration reform”, which was attended by members of the Government of the Russian Federation.Within its framework, the Minister of the Government of Malaysia, General Director PEMANDU Idris Yala made a speech.

With the publication of this speech, the “State Service” magazine opens a new ruble, where lectures by renowned specialists in the field of management will be presented.

Three Questions from the Prime Minister

In 2009, the government in Malaysia was headed by the new Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak [1].Discussing the problems of the economy with experts, he asked himself what are the main problems of the country, why is it stuck in the middle income trap [2]? Previously, our economy grew very quickly, but suddenly this growth stopped.

Another acute question was why young people, talented people leave politics, do not believe in changes?

Finally, the third was the question of citizens’ support to government bodies, why people are not happy, what is the reason for the low incomes of workers.

As part of that discussion, we realized that the governments that succeeded one another did not succeed in doing three things for a long time.

First, there was no concentration of efforts on solving specific and fundamentally important areas of activity. They strove to do a lot of things and scattered their efforts. The budget was also diffused, so the costs of implementing certain decisions did not give results.

Second, the proposed policy measures that were divorced from practice, remained at the height of “30 thousand.feet above the ground. ” It was a colossal challenge for civil servants to “convert” this policy into real goals and objectives. But the civil service is always concerned with the details.

There are many civil servants in Malaysia – 1.4 million people. Due to the fact that politics remained uncoordinated, frozen at some high level, decisions were made in management inconsistently, without linking with what is happening in society, without understanding people’s needs.

Third, there was a vague responsibility in the civil service and in politics.People were not forced to account for a specific outcome. We did not reward people for high results or ask them for low results.

Najib Tun Razak began to implement radical changes.

Reform methodology

To transform Malaysia, to accelerate the transition to the next level of development, we could not work as before. By that time, the economy had been stagnating for five years in our country. The government has developed a new methodology for overcoming negative trends.It consisted of eight consecutive steps.

First step: Government field sessions to set strategic priorities. The prime minister, his deputy, and all cabinet ministers began to gather at special offsite working meetings.

We held five such meetings over the weekend, where we discussed and identified the key priorities for the country.

When we first proposed to hold meetings, the cabinet ministers greeted it with the words that there would be a lot of one day to discuss problems, they were sure that they already knew the answers to all the questions and could give these answers within five minutes.

But when we analyzed the country’s budget, we realized that it is not allocated in accordance with priorities. And then we forced the ministers to redirect funds from less important areas to significant, priority ones.

Interestingly, at the first retreat, everyone agreed on a list of priorities. But as soon as we decided that on the basis of this we would take away the budget from some of the cabinet members, we saw that no one had a desire to agree with such an approach. Correlation between budget and these priorities was very difficult.

Second step: laboratories. After agreeing on national priorities, the Government moved to a laboratory approach.

The most competent, respected specialists from the civil service and the private sector were brought together. We sat them in one room, closed this room and threw away the key, forcing them to seriously work on analyzing the problems of Malaysia. I really like the song “Hotel California” by the “Eagles” group, and there is this line: “You can check out at any time, but you cannot leave the hotel” [3].This is exactly the approach we applied to our experts.

The power industry, it was understandable, did not get enough oil and gas from old fields, we had acute problems with power supply. The question to oil and gas specialists, including representatives of the National Oil Company, British Petroleum, was simple: “What do we need to do in this sector in order to produce more hydrocarbons and generate more profit?”

I asked a similar question to my friend Mr. Lee Kuan Yew [4]: ​​“Why Singapore has no oil and gas at all, has the largest oil refinery in Asia? Why is Singapore, which is devoid of fossils, the largest regional petrochemical complex? Why is there the largest oil trader in the region? “

And the answer was this. The Singaporean oil companies in negotiations with the government promised: “We will build the largest petrochemical complex, but from you,” Mr. government “, we need three thousand acres of land, from you,” Mr. government “, we need permission to landfill waste, from you,” Mr. government “, we need to build a road to and from you,” Mr. government, we need the organization of power supply. ”

This is exactly what we did in our laboratories. We discussed and made decisions on how to build the road, how to establish electricity supply.Today our terminal is already in operation. In two years, it will be a major petrochemical center.

We have seen that laboratories are an example of a new way of working, based on cooperation, where experts, together with government representatives, are able to focus on a real problem and find effective solutions together in a very short period of time.

Third step: public discussion of the results. Upon completion of the work of these laboratories, and in parallel there were several such “think tanks”, we shared the results, specific proposals with the public.This was unusual for Malaysia.

We invited opposition parties, representatives of professional communities – taxi drivers, teachers, priests and asked them: “If you think that our ideas are bad, then give us good ideas. If you think these ideas are good, support them. ”

The leader of the opposition then made a statement: “For the last ten years this is what I have been striving for.”

In Malaysia, a draft budget is presented to parliament. The members of the opposition, when they saw that the public fully supported our work, couldn’t say “no” when introducing the budget.Why? Because it was clear that if they said no to such a budget, it would turn out that they would say no to the entire public that supported our proposals. As a result, we received very good support from the opposition, because its representatives understood that the public would follow us.

Fourth step: We have published a document called the Malaysia Transformation Roadmap. This is a very large document. The preparation of this publication was not easy, because there has never been such a document in the history of our country, in which all the promises that the government made to the country would be written in great detail.

For example, the Minister of Health of Malaysia prescribed absolutely everything that he promised to do every day to improve the situation with hospitals and drug supply. The Minister of Transport presented in detail what will be the construction of new high-speed communication systems, etc. Thanks to this, it was easy to check later on how the work was going, and if the minister was not able to fulfill his promises, then he had problems.

In the document, we said that we are ready to take responsibility for the results of management or their absence.

We tried to inform everyone about our plans. We have made our 600-page document available throughout Malaysia to let people know about our promises. Malaysians are very hardworking, they can read. Nevertheless, for the lazy, we made a squeeze of thirty pages. And for the laziest, a video was prepared for six minutes. No one was left with a choice: everyone was informed about our plans.

Step five: KPIs. But we didn’t stop there.We needed to turn all the promises in the Roadmap into KPIs (KPIs) – key performance indicators, so that we can then measure the results obtained by them. And thanks to the introduction of KPIs, these promises had to be fulfilled every day, every week.

Sixth step: Regular debriefing sessions. Monthly Steering Committee meetings have begun to address the challenges of implementing the promises in the Roadmap.

We made a special iPad app, all ministers got iPads, and every Friday at 17.00, thanks to the application, they could see their score, a performance assessment for the week: how they worked for a week, what they did.

We joked about this: “Why Friday? Because if they didn’t work well during the week, then we would ruin their day off. ” The prime minister commented: “If you have done a poor job, you will not have a day off.”

One of the ministers had a red light – this was the failure to fulfill specific promises. The red light was on for two weeks, and the Prime Minister asked: “Why was it not done for two weeks?”After he sent this mail, the next day, and it was Saturday, all the ministers had to meet again to discuss the situation.

Over time, a completely new behavior of members of the government has developed. Leadership is a matter of how to change behavior at lower levels of government. Sometimes they say: “If the leader coughs, then the cough below, at the lower levels of management, increases to a thunderous.” Something similar began to happen with us.

Seventh step: an independent annual audit of the results achieved. At the end of each year, we achieved some results, we wanted to be confirmed on the basis of an independent assessment. Therefore, we conducted an audit. We wanted these to be not falsified results, but those that reflect the real state of affairs.

We invited a special company to conduct an audit, assembled an international commission, which began to analyze the results of our work and check their reliability. This commission included experts from the IMF and the World Bank.

Step eight: upon completion of the audit, we prepared an annual report. The public was informed about the points that our ministers received. We showed both the ministers themselves and the public who did what exactly and who did not do what exactly. All this has been made public and presented on our website.


We have an Economic Transformation Program (ETP). As part of the discussion of these transformations, cluster and industry meetings of specialists, business representatives, and government representatives were held.We also invited the public to a meeting on tourism issues, for example, in which the most competent experts and decision-makers took part.

The question was: “How can the tourism industry in Malaysia be improved? What do we need to do for this? ”

And immediately more than specific problems arose, in particular – why is it difficult for tourists to go through passport and customs control at the airport? Why is there so much bureaucracy? How to speed up the process of passing control? The representatives of the customs and migration service who were present at the meeting were not only supposed to answer this question, but also to eliminate the shortcomings in a short time.

And when solving other problems, we followed a similar path: we simplified procedures – everything that could be simplified.

As a result of these meetings, we have formed 133 large projects, we named them key projects. They became catalysts for the rest of the economy.

And ultimately the big goal of all these changes was set: in five years to double income, double investment, double employment, high-paying employment. We decided to increase the gross national income per capita to 15 thousand.dollars a year. We have planned to attract $ 44 billion of private investment to the country’s economy. The Chinese, however, do not like the number “4”, so we gave the Chinese this figure not in dollars, but in ringgits [5].


In addition to economics, of course, attention was also drawn to social issues.

Crime . People in Malaysia are very concerned about the crime situation. She grew every year – from 2006 to 2009.

But as a result of our work, we were able to reduce the crime rate by 40%. How did we do it? Of course, we brought in an expert. We brought in a knowledgeable expert from the New York Police Department and together with him analyzed all types of crime in Malaysia.

Here’s what this analysis gave: Crime in Malaysia is very “tied” to areas. We made a crime map, and it became clear that 70% of crimes are committed in just 25 crime centers.Then the question was natural: if there are only 25 such centers, then why are there not enough police officers there? Why is there a lot of police throughout the country, but in these 25 centers there is not enough of it?

That is, the only thing we did was just redistribute the police forces. They took police officers from some sections of the country and put them on these sections, a kind of hot spots. And six months later, the situation there radically changed. The criminals got smarter, they realized that they needed to go to other parts of the country.As they left, we analyzed the data and redistributed the police force. Ultimately, they turned the tide.

Corruption . In laboratories, we have developed a lot of recommendations to reduce corruption in Malaysia. For the first time, we have proposed a draft law on the protection of persons who report corruption to the authorities – be it a government official or a private sector employee. You can, roughly speaking, snitch – no one will know who you are, because you are protected from civil and criminal liability.

We have created a procedure for “naming and shaming” all those who are caught in corruption. They began to announce the revealed facts of corruption, about those who were convicted of corruption crimes, publish the names of these people on the Internet. And they even got such an unexpected effect: if a Malaysian applies for an American visa, the US Embassy now first of all checks on our portal if this person is on the list of corrupt officials. If you’re on this list, don’t worry, you won’t go to America.

We have set up special courts just to deal with corruption. Why? We knew from experience that it sometimes took up to ten years to consider these cases, during which time many of the witnesses simply stopped coming to court sessions. Therefore, we have freed up a certain number of courts only for cases of corruption, in order to increase the effectiveness of the fight against it. And the situation has improved significantly.

Cost of living . Another big issue is that everyone is very concerned about why the cost of living in Malaysia is rising.Everyone really wants to do everything necessary to reduce the cost of living in our country. And this has become one of the key areas of development.

In the laboratory, it was proposed, in particular, to reduce the cost of living by allocating land for the construction of mass trade supermarkets at affordable prices. And we began to build stores where prices are 15-30% lower than in ordinary stores. As a result, the government reached the point where food and goods began to be delivered to these stores without intermediaries, and prices dropped to their minimum values.We began to extend this mechanism to all other stores.

There are many rural residents in Malaysia. Previously, we simply did not have enough attention for those who do not live in the city. Now we have redirected a lot of budget funds to the development of rural infrastructure. Over the past five years, we have built a large number of roads and supplied electricity to many regions. How important it was, I know personally, because I come from a very small tribe – only five thousand people in my tribe.

As a result of all these measures, the lives of people in the countryside have improved significantly, the farms produce and sell their products at good prices.

Public transport. We had a lot of problems with public transport. People complained about the lack of punctuality of the railway service. Even in laboratories, radical solutions were demanded. And we have resorted to radical solutions. We carried out a new bus service, reduced the congestion of city centers, organized a bus service for free in the central area – we have only three buses there.And, oddly enough, they got the benefit. People no longer use taxis, they use free public transport. As a result, the roads were unloaded.

True, the taxi drivers were on strike, they lost their jobs. But the central business district used to be completely busy, now it is suitable for normal life.

Much attention was paid to the train schedule. The accuracy of railway communication has increased up to 90%, and earlier it was 60%. If the train is more than 30 minutes late, you can compensate yourself for the ticket price.This is a very serious factor. He encouraged carriers to adhere to the timetable.

Targeted support for the poor. There was a lot of concern that the state is not helping the poor. Many decisive steps have been taken in this area. First of all, we registered really poor people, we began to get to know these people, we recognized all of them by name, we began to understand where they live, why they found themselves in such a situation, and began to give them a certain amount of money, but on the condition that the monthly benefits will be linked to the poverty alleviation program.

First, we helped these people find work in the city. Secondly, we began to provide the opportunity to engage in more advanced agriculture. Thirdly, they began to attract them to the service sector, tourism. If people did not do this, the money was confiscated from them.

The first year of the program was successful. Household income began to rise, and it continues to this day. And here’s what is interesting: if in general, household income growth was at the level of 8%, then for the poor, this indicator was at the level of 9.5%.

A revolution in schools. Society is also concerned about what is happening in the field of education. Another challenge we faced was to improve the quality of schools in Malaysia. We have 10 thousand schools: secondary and primary.

Laboratories analyzed their work, found out which ones are better and which ones are worse. This analysis took three weeks. Academic performance over the past 10 years was taken as an indicator. This work was not without risk: we were told that if we declare some school in this ranking as the last, ten thousandth, then everyone will scatter from it, and the influx will be in the best schools.

But when we published our rating, a phenomenal thing happened: both the government and society realized that if the quality of education deteriorates, it means that we simply do not use a sufficient number of good teachers in those schools where it is acute required. And we started taking teachers from good schools and transferring them to not very good schools.

As a result, the number of good schools has increased significantly over the past four years. The number of bad schools has dropped.A quiet revolution is taking place in the education system in Malaysia. And all thanks to the fact that practical work is underway on the ground.

GDP / GNI per capita, income growth. If we had not taken transformational measures, we would not have reached high income indicators, as planned by 2020. But our GDP grew by 8% per year, and we are confident that the set parameters will be achieved on time. We were extremely worried about this, because at first private investment grew by only 5.5%.However, after we launched the economic transformation program, the private sector doubled investment. Business believed in the government.

Private sector investment has been on a record every year since 2011. Private investment is the most important indicator for the economy, because if it grows, the number of people employed and jobs grows, and people are satisfied with the work of the government.

Over the past five years, we have managed to create 1.8 million new jobs, and if you live in a country with a population of about 30 million and create 1.8 million new jobs, then people like it.Moreover, what is important, these are highly paid jobs.

In addition, if private investment rises, then the government receives even more revenue. When the government receives new revenue, then it can do more for its citizens.

World Bank and WEF rating. As you know, the World Bank rating is conducted to determine the ease of doing business: out of 189 countries, Malaysia is now in 18th place. In 2014, the World Bank claimed that Malaysia was ranked 60th, but then the ranking methodology was changed, and we were in 20th place.So, over the course of several months, this indicator has also been improved: from 20th place last year, they moved to 18th this year.

We have moved up to 12th place in the Competitiveness Index. This is a very good indicator.

As we began our transformation, we were seriously concerned that Malaysia could have the effect of a booming economy, with the rich getting richer and the poor poorer. This inevitably leads to internal conflicts. But thanks to our efforts to address this risk as well, the World Bank has recognized that Malaysia has virtually escaped poverty during this period.The Asian Development Bank claims that over the past four years, our country has been able to advance more than others in getting rid of poverty – our poverty has decreased by 55.3%. The Philippines managed to achieve a reduction of only 2.5%, in Indonesia – by 6% and by 5% in Vietnam.

Stability. We all know: you can achieve impressive results, but how to keep them for a long time, how to turn the achievements into positive development trends?

In 2009, we had a large budget deficit.We have spent too much money on government programs – more than our income. Therefore, the budget deficit in 2009 was in the red by 70%. However, in each subsequent year we were able to reduce this deficit, and, ultimately, we reduced it to minus 3.2%. And there are no secrets here: it is extremely important to use budgetary discipline within the framework of the activities of any government. If there is no discipline, then the long-term viability of a country’s economy will be at stake. Every year we have achieved high levels of budget profitability.Earlier, the profitability of our budget increased at a rate of 6.3% per year. And after we went through the transformation, budget revenues more than doubled – by 11.9%.

Public debt It is known that if the public debt in relation to GDP exceeds 100% and if the deficit is worse than 8%, then the country is “in a sovereign crisis.” This is what we see in Greece, Japan and some other countries. Japan’s debt is 198% of GDP. In the United States, this debt is high.The situation was similar in Malaysia. However, already in the second year after we carried out the necessary activities, a shift began. We have entered the “green zone” of economic development. A special law was adopted that we do not take loans, that government debt should not exceed 65% of GDP.

How to achieve this?

When we began to receive positive results, many countries, mainly from Africa, began to contact us with a request to share their experience. They were very interested in our methodology.We worked together with McKinsey [6] and repeated our path once more – this time in Tanzania. We went with a whole team to this African country, consistently took the same steps there, and the results were amazing.

We brought our experience to India, to the state of Kharazhra, where 10 million people live. We worked with McKinsey in South Africa, where we set up laboratories.

Scientists at Harvard University have recognized our work, are studying our experience. Princeton University conducted two studies.Michael Bloomberg [7] was very kind to my PEMANDU team, saying that the Malaysian government is among the twenty most innovative governments in the world.

What, in my opinion, should be taken into account when borrowing our experience? Governments spend a lot of time thinking and planning strategies, but very often they have little time to implement their plans. What are we doing in our Malaysian government according to this new method? We spend very little time building a strategy; it can be copied from other countries, because it is the same everywhere.

It is important to spend more time on the implementation plan for this to work. I have already spoken about my idea of ​​”30 thousand feet above the ground” – it is difficult to descend from the heights of strategy to the implementation of a practical program, which is somewhere at a height of 3 feet.

Let me give you a simple example. What does 30 thousand feet mean? What does 3 feet mean? Let’s say we have a plan – to have a cup of tea with you at 12.30 pm. This is such a strategic intention. But this strategy is at 30,000 feet. If this is brought closer to the level of 3 feet, then it means that someone has to take the kettle, go to the tap, turn on the tap – because if you don’t turn on the tap, then the water will not flow.And when the kettle is full, turn off the tap, come back and insert the plug into the outlet – because if you don’t turn on the electricity, the water won’t boil. And the next stage – if it boils, you have to bring the cup to the kettle, add, say, coffee, then take a cup of coffee, bring it, put it, then bring sugar, also a spoon, and look at the clock. It’s already 12.30. These 13 steps are not one step.

And the problem with government work is that we always only talk about the first step – 12.30 let’s have a cup of coffee. You have to “translate” this into 13 steps that must be performed.

Another example. We are trying to clean up the river that flows through the city center of Kuala Lumpur. A very polluted river. The water quality corresponds to the fourth class – extremely poor. Today we are cleaning the river. Do you know how many government agencies are involved in cleaning up the river? 40 agencies. And if you don’t tell every government agency how to “make a cup of coffee,” what their role is, then for many weeks you won’t be able to get clean water out of them.That is why in laboratories we broadcast the strategy from 30 thousand feet to 3 feet in every little detail: so that we can clearly distribute the activities that should be carried out, so that the people responsible for these activities are known by name.

If someone is not doing something, we meet regularly at our headquarters to review the situation. Let’s say we have a project that doesn’t deliver the desired results within six months. We turn to the leading minister and invite him to fill out a very simple form: who in the ministry is preventing this process from taking place? Enter the name of this person.And specifically the reason why this person is interfering with the project. And then we will submit it to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister – everyone is in the same room and participates in the discussion. Our practice has shown that just one request to fill out this form led to the solution of 60% of the problems, that is, it never came to a common meeting. Because no one wants to come to such a meeting and say: “The problem is in me.” This is why the method by which people change behavior is so important.

When we started our transformation, we were convinced that constant contact with the public was necessary. Both our opponents and our supporters then said: “For the first time in the history of Malaysia, people are fully aware of what the government is doing.” For the first time in history! For fifty years no one knew what the government was doing. And now the public said, “Finally, our government is talking about serious things. It gives us promises. And we now know how to hold him accountable. ”

Transparency is highly valued by the public and there is a very strong appreciation from citizens.If you do not do this, then instead of praise, you will get only blasphemy. The public only trusts you when you honestly and frankly say: “Yes, I have achieved this, but, excuse me, I have not achieved this, but I am going to do this and that to change the situation.”

At the end of the year, the Prime Minister will be able to assess the performance of all ministers. In order for this to be realized, the results of the ministries’ activities are summed up every week. Once every six months, three people get together: the Prime Minister, the minister and I, the CEO of PEMANDU, and consider the report on the minister’s work over the past six months, the indicators – what has been achieved and what has not.And then the Prime Minister writes a letter to the Minister: “Dear So-and-so. I like that you managed to achieve this, I do not like that you did not, and I want you to pay more attention to this in the next six months. ”

And this is an extremely effective way to change behavioral attitudes.

After the speech, Idris Yala answered questions from the audience.

Question: Role of PEMANDU – Facilitation [8] ? PEMANDU helps ministers to create plans with KPIs or, based on your methodology, are they obliged to do this on their own?

Idris Yala: We are organizing a seminar for cabinet members, we organize so-called laboratories.Ministries delegate their very best key experts to such laboratories. We also involve experts from the private sector.

We formulate the problem facing the government in this particular area, and we ask all these specialists to analyze the problem, give us advice on how to solve it.

On my team, we are facilitating so that people come up with the right answer.

In the case of Malaysia, we found that people already knew the solution.But the most difficult thing is to come to this specific decision within the framework of teamwork. Therefore, in laboratories we carry out just such a team work in one and a half to two months.

My job is only facilitation, leading ministers and ministries have to come up with their own solution.

I am convinced that if you carry out this kind of work here in Russia, then you will also find people who have suggestions on how to solve this or that problem, but the task is to find these people, bring them together, discuss the problem and work out common decision.

Question: Where are the deputy prime ministers in the cabinet members’ assessment system? What work are they being judged for?

Idris Yala: There is only one Deputy Prime Minister in Malaysia. He has his own scorecard. If he shows a bad result, then not only himself, but also the Prime Minister is in trouble.

My performance as a PEMANDU leader is the average of all ministries.If all the ministers are bad, then I’m in trouble.

In the first year, our Deputy Prime Minister chaired each monthly quarterly results meeting. He participated in a meeting with specific ministers to make sure that there is progress.

Question: How many people do you have in PEMANDU?

Idris Yala: 140 employees.

Question: Did you take as a basis and adapted what was done in the delivery unit by Tony Blair [9] , or did you make such a system completely yourself?

Idris Yala: In 2009 I was the CEO [10] of Malaysia Airlines.I was invited to help the government think of new approaches. At that time Michael Barber [11] was working for T. Blair in the delivery unit, we took a lot from him and adapted it.

It is important not to take every last screw from the experience of other countries, it is necessary to adapt everything to your conditions. We listen to other people’s experience, we learn from this.

We are doing similar work for Tanzania. I have a team of 24 people who is there on a permanent basis. Tanzania is adapting our experience.

Question: How to define priorities and KPIs? In real life, there are not enough resources for everything.Strategy is not what you are going to do, but what you are not going to do. How do you deal with goals that are necessary, but which you have to give up in order to achieve other, even more necessary goals? How do you explain this and do you explain it to people and to each other?

Idris Yala: How did we do?

  1. We are conducting a very detailed survey of the population.

We did it at the beginning of 2009, when we asked citizens: what are the development priorities of our country, in your opinion?

A serious public opinion survey was carried out, which indicated that the most important priorities are fighting crime, fighting corruption, developing agricultural infrastructure, improving the functioning of urban transport, overcoming poverty, and improving the education system.This was pointed out by the citizens themselves.

When the public pointed to just such a list of priorities, we asked ourselves what the lower priority areas were, and then we changed the budget: we took money from less priority areas and sent them to higher priority areas.

And this is very important. This is why the Cabinet Seminar was very important. We couldn’t move on until this issue was resolved. I absolutely agree with you that it is impossible to move forward until the entire cabinet of ministers agrees on priorities.But you must address this issue first to the citizens.

  1. We also assessed media reports: we took all the articles that were published in the mainstream media over the past six months and analyzed them.

When we started to figure it out, we realized that everyone was writing about the same thing, which was already reflected in the public opinion poll: concern about corruption, crime, public transport, the situation of low-income families, education. The noise in the media and social networks was clearly in line with the results of the public opinion survey.

We have an exercise, it has a model that describes everything that an economy is: GDP across all sectors of the economy, inflation rates, government debt, and fiscal revenue. We are gathering ministers to play a game: what will you do if you become the Prime Minister? What will you do with taxes and revenue collection?

Our Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Central Bank and Minister of Finance were sitting at the same table at the seminar.In this exercise, they drove the country into bankruptcy in five years because they were trying to be popular and there was no money to do it.

Hence the conclusion: if you invest money in a large number of popular things, then you can quickly reduce the country to zero.

This game that we played was an occasion to communicate, to give our ministers a certain understanding of the problems, to find new ways of making decisions that would move us in the right direction, avoiding what is essentially wrong.

Question: When you started this program in 2009, what was the perception of the program at the second and third levels of bureaucracy? How many officials in the state apparatus have been rotated?

Idris Yala: This is a fundamental question. We made a conscious decision – we will not expel anyone, we did not want to expel anyone from the government and did not want to rotate anyone at that moment.

We wanted to try to encourage government officials to prioritize laboratories and assign new responsibilities.

But we said to ourselves, we will not force everyone to agree to this work, to force it to do it. We just wanted to move very fast forward, and within six months we started to move. The trick was precisely to move faster than people can begin to resist this movement. The slower you move, the faster people start to resist. If you achieve results in the first six months, everyone will follow you. If it takes two months to reach a consensus, no one will do anything.This is called creating a “coalition of the willing”.

The team needs to be set in motion quickly. But as soon as the process starts and comes to real results, immediately you give the tools to people.

Leadership at the beginning of such a transformation is very necessary, realistic, strong-willed leaders are needed. Leadership must vary in style. People need to be given more authority as the process gets started. It all depends on the phase.

We didn’t want to create a mood for anyone so that they would go into opposition.We told and invited.

Now there are 140 people in my team at PEMANDU. There are 1.4 million civil servants in our country, and they all support us because they like the results.

And here’s another thing to clearly understand: when you organize a unit like mine, this analogue of PEMANDU should never claim merit for results, because civil servants will not like it. You need to understand: politicians get awards, civil servants, ministers, and so on. People like me shouldn’t be rewarded for this.Otherwise, it will turn out that we take away the results from people. And it is very important that civil servants should be credited with these results.

Question: Why can’t the status of your body be given to one of the existing ministries? 140 people – “superfluous”.

Idris Yala: A lot of problems in the existing ministries are of a cross-cutting nature. They are not localized in one ministry, so if you allow only one ministry to do this, then 60% of the problems will turn out to be cross-cutting and difficult to solve.I have already said: if you need to clean one river, then several departments will simultaneously deal with this.

The problem is communication.

We took 40 ministries, put them in a laboratory, forced them to make a decision together. If the ministries themselves began to deal with this separately, then everyone would make separate plans that would not be related to each other. A lot of people would work without result.

Coordination, in our opinion, effective coordination only works when you link people together to come up with a solution.

Let me give you an example with Malaysian Airlines. When I was hired as CEO in 2005, there was only 2.5 billion in cash. If we did not have changes in business in two months, we would have a situation where we would have to land all the planes, because there would be nothing to pay salaries with. We had to quickly change the work of Malaysia Airlines, otherwise we simply would not have a company.

We made the same laboratories, analyzed everything, identified the reasons for burning money.They made 2,000 redundancies, sold the headquarters, transferred everyone to airports, radically improved management. And within six months we had a profit. By the end of the year, we went to zero. A year later, we had a net profit for the first time in a fifteen-year history.

What have we found? In Malaysia Airlines, different industries, departments did not work with each other to manage the company.

Let me give you an example: tomorrow there is a flight from Kuala Lumpur to London, and there is one free seat. Who will you sell this place to? A person who wants to buy a place from Tokyo because he will fly by Tokyo Airlines from Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur and fly to London? Or will you sell it to someone in Sydney or Manila? Or someone from Jakarta? There will be very different yields.If a person buys a ticket in Jakarta, then there will be the lowest price. Tokyo will be in the first place in terms of profitability. Who will you sell to? The one who comes first, or the one who is the dearest? How did we do it? Two weeks before the sale, I close the remaining seats. I open these places to people from Tokyo, then Sydney and Adelaide. This is a concrete example of individual employee profitability management. If I cannot control the remaining free seats on a particular flight, then I will not be able to earn money.This is what we did. This is an absolutely correct example.

And as soon as you start making money, people start to be proud of the way they work. And this is the key to further success. If you give people the opportunity to be proud of their work, they begin to do it with inspiration. When you win, everyone wants to play for the winning team. Therefore, it is necessary to create this culture of winning, then more people will come to you.

Question: We are familiar with the Singapore experience.Ministers in Singapore have no plans and no performance indicators. When you started this program, did you analyze the experience of this country and why did you choose a completely different model?

Idris Yala: Yes, we looked at the Singapore model.

That’s why we didn’t use it: Singapore is a small city, it’s not a country, they don’t have problems of territorial division into rural areas. If we followed the Singapore model, there would be a lot of resistance: “They have a small country, they don’t have such complexity of problems.”Therefore, we did not follow their path.

We in Malaysia realized that our problem is implementation, implementation.

Singapore has a very narrow combat-ready group, they control everything anyway. And there was Lee Kuan Yew, who was a very strong leader. There, a lot of decisions were made from top to bottom, at the top.

In Malaysia, the situation is completely different. We have a lot of delegated powers: we have states, local municipalities. It was very important that we find a new mechanism for cooperation.

Question: You said that, starting the transformation, you decided not to fire your employees and work with the same people. Are you proceeding from the premise that any person can be re-educated, forced to work, weaned from corruption within the framework of established performance indicators? Still, there should be selection? Are you getting rid of low-quality government workers? Not getting rid of? How does this happen? Is there competition?

Idris Yala: I have been working in the private sector for a very long time.At Shell, Malaysia Airlines. If you don’t get results there, you get kicked out.

The government told me: “Idris, you are not a politician, we do not like this approach, let’s not fire anyone.” We had a discussion, we collectively made this decision. And here’s why: it would be very unpopular, no one wanted to do this – fire people.

I was told: “Idris, let’s lead the civil service in such a way that we will be supported.” And we did just that. If it were the private sector, we would take very tough measures.

Question: Could you tell us about the work of your laboratories, how the interaction with the ministries was structured. How long have people from ministries worked in laboratories?

Idris Yala: We had a crime laboratory. This laboratory was headed by a deputy minister. There was one person from my team. There were consultants from McKinsey. In total – 60 people, including from the police, municipalities, etc.e. There were a lot of ideas.

Every day the Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who was in charge of the police, went to the laboratory when he could, but did not sit there all the time. He could ask questions, speak, give his recommendations. Other ministry staff were invited to work in the laboratory on schedule to contribute. There was such a syndication process where separate sessions were organized with these specialists to test the ideas already proposed and throw in new ideas.

So people worked very hard.At the end of the laboratory’s work, there was one day when no one slept at all. We worked all night until 6 in the morning, because the Prime Minister was supposed to come at 8 in the morning and conduct this syndication session.

Why did you have to stay awake? Because they saw how other laboratories worked. And there were only 13 of them. Every day they compared their work with other laboratories. They saw that they were late with the analysis, so they had to work all night to catch up with the rest of the laboratories.

Every day my team and I came to the laboratories and made a rating for each of them. We encouraged them to improve their results. I called the laboratory a “greenhouse”, it was very hot there. This is a kind of pressure cooker, where ideas were generated under pressure, under steam.

The best thing about this is that there is no hierarchy inside the laboratory: so what if you are a big boss – you do not have a good idea, but young people came up with a good idea … Only ideas moved the laboratory forward.

I think this is a very correct way of organizing.Everything that was recommended by the laboratory, everything that was proposed there, was tested at a meeting of the cabinet, where recommendations were issued. And then we brought it up to the public.

[1] Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak – statesman of Malaysia, Prime Minister of the country since April 3, 2009, Chairman of the United Malay National Organization (UMNO) since March 26, 2009. In 2015, the Razak government was included in the ten most effective governments in the world according to the World Economic Forum.

[2] The middle income trap is a situation in the economy when a country that has achieved a certain income due to a previously existing advantage, then stops in its development.

[3] English: You can check out any time, but you can never leave.

[4] Lee Kuan Yew is a Singaporean statesman, the first prime minister of the Republic of Singapore, one of the creators of the “economic miracle” in this country. He died on February 5, 2015.

[5] National currency of Malaysia.

[6] McKinsey & Company is a leading global management consulting firm.

[7] Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg, which collects, organizes and disseminates financial information.

[8] Facilitation is a management style based not on the transmission of directives, but on the promotion of self-organization of the controlled system.

[9] A system that was established in June 2001 to monitor positive developments in areas such as education, health care, crime control and improved transportation.

[10] Eng. Chief Executive Officer – Chief Executive Officer; Brit. English director general) – a senior official of the company (general director, chairman of the board, president, head).

[11] Professor Michael Barber is considered the leader of educational reform in the UK.

90,000 How to go for an internship in Malaysia. Job for students

Malaysia is the first country in the world where the official task in secondary school is to design a car for Formula 1 racing.This country of southeast Asia, amazing in its natural characteristics, has a huge potential for economic and cultural development in the region. Along with the Malays, people from Arab countries, Hindus and Chinese live here.
If on the streets of Malaysia you hear a strange mixture of English and some other language, then do not be surprised: in the business environment of Malaysia, Manglish, the Malay version of English, is actively used.

Key areas for internships

Biology and ecology

Malaysia is a truly vast field for research in the field of biology and bioecology: here you can find up to 20% of all known species of fauna and flora.Malaysia may be especially attractive for bird watchers: more than six hundred species of birds live here, including endemics, most of which live in the mountain forests of Kalimantan. Malaysia is home to over two hundred species of exotic mammals and reptiles, as well as thousands of insect species.
The country is also attractive for ecologists – an urgent problem of Malay ecology is deforestation and the constant expansion of agricultural areas, mainly for oil palm plantations.The fight against poaching and animal smuggling is no less important for preserving the natural balance of the Malaysian environment. Air pollution and pollution of inland waters from industrial effluents are a big problem in major cities and industrial centers in Malaysia.

Science and Research

As the oldest and most prestigious university in Malaysia, the University of Malaya in 2016 entered the top 200 best universities in the world according to the QS World University Ranking, taking 133 place.In addition to two academies, six research and educational centers and institutes, and the largest scientific library in Malaysia, the University of Malaya has 12 faculties that provide educational programs at all levels (from undergraduate to PHD, including Postdoc programs). They cover almost all areas of humanitarian, technical, natural science, economics, medicine, law, business and architecture.
For those wishing to undertake an internship or participate in a joint research project at the University of Malaya, it is important to know that since 2012, research contacts between the University of Malaya and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences are governed by a Memorandum of Understanding, the purpose of which is to promote scientific projects and academic mobility in the field science and education.
Another significant university is the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, which includes the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Natural Sciences and 5 research centers and institutes. The conditions for admission and study at UNMC can be found here:


A key problem in the Malaysian healthcare system is an acute shortage of medical centers in rural areas and highly qualified specialists with the necessary experience in working with modern medical equipment.As a result, there is a strong disproportion in the country between the provision of medicine in large cities and in agricultural provinces. Therefore, everyone who has the relevant knowledge and skills and would like to participate in the creation of medical centers, as well as work in them as volunteers, will be very welcome here. Information on volunteer programs and vacancies in Malaysia:


The tourism industry is a very dynamically developing sector of the Malaysian economy. Along with the oil and gas industry, mining and processing of iron and tin, developed agriculture, Malaysia is famous for its numerous natural parks and beaches, modern architecture (just remember the legendary twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, built by the world famous oil company Petronas), many festivals and sports events of the international level.
And although Malaysian tourism in terms of its development still lags behind tourism in neighboring Thailand and Singapore, it is he, according to the government’s plan, should become the locomotive that will change the export and raw material vector of the country’s economy. For this, Malaysia really has good potential: tourists are attracted here by the national parks of the eastern part of the country, beach and sea tourism, and diving centers are developed here. Major cities in Malaysia are interesting to visitors from all over the world with a bizarre synthesis of modern, traditional and colonial architecture.Amphibious houses are being built here to withstand devastating floods. Shah Alam in Selangor state attracts tourists with its I-CITY. Kuala Lumpur hosts the annual motorsport Grand Prix. In addition to the Formula 1 stage, the best motor racers of the planet compete on the Sepang International circuit.
For information on the conditions for an internship in tourism in Malaysia, please visit:

Useful Resources for Finding Internships in Malaysia – the largest job search engine and internship in Malaysia … More than 2,000 offers of internships and volunteer positions. is perhaps the most famous internship search site in the world. is another useful resource targeted only at students and recent graduates looking for internships abroad. is an internship program at INTEL’s Malaysian office. – internships at Nestle. 90,013 90,000 Higher education in Malaysia – benefits

Higher education in Malaysia is represented mainly by public and private universities. Public universities are predominantly aimed at students from Malaysia, but in recent years there has also been an increase in the flow of international students wishing to study there.Education is provided in Malay and English.

Private universities in Malaysia are more popular with students from foreign countries, which can be partially funded by the government or private companies and public organizations. It should be added that teaching in Malaysian universities is conducted mainly in English and more than 50 thousand foreign students come to Malaysia to study annually.

Upon graduation from the University of Malaysia, one of the following degrees can be obtained:

  • Bachelor’s Degree – the term of study is 3-4 years, depending on the chosen direction and faculty.
  • Master’s Degree – training is possible with a bachelor’s or specialist’s degree. The term of study is 1-2 years.
  • Doctor of Science (Ph.D, Doctor of Philosophy) – the award of a doctoral degree is possible with a master’s degree, and sometimes work experience in the relevant field.

Malaysia’s higher education system is fully integrated into the global structure and is multidisciplinary – from music to engineering and medicine, i.e. fully focused on the current needs of the world economy.

Most of the universities in Malaysia are branches of the world’s leading universities, which work closely with them both in the development of curricula and in practice. A variety of transfer educational programs and double degree programs in Malaysia open up prospects for continuing education at partner universities in Australia, Europe and the United States, etc. Universities have well-developed scientific and technical bases, campuses have a well-thought-out infrastructure.It is also important that students can receive scholarships.

Those who decide to go to study in Malaysia should carefully familiarize themselves with the conditions of admission and the proposed programs. Also, foreign students will need a student visa to enter the country. The list of documents for obtaining a visa is standard. Each educational institution has departments for working with foreign students, and students can always count on qualified assistance in preparing documents.It is important to note that foreign students also have the right to earn extra money in their free time.

Malaysia is a hospitable, safe country with a very friendly attitude towards foreign students. This is a country that guarantees high quality education at the lowest prices. Studying in Malaysia is an incredible experience that will change your life forever.

Benefits of Higher Education in Malaysia:

  • Quality education
  • Most of Malaysia’s universities are branches of the world’s leading universities
  • Teaching in English
  • Affordable cost of education and living
  • Developed scientific and technical bases
  • Scholarship Opportunity
  • Safe country
  • A multicultural society where other nationalities, religions and cultures are respected

History of Indonesia and Malaysia – Faculty of Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg State University

The profile has existed at the faculty since 2009 and was created on the basis of the pre-existing profile of the History of Indonesia in connection with the general scientific and practical activities based on the common historical and cultural development of the two countries.Indonesia and Malaysia are united not only by geographic proximity, economic ties, but also by stages of historical development, as well as by related languages ​​and general cultural context.

The curriculum of the department assumes equal acquaintance with the ancient, classical and modern history of the two countries on the basis of mastering both Indonesian, Malay and Malaysian, as well as geography, literature, economics and politics. The teaching of the Indonesian and Malay languages ​​and literature has been conducted at the Faculty of Oriental Studies for over 50 years, during this period a great experience in teaching and research has been accumulated.The history of both countries is taught from antiquity to the present based on historical sources and historiography.

Principal Teachers

  • G. T. Tyun – Associate Professor, Candidate of Historical Sciences. He teaches history, geography, ethnology and culture, as well as a number of special courses.
  • S. V. Banit – Senior Lecturer. Teaches the Indonesian spoken language (using his own teaching and methodological developments and the “Textbook of the Indonesian language”, co-authored with A.K. Ogloblin), history of literature, reads author’s special courses on historical texts and contemporary women’s literature.
  • S. G. Kramarova – Associate Professor. Reads a course on the theory of grammar of the Indonesian language and special courses on the history of language and lexicology.

Teaching is conducted by one of the oldest teachers of the faculty, a well-known linguist professor, Doctor of Philology A. K. Ogloblin.

Languages ​​learned

  • Basic: Malay, Indonesian and English.
  • Additional oriental languages: Malaysian and Javanese.
  • Optional Western European: optional (Master’s degree).

Main courses:

  • history of Indonesia and Malaysia;
  • sources and historiography of Indonesia;
  • sources and historiography of Malaysia;
  • Malay, Indonesian languages;
  • geography of Indonesia and Malaysia;
  • literature of Indonesia and Malaysia.


An important stage of training is internships at the universities of Indonesia or Malaysia, during which our students not only improve their language skills, but also work in book collections, collect scientific material in historical archives, study local culture, attending performances of various Indonesian theaters: wayang kulit ( shadow theater of flat leather puppets), wayang golek (theater of volumetric wooden puppets), wayang orang (theater where the plots of the Ramayana and Mahabharata are told through dance).In addition, two of the greatest temple complexes are of particular interest in Java: Borobudur and Prambanan – all this provides materials for writing term papers and conducting research in preparation for the final qualifying work.

Graduate career prospects

Fundamental oriental education allows graduates of the department to successfully realize themselves in various fields. Our graduates associate their fate with research, teaching, diplomatic service, build a career in government, tourism, business and media.

Republic of Indonesia , the largest state in Southeast Asia, the fourth largest country in the world in terms of population, the largest Muslim and largest island state in the world.

Malaysia – significantly smaller in size and population than Indonesia. However, both countries have passed common stages of historical development. Hinduism and Buddhism, which came to this region from India and from the 8th century onwards, had a great influence. successfully entrenched in Java and Bali; then – Islam, introduced in the XIV century.from the Middle East to Malacca. European traditions that were introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century. and then by the Dutch and the British until the beginning of the 20th century, they also had a great influence on both countries and in many ways separated their development from each other through European borrowings.

Today, both states are successful, but developing related societies in different ways.

Malaysia – USL Kazakhstan

Malaysia is a country located in Southeast Asia in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula and on the island of Borneo.In the continental part it borders with Thailand, and on the island – with Indonesia. It covers an area of ​​about 329.8 thousand square meters. km. The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur. The population is 23 million. Malaysia is administratively divided into 13 states and 3 federal territories.

The official language of the country is Malay, but English, Chinese and many others are also used. National currency – ringgit.

Malaysia is a multicultural and diverse country with stunning nature, paradise beaches and an interesting history.This is a country with a friendly atmosphere and good service. It is easy to travel in a multicultural country, and the price level is quite affordable from a European point of view.

Malaysia’s climate is hot and humid all year round. The average temperature for the capital of the country is the same at any time of the year and averages +28 degrees. Precipitation occurs throughout the year, and the monsoon season begins from September to March.

Malaysia is a multinational state. Malays make up 62% of the population, in addition, Chinese and Indians live here, as well as numerous peoples of northern Borneo: Dayaks, Semangs, Calabites and Ibans.

In tourist destinations, locals generally speak good English. Along the way, you can carry with you a small dictionary with the most common words and questions in Malay.

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy with the king as the head of state. The King is elected by the Assembly of Lords for a term of 5 years. Legislative power is exercised by a bicameral parliament.

The backbone of the country’s economy is industry, especially: electronic, electrical, mechanical engineering and chemical.

Islam is the main religion, but religious freedom prevails. However, tourists should be aware of respect for local customs – especially when visiting the mosque, shoulders and knees should be covered.

Traveling around the country can be carried out without problems either by bus or by train. The road network is good and the tickets are inexpensive. Cars and motorcycles can be rented almost everywhere. Left-hand movement. Taxis are relatively inexpensive, but prices need to be negotiated in advance.

The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is a colorful mix of street food, bazaars and luxury shopping malls. In the modern city center, the most famous building in Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Twin Towers, stands out among the skyscrapers.

Malaysia is a multicultural country with many languages ​​and religions. Mostly Malays, Chinese and Indians live here, which contributes to the diversity and versatility of the state’s culture. This country is often called Asia in miniature.


Many areas of art are developed in Malaysia:

  • Indigenous Malays have long been famous for wood carving, weaving reed baskets, making silver and ceramic products.
  • Malay women are fluent in weaving and batik painting. Men are great experts in making the traditional dagger – the kris.
  • Today, like many centuries ago, Wayang Kulit, a shadow theater, is popular in Malaysia.Dolls for him were made of buffalo skin and painted by hand.
  • Indigenous peoples have their own traditional dances. For example, the Malays are fond of zapin and joget melayu, the Chinese masterfully perform the dance of the dragon and lion, and the Indians introduced into the culture of Malaysia such dance forms as bhangra and bharatanatyam
  • Traditional musical instruments in Malaysia are percussion, and the most important of them is gendang. More than 10 types of drums are known


Since ancient times, folklore has been widespread in Malaysia.With the advent of writing and printing here, literature began to develop and spread. One of the most ancient and famous works is considered to be “Malay genealogies”. Poetry is also widespread in the country. The Malaysian playwright and poet Usman Avang is considered the founder of modern literature in the country.


This Malaysian art includes both local and European styles. The exteriors of houses in the northern part of the country are similar to neighboring Thai ones, while the southern houses are more similar to those of Javanese.The traditional material for building houses for both the rich and the poor has always been wood. Used in construction bamboo and its leaves.

Europeans brought materials such as nails and glass to Malaysia. Since that time, the architecture of buildings has changed a lot, large windows and high roofs have appeared in the houses, which is especially important in a humid tropical climate.


The official religion in the country is Sunni Islam, which is professed by 53% of the total population of the country.In addition, Buddhism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity are widespread in Malaysia. Due to the fact that the constitution of Malaysia allows free worship, you can see the nearby mosques, temples and churches.

Traditions and customs of Malaysia

For foreigners, Malaysia seems to be an exotic country with original and unusual traditions:

  1. When visiting this Asian state, certain norms of behavior should be observed, for example, women should wear modest clothes, especially when traveling outside tourist areas.
  2. Tourists should not shock local residents with their discourses on religious topics. Religious issues, discussion of government officials, the problem of the population in Malaysia is a taboo topic for guests of the country.
  3. Do not be surprised to see a man on the street wearing his shirt inside out: he did this in order not to get it dirty on the way, going to an important meeting.

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