Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I am Iron Man

I took the quiz suggested by dear sis, and here is my results...
I am Iron Man, apparently,just like Iron Man, I'm an Inventor. Businessman. Genius.
Well, at least Iron Man won't look old, just make sure I'm all greasy, and I'll look shining all the time.:)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Education Dilemma and the embodiment of knowledge

It seems apparent that the government is now very concern about our university graduates not being industry ready. Why does this problem exist, and is this a common problem in other universities outside of Malaysia.

Well, lets just analyze the things they say about our students.

1) When they graduate, they find it hard to find a job because they are really not skilled in what the industry is doing.

I suppose this is acceptable, but its a chicken and egg problem. You really cannot expect someone who is fresh out of college to know everything about what the industry use or need, this kind of thinking is illogical. Let me illustrate how dubious this claims are, its as if that your son, who just graduated, can suddenly use Sun One technology to develop web applications that works with oracle server 10i complete with clustering capabilities. This is anologous to actually expect my son to write new paper articles just because he learned English in highschool and my daughter to be designing a Nike advertisement on the highway billboard on the way to KLIA just because she took some art classes. And what if the Sun Server changed to Sun Two Server and Oracle change to 11i. Worst, what if the industry suddenly stops using Oracle and use mysql. A good employee is an asset not only for the knowledge he has, but also his experience in planning, and solving problems. For the claims to be true, universities and academicians needs to be able to predict the future, and having capabilities far different from other human beings. They need to be born with somekind of X-mutation in their genes that can help them have premonition of the future.

What should be done is that active participation from the industry is necessary to increase our human capital. And its not a burden entirely on the universities. For a very long time we try very hard to make the industry feel easy to do business in Malaysia, so why not expect something in return from them. Training should be part of a company's long time goals. If they want good employees, they can train the employees themselves. Then they can expect lower turnover and higher return on investments.

2) Of course the common argument is that after giving training to the students, this newly appointed employees leaves to a different company.

Naturally, one would always go to greener pastures. If a worker finds that he is worth much more in another company like Shell, he will obviously leave his current job in search for a better salary. This is just the natural order of things. And companies in Malaysia must understand that they have to entertain their employees needs as well, and that they are hiring professionals, and not slaves.

Well, maybe its about time that companies in Malaysia should be embracing Islamic values for a change, which a lot of foreign companies have already done so to retain employees or to attain skilled workers. Profit sharing should be incorporated into their job offer package. Some foreign companies that does this are offering stock options, profit sharing and packages that seems to be more Islamic when it comes to sharing profit. It's a way for them to show the employees that their employees mean a lot to them and if they work hard, the whole company gets rewarded. This values are Islamic in nature and far from the archaic views of maximizing profits which was commonly practiced in the west. It also creates loyalty amongst employee and does decrease turnover of employees.

But do they do this? No, not even giants like Telekom, TNB, DRB-Hicom or Proton? Why? Most of these companies have muslim bosses, and kiss ass to our PM who promotes Islam Hadari. But I guess, its just for the sake of their own well being and not for the ummah. They might just help promote that Islam Ada-hari.

3) Pay peanuts you get monkeys.

Some smarter people says that, "the education sector should be training them so that students today have enough fundamental knowledge to learn advanced concepts later when they start working faster. So when students today enters the industry, they can get up to speed with any technology really fast.

But look at the people who are teaching them in the first place. They don't get paid as much as the industry and research funding, is very low. So you find educators doing network marketing to earn extra income. You'll never see a Dr. or a graduate student working in the lab trying to solve complex theories, cause they rather be outside making a few extra bucks at night to pay off their car loans and housing loans. And they try very hard to become part-time lecturers at other institutions to gain some extra cash here and there. They monkey around in their job and provide substandard commitment. But what can you expect, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

4) Internship programs can solve the problem.
Yes, internship programs can really solve the problem. But why aren't companies taking alot of intership students. In fact, this is what the government should encourage and even provide incentives to companies that take internship students. The government can reward companies who takes this responsibility to increase Malaysia's human capital by giving them tax deductable and other renumeration packages. Instead, we are sending off our students to work and gain internship experience in India, a company like Infosys. No doubt its a good plan, but we have our own companies here in Malaysia too. Why does it take a foreign company to provide such programs to our students. What happen to our own big national companies?

5) Malaysian research

Research increases the embodiment of knowledge. Speaking of which, our students, graduate students and our teaching force (Dr's and lecturers) are not given full support to do research. Hence, even if we had good students, capable to create new innovation, he will never win a noble price. At least not coming from our local university. Although the research funds are there, but they are not enough. Plus, a research culture awareness have to be inculcated in all of the universities. Without it, we will never be proud of our people, cause we have not contribute anything towards the embodiment of knowledge in our generation.

Disclaimer: The above are just ramblings that should not be taken out of context. I'm just rambling about what I think, and it should not be wrong to have ideas of your own. And my ramblings are copyrighted, and don't expect people to quote me without my permission.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

GRE again....GRERRRR.....!!

At 3.18 am, you can hear nothing except for the monotonous sound of my electric fan blowing. They usually cut off the centralize air-conditioning by 7 pm right after the sonorous "azan"--calling for prayers--during maghrib echoing throughout campus.

In the silence of the night, one can find oneself in serenity, only fit to indulge oneself in pure meditation to assimilate knowledge. The hall seems quiet and most doors are locked and the rooms seems dark. Among the doors in the hall, a irregular coughing and grumbling is heard behind one of the doors. Someone is still awake, and this fact is substantiated by the permeating light that managed to sneak through the small opening underneath the door.

I can't deny that I'm a procrastinator. Dilatory in nature, I'll wait for the last minute to do anything. I don't know why I am Indolent and with less than a week left, i remain torpor besides the fact that I am far from ready. Is not that GRE is very hard, its just that you'll need to have a copious vocabulary to do well. According to Dr. Y, I suffer from minor dyslexia, which makes it hard for me to remember all these words since often times i forget how to spell them.

I regret not listening to my other half telling me to study and nagging all the time at least 4 months ago. I wish I had listened, but what can I do, having a new job and all, with new bosses to impressed, I hardly find the time to prepare slides for my students, let alone study for myself.

Nonetheless, refusing to give up, besides the odds going against me, I choose to persevere and remain obstinate. Well, at least I'm working hard now.

This entry is meant to be verbose, superfluous and grandiloquent. It's just me being bored and wanted to try out the words that I hardly heard before to help me remember. Of course the whole entry is prosaic and undoubtedly an insipid write-up. I hope I didn't irritate or vex anyone, and give the impression that I was just being ostentious in my display of vocabulary.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Feel like blogging again!

It's been a while since I wrote anything in this blog. I stopped, mainly for three reasons, I felt pressured to write something, I had no time, and the features in blogspot sucks (since what i needed is to categorize my entries). However, I'm starting to miss the times when i can purely express my thoughts and it--my little heart whispers to me in the dark as I slowly close my eyes to make myself fall asleep, the itch of ideas that I have befalling me during the early hours of the day and the constant what-if that seems to linger in my mind--needed to show itself again.

So here I am, setelah mendengar hati kecil ku bicara berkali-kali, am starting to write something only important to myself but inconsequential to others. Something trite, hackneyed and boring to others, but utterly zestfully interesting only to me.

Hence, its a blog of my own writing, who laughs sardonically only to himself and satirical only to some readers. It seems that I will continue to write again, what seems commonplace and uninteresting. What seems to be an everyday thing of nothing.

It all starts with the New Year. This is the year I'll be hitting 30. As I sit in my room, thinking of what wonderful things that could happen this year, I am struck with a sense of longing for which I cannot explain. There is something purely missing in my life. And as you read this entry, you'll probably be feeling the same.

For some reason we all feel that there is something missing in our lives. No person, man or woman feels that life is perfect for him/her. Some may say its money, others say its love and many others feel that it is friends.

I am not entirely sure what is it that I'm longing for, being 30 and still studying to build a career path, being 30 and still single or being 30 as I lose my friends to the common custom of matrimony, which ever it is, if its the reason at all. It may seem a combination of all of those but why does it bother me so much or am I wrong to think that it even bothers me.

I guess its what I like to do most that keeps me on thinking. Just like programming, I try to look for the algorithm that makes this so called life works. I look back and think if there was an algorithm behind the function of life. Is there a specific cycle, a loop or a branch in the code that make me choose such a life. What flags that I could have activated to make my life being programmed as it is today. Could I be a instance of a class only with different attributes, or is it even possible for me to reinitialize my class to start on clean.

After many hours thinking, I know now that life is not a program, and what I longed for is not about what I do not have or what I have already lost. Instead its the illusion of choice that we all thought we had. The fallacy in freedom of choice that we all thought we had is a spurious notion. Could we have changed our destiny? Do you think that we could have led a different life?

I can't helped to discern that its the absence of choosing our destiny is what I miss so much. When we were young, destiny is in our hands, what ever we do will effect our well being for tomorrow. But today, as I am reaching 30, as we grow older, we have made the choices that shaped our destiny. Hence, we cannot turned back to change it again. Hence we lost the chance to make a choice.

In my life, I have done a lot of wrong. Many of which I am not proud of doing. Along the way, my obdurate nature seems to shape my character. I never had the chance to say sorry to those I have hurt, and sometimes have never realise of it at all. So for all the family, my significant other, friends and significant others who are now obviously not so significant already that I have hurt before......I'm very very sorry. It's not like i had a choice. Life chooses me, not the other way around. There is probably a blessing for what have happened.....

Sorry for the deep philosophical thoughts, but as if I had a choice. My destiny have been made, and so is yours. So let it be.....bygone be bygone....and forgive each other.

One love everybody, for the wish of New Year.