University Malaya's current ranking of 169 on the list of world-renowned universities should worry the government if Malaysia is going to be promoted as a learning hub in Asia.
We might have our own system of meritocracy in streaming students who qualify for local university education but it is the image that we portray to the globalised environment that counts so much today.
If our students are vocal, they are immediately threatened by the university authorities. They are reminded that they must not bite the hands that feeds them. With these fear tactics that are employed by those in power, how on earth are we going to produce world-class graduates who are able to take challenges as they come?
Our lecturers and professors are reprimanded for being very free and critical in their thinking. If students are not taught how to be analytical, how then can they be future leaders able to come out with bold and creative ideas?
Our universities have become centres of mass production for graduates, most of whom cannot speak English let alone write it well. They seem very at home only with the syllabus of their course and nothing else of general interest.
They don't seem to be able to form an opinion on matters such as state policy, education, human rights and religion. They have been moulded to think that by doing this, they might be branded as "anti-establishment" and might risk arrest by the police. If they question their lecturers, it might be taken as they being rude and impolite.
It is all about government policy. We live in a culture where we are scared of people who ask too many questions, of people who believe in freedom and the right to live a life that is simple and free from unnecessary state control.
Our leaders are not bold enough to provoke thought and encourage debate. They see this as being rude to the hand that feeds the students. But I am sure that the hand that feeds would want to see its offspring grow up to be courageous and intelligent human beings.
I am sure our future generations would not forget their roots and how they evolved. They will respect their elders.
It is important for the youths to push for change now.