Daily Archives: June 20, 2009

Machiavelli On Generosity vs. parsimony


Generosity vs. parsimony

If a prince is overly generous to his subjects, Machiavelli asserts he will lose appreciation and will only cause greed for more. Additionally, being overly generous is not economical, because eventually all resources will be exhausted. This results in higher taxes and will bring grief upon the prince. Then, if he decides to discontinue or limit his generosity, he will be labeled as a miser. Thus, Machiavelli summarizes that guarding against the people’s hatred is more important than building up a reputation for generosity. A wise prince should be willing to be more reputed a miser than be hated for trying to be too generous.


Reputation of a prince


Reputation of a prince

Concerning the behavior of a prince toward his subjects, Machiavelli writes: “Many men have imagined republics and principalities that never really existed at all. Yet the way men live is so far removed from the way they ought to live that anyone who abandons what is for what should be pursues his downfall rather than his preservation; for a man who strives after goodness in all his acts is sure to come to ruin, since there are so many men who are not good.” Since there are many possible qualities that a prince can be said to possess, he must not be overly concerned about having all the good ones. Also, a prince may be perceived to be merciful, faithful, humane, frank, and religious, but he should only seem to have these qualities. A prince cannot truly have these qualities because at times it is necessary to act against them. Although a bad reputation should be avoided, this is not crucial in maintaining power. The only ethic that matters is one that is beneficial to the prince in dealing with the concerns of his state.

Niccoló Machiavelli’s The Prince


Niccoló Machiavelli’s The Prince is arguably the most popular book about politics ever written. Its observations about human behavior are as true today as they were five hundred years ago. In this book, Machiavelli offers advice to politicians regarding how to gain power and how to keep it.

Although modern readers think that a “prince” is someone who is destined to inherit control of his country, the princes of Machiavelli’s time were by no means that secure: the prince had to be careful to keep the support of his citizens if he wanted to remain in power. The methods that Machiavelli suggests for leaders to keep public support are just as relevant for today’s elected officials as they were for leaders of the sixteenth century.

Although The Prince is taught in many schools, there are few reputable teachers who would recommend actually following the advice that Machiavelli offers; it is meant to serve the prince’s selfish interests, not to serve society in general. The ideas in the book are stated so harshly and bluntly that the term Machiavellian has now commonly used to describe the process of being cunning and ruthless in the pursuit of power.

Previous political writers, from Plato and Aristotle in ancient times to the sixteenth-century humanists, treated politics as a branch of the area of philosophy that dealt with morals. Machiavelli’s chief innovation was to break with this long tradition and present the study of politics as political science.

The Star Online: Polytechnics to upgrade diplomas to degrees

The Star Online > Nation

Published: Saturday June 20, 2009 MYT 3:16:00 PM

Polytechnics to upgrade diplomas to degrees

JOHOR BARU: The Community College and Polytechnic Education Department is carrying out a study to upgrade polytechnic diplomas to bachelor degrees.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said this was because the institution was preferred by male students who sought skill courses.

The government will continue to improve the opportunities at polytechnics by upgrading their courses, he told reporters after presenting awards to Pasir Gudang students who excelled in PMR, SPM and STPM last year at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Permas Jaya here Saturday.

Mohamed Khaled, who is also Member of Parliament for Pasir Gudang, said that, for a start, three polytechnics would be chosen to offer degree programmes.

Polytechnic diploma holders were sought after by the private sector as they were equipped with the skills needed, he said, adding that the institution had received 120,000 applications last year but could only accommodate 20,000 students. – Bernama

kosmo.com.my:4,574 pelajar tersalah tawaran USM masuk IPTA lain

4,574 pelajar tersalah tawaran USM masuk IPTA lain



PUTRAJAYA – Nasib 4,574 orang pelajar yang tersalah diberi tawaran oleh Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) ekoran kesilapan teknikal akhirnya ditawarkan ke Institusi Pengajian Tinggi Awam (IPTA) lain.

Malah baki pelajar terbabit berjumlah 150 orang yang tidak memohon ke mana-mana universiti kecuali USM akan dipertimbangkan untuk diserapkan di universiti itu selepas mengemukakan rayuan.

Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Pengajian Tinggi, Datuk Ir. Dr. Radin Umar Radin Sohadi berkata, pihaknya yakin kesemua pelajar terbabit mendapat tempat di universiti berkenaan berdasarkan kepada kekosongan yang ada.

“Sudah pasti ada pelajar yang akan menolak tawaran mereka dan ini membolehkan tempat disediakan kepada 150 pelajar ini. Lagi pun calon-calon ini pada dasarnya sudah berada dalam kelompok terpilih.

“Disebabkan mereka tidak memohon kepada UPU (Unit Pemilihan Universiti) di Bahagian Pengurusan Kemasukan Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi, kami terpaksa hantar permohonan mereka semula kepada USM untuk diuruskan,” katanya pada sidang akhbar di sini semalam.

Kesilapan teknikal itu berlaku apabila kakitangan USM memasukkan semua senarai nama pelajar yang diterima dan juga ditolak iaitu kira-kira 8,000 orang di laman web universiti berkenaan sedangkan jumlah sebenar permohonan yang diluluskan adalah 3,599 orang.

NST: Girls top varsity intake

NST: Girls top varsity intake

By Hamidah Atan 2009/06/20

PUTRAJAYA: Female undergraduates continue to dominate local universities if this year’s number of successful applicants is anything to go by. Of 40,366 successful applicants for the 2009/2010 academic session, 65 per cent or roughly two out of three were females. “We are not gender-biased but there is no way the ministry can stabilise university intake involving genders as admission is strictly based on meritocracy,” Higher Education director-general Datuk Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi said in a lighthearted manner when announcing this year’s successful applications for first degree programmes at his office yesterday. Meritocracy for admission to local universities is made up of 90 per cent academic scores and 10 per cent co-curriculum. “Let the system run its natural course as we have been facing this so-called phenomenon almost every year,” he said in jest. A total of 61,027 Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and matriculation students as well as those with equivalent qualifications had applied for places at local universities this year. “However, only 40,366 or 83.6 per cent have succeeded, an increase of 0.4 per cent from last year’s academic session. This includes 3,599 places offered by Universiti Sains Malaysia.” Of the total number of successful applicants, 27,829 were Bumiputeras, 10,116 Chinese and the remaining Indians. He said 24,581 were science stream students and the remaining were from arts stream. For competitive programmes, 945 students had been offered medicine, 194 dentistry and 288 pharmacy. A total of 1,184 will study chemical engineering, 2,672 electric and electronic engineering, 2,455 mechanical engineering, 369 law and 1,182 accountancy. Radin Umar said 69 new programmes relating to engineering, education, management and entrepreneurship, applied sciences, arts and fine arts, economy, marketing and statistics had been introduced. Offer letters have been issued, starting yesterday. “They must let us know if they accept the offers before or by Thursday (June 25).” Those who fail in their applications can forward their appeal within 10 days from yesterday. Closing date is on June 28. The relevant websites can be surfed at http://jpt.uum. edu.my, hp://www.jpt.utm.my or http://upu.mohe.gov.my. For enquiries, they can call the ministry’s hotline at 03-88835858, its helpline at 03-88835848 or send SMS by typing UPU RESULT (MyKad number) to 15888.

Respons: Reputasi cemerlang USM harus dipertahan

Respons: Reputasi cemerlang USM harus dipertahan 5 Jun 2009

Oleh Zainor Said

KESILAPAN dalam pengumuman keputusan kemasukan ke Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) baru-baru ini bukan saja menyebabkan ratusan pelajar serta ibu bapa mereka berasa hampa dan kecewa, malah ia memberi ruang kepada pihak tertentu mempersoal berkemampuan universiti berkenaan dalam mengendalikan sendiri kemasukan pelajar.Barangkali insiden itu adalah kejadian pertama dalam sejarah kemasukan pelajar ke universiti yang mana senarai keputusan calon yang sudah dihebahkan kepada umum dipinda pada saat akhir.Keadaan itu berlaku apabila USM tersalah memaparkan senarai nama 8,173 calon menerusi laman webnya yang mempunyai kriteria kelayakan minimum untuk mengikuti program pengajian di USM, sedangkan jumlah sebenar yang sepatutnya diterima hanya 3,599 calon.Mujurlah kesilapan teknikal yang didakwa USM dapat dikesan awal, lantas membuat pembetulan dalam senarai calon yang dipaparkan pada 29 Mei lalu dan dipaparkan kembali pada keesokan hari. Namun kesilapan itu sudah cukup menyebabkan sebilangan pelajar yang sempat menyemaknya pada senarai awal menjadi bingung dan keliru, apabila semakan kali kedua mendapati nama mereka telah dikeluarkan.

Kesilapan seperti itu tidak sepatutnya berlaku walaupun atas alasan ia adalah kali pertama USM mengendalikan sendiri pemilihan pelajar selepas mendapat mandat autonomi sesuai dengan status Universiti Apex. USM mempunyai waktu yang cukup panjang membuat persediaan yang perlu untuk menerima pelajar kumpulan pertama selepas ia diangkat menjadi Universiti Apex (Program Pemacuan Untuk Kecemerlangan).

Diisytiharkan sebagai Universiti Apex pertama negara pada September 2008, USM mengetepikan tiga lagi institusi pengajian tinggi awam (IPTA) yang disenarai pendek termasuk Universiti Malaya (UM) yang dianggap calon lebih favourite, selain Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) dan Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) serta sebuah institusi pengajian tinggi swasta (IPTS) iaitu Multimedia University (MMU).

Program Apex diperkenalkan untuk melonjak pendidikan tinggi di negara ini ke tahap cemerlang dengan harapan akan lahir sekurang-kurangnya sebuah universiti yang layak tersenarai dalam kelompok 100 universiti terbaik di dunia dalam tempoh terdekat.

Pemilihan sebagai Universiti Apex membolehkan USM mendapat beberapa keistimewaan antaranya diberi kuasa autonomi termasuk dalam soal pemilihan pelajar berdasarkan kepada merit.

Kita bukan berniat mempertikai kewibawaan USM yang diiktiraf sebagai Universiti Apex pertama negara, malah adalah tidak adil kita menghukum USM sebagai tidak cekap hanya disebabkan satu kesilapan kecil sedemikian. Namun, sebagai Universiti Apex, USM harus berhati-hati dalam setiap urusan supaya tidak memberi ruang kepada mana-mana pihak mempertikai kewibawaan mereka dengan mengelakkan kesilapan yang berpunca daripada kecuaian pihak tertentu.

Bayangkan apa yang akan berlaku jika kesilapan itu membabitkan pelajar luar negara. Apakah dengan mudah mereka dapat menerima keputusan yang pada awalnya diumumkan berjaya tetapi sehari kemudian mendapati nama mereka digugurkan.

Kejadian itu bukan saja akan menjejaskan reputasi cemerlang USM, malah imej Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi serta nama baik negara akan turut tercalar.

Imej serta pandangan masyarakat terhadap USM begitu tinggi selepas ia diisytihar sebagai Universiti Apex dan pastinya USM menjadi pilihan utama pelajar untuk melanjutkan pengajian. Kesilapan yang berlaku, sudah tentu sedikit sebanyak menjejaskan imej USM di mata masyarakat dan tidak mustahil ada pihak memperlekeh kewibawaannya sebagai Universiti Apex.

Dalam hal ini Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, dalam reaksi awalnya turut memandang serius dengan apa yang berlaku, sekali gus mengarahkan satu jawatankuasa khas dibentuk untuk menyiasat segera punca kejadian.

Kita tidak boleh berkompromi dengan mana-mana pihak sekiranya kesilapan itu berpunca daripada kecuaian pihak tertentu dan mereka harus bertanggungjawab memperbaiki segera kelemahan bagi memastikan kesilapan tidak berulang.

Kesilapan sedemikian dapat dielak jika setiap pegawai yang diamanahkan melaksanakannya dengan berhati-hati dan menyemak senarai nama dengan terperinci sebelum memaparkannya kepada umum.

Setiap kakitangan tidak sepatutnya mengambil mudah dalam menjalankan tanggungjawab kerana mereka berurusan dengan pihak awam, lebih-lebih lagi USM menjadi perhatian masyarakat terutama pelajar, sejak ia dinaikkan ke status Apex.

Kemasukan pelajar ke IPTA kebelakangan ini sering menimbulkan pelbagai isu berikutan persaingan sengit untuk mendapat tempat di IPTA. Kadangkala isu pendidikan mencetuskan polemik berpanjangan terutama apabila nama pelajar cemerlang tercicir dan gagal mendapat tempat di mana-mana IPTA.

Demi memelihara reputasi cemerlang USM sebagai Universiti Apex serta Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi yang merestui pemilihan USM sebagai Universiti Apex, kita harap tidak akan berlaku lagi sebarang kesilapan selepas ini.

Mungkin juga kesilapan kali ini mempunyai hikmah tersembunyi tetapi yang pasti insiden itu harus memberi pengajaran berguna kepada USM supaya tidak mengambil mudah dalam setiap urusan terutama membabitkan pihak awam dan pelanggannya.