We’re a nation of buffaloes, forum told

Abdul-Razak-Baginda_pendidikan_600KUALA LUMPUR: Centre for Global Affairs Malaysia (ICON) president Abdul Razak Baginda has urged youths to formulate non-partisan opinions on matters pertinent to the nation’s development and to make those opinions heard, claiming this was the only way to bring about change.

He said one of the country’s biggest problems was that its education system created followers who did not dare to speak their minds.

“We are a nation of buffaloes, of followers,” he said at a forum entitled “Post-politics: Malaysians’ hopes and aspirations” at Bangunan Getah Asli here.

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“As a potential employer looking at graduates coming out, I see something wrong.

“We don’t encourage the use of the brain, independent thinking or critical minds.”

He said the education system was designed in such a way as to create followers and claimed those in power wanted to keep it that way.

“It is in the system’s interest to perpetuate this, to create people who don’t think for themselves. If we did think for ourselves, we would have repaired the system 10 years ago.”

He said he saw only three political options for the country’s youths:

“The first is to join a political party, but then you run the risk of being ruled by the party whip, which happens all the time.

“The second is to be a rebel outside the system, but then you run the risk of being harassed and your family harassed and, when that happens, have your supporters run away.

“The third is to remain indifferent, which I think is happening. And if this is true, we will never have progress.”