Straight-talking Rafidah to speak on how to reboot Malaysia’s education system


THE Malaysian Academic Movement (Gerak) and the National Patriots Association (Patriot) expect that Rafidah, without mincing her words, will expose why the rot has set in in Malaysia’s education system and what we can and must do about it.

The details of the forum are as follows:

  • Gerak-Patriot forum series
  • Speaker: Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz
  • Topic: The Current State of Malaysia’s Education System and the Way Forward”
  • Date: Saturday, 29 June 2019
  • Time: 2:30pm
  • Venue: Law Faculty, University of Malaya

To register, please contact Rosli Mahat (016-620 5242) or Rodiah Zawawi (012-386 5616).

The Bigger Picture – the Gerak-Patriot concern

Even before the stunning and historic election victory of Pakatan Harapan in May 2018, both the Gerak and Patriot had been deeply concerned about the state of Malaysian education and the direction it was taking.

Among others, questions of quality, discrimination and segregation from primary right through to tertiary education had been raised in so many different forums, yet had been virtually ignored by the previous BN administration.

Instead, political interference in the education system of a more destructive nature appeared to be the order of the day, leaving our education system with a variety of problems.

At the pre-2018 general election forum Aspirasi Rakyat, organised by Patriot, to look ahead, Gerak was invited to share the academic organisation’s vision for an inclusive Malaysia. Here, for the first time, Gerak released its proposals for education reform which have since been expanded upon and presented to the Education Minister Maszlee Malik.

In numerous meetings, Maszlee has assured us of his support for our education reform agenda, which talks about inclusion, cultivating excellence and removing undesirable political interference.

Despite this, reform indeed has been going on at snail’s pace. We are aware of the political and economic implications of reform.

Nonetheless we believe we must start now and we must move fast to save the present and future generations of Malaysian students from more mediocrity. We have to truly prepare them to meet and overcome the challenges of a fast-changing world

This event

Aware of the importance of excellence and equality in education, Gerak has organised numerous talks and seminars over the past two years under its “Reclaiming Higher Education in Malaysia” agenda.

This talk by an eminent public intellectual and distinguished former academic and minister, Rafidah Aziz, is in line with that agenda and represents an ongoing part of Gerak-Patriot collaboration.

In her presentation, we anticipate Rafidah, without mincing her words, will expose why the rot has set in in Malaysia’s education system, what we can and must do about it, and how it can be done with all of us playing a necessary role.

A corresponding motive of this event is to help raise funds for Gerak so that we can continue conducting our conferences, seminars and workshops – many provided freely for the public – and work towards excellence and equality in education.

The speaker

Rafidah really doesn’t need further introduction.

What she really needs is a platform to provide her thoughts and valuable insights based on decades of experience, first as an academic in the Universiti of Malaya for 10 years (1966-1976) and then for more than three decades as Malaysia’s longest-serving woman MP, interspersed with long stints as head of Umno’s woman’s wing and outspoken public enterprises minister.

Since 2011, she has served as non-executive independent chairman and director of AirAsia X.

Rafidah doesn’t suffer fools gladly. On 5 May 2018, she was sacked from Umno for appearing with Daim Zainuddin on stage with Dr Mahathir Mohamad at an opposition Pakatan Harapan rally in Melaka on 4 May 2018. Since then, she continues to speak out against government misdeeds and misdirection.

Like many of us – certainly in Gerak and Patriot – she is deeply concerned about the state of our education system and what she believes to be the negative influences. She has her ideas about where we should be heading, and although we may not necessarily agree with all that she proposes, she is a voice worth listening to at this stage of our journey towards developing a new Malaysia.


We acknowledge the valuable support provided by a few good friends, particularly the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and Astro Awani. This forum encourages interactive participation and we welcome the public’s presence and support.

Gerak-Patriot forum organising committee
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