Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 33

Some Sibuians said, "It is always easier said than done". To certain extent, it may be true.

But, in getting Sibu out of the present dilemma, Sibuians need high awareness (through raising issues pertaining to Sibu), brainstorming (through a session like "Sibu In The Blue Ocean"), commitment (through firmly believing in and caring about bringing a change to Sibu) and execution (through carrying out plans). Seriously, we have been stagnant at the awareness stage for far too long.

Then, Kee Hian came in with a session to open up the mindset of Sibuians, opening their eyes to Blue Ocean Strategies. Sibu is still hopeful as long as we put our innovative thinking to work with full commitment.

Let's not put a full stop to 'Sibu In The Blue Ocean". Rather, we have to follow up with more momentum to keep "wheel of change" rolling. It is a challenge. Dear Sibuians, are you prepared to join in?

On "Polytechnic" University, Kee Hian challenged the audience with his Strategy (4) :

Centre for Lifelong Learning:
Executive Education ( in-house and public-enrolled)
Part-time diploma and degree courses
Specialist and short courses

Sibu Town Square, reputedly the largest one in Malaysia, is the centre of activities of Sibu. Photo: Wong Meng Lei


Anonymous said...

Why diploma courses? I always felt sorry for our people. The diploma courses are like those book keeping courses, used to be taken by the LCE dropouts. I think Sibu kids deserve something much better than this.

Over the years, so many colleges/institutes in the country have been upgraded to become universities or to issue bachelor's degree. There is no doubt that their standard stayed at the diploma level, so is the standard of our university graduates. For example, many of the GCE 'O' people (old timers) wrote so much better than our university graduates of nowadays.

I always feel that we should do something unique and big, not just 'another one college.' We should be able to appeal our quality and our difference to our domestic students. If not, we would be just 'another one' and there will be no room for our survival.

Anonymous said...

Just another item about tourism.

If I have the power to make a decision, I would build a Leaning Tower of Pisa in Sibu. This would be a replicate of the Italian heritage to attract tourists. We cannot build a half size one, but it has to be full size or even bigger. The uniqueness is this one will be designed with tilting. Many European and even Asian tourists may want to come and see this creation. When they fly to Asia, they may as well want to come to Sibu to visit the Leaning Tower.

In fact, Eiffel Tower can also be a possibility, but there are now too many towers around the world.

A pagoda of the Tua Pek Kong temple is interesting and unique to our culture, but TPK is not well known internationally. Thus, TPK Pagoda does not help us much with our tourist income, if compared to the Leaning Tower. [for that reason, I don't think builging a Mazu statue in Kudat would help that much]

I have an appeal to the Christian community. If you will build another church in Sibu in the future, please build one that can compete with the old European churches, of the middle-age design. Some of the cities in Europe attract tourists because of the big cathedrals. Whatever big cities you go to, you have one of the biggest cathedrals. When you go to Milan or Paris or Prague, you don't want to miss the cathedrals there - that is the mentality of the tourists.

I felt sorry and in fact worrying over the rate of development in Sibu (similar to China). Historical buildings can be removed without thinking about preservation. If we continue to do this, we will be left with nothing historically. I strongly urge a motion in the Assembly to preserve the few old streets in Sibu. The buildings there should be regulated and cannot be demolished or modified. These buildings will become tourist attractions in the near future.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

A university of good standing needs good quality students as well as good quality lecturers and professors.
If Sibu tries hard enough to look within and outside it can find enough to fill the future university.
Visiting professors are quite readily available. And if all things are negotiable then it is possible to have our dream university. Let us not be prevented by parochial concerns..let us be global in attitude. For the good of all.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

I agree with Anonymous. We must not allow the little history we have to be obliterated by senseless demolition.

It is easy to destroy and reconstruct. But it is not easy to maintain historical buildings.

Our neighbour Melaka is a good example of fervent devotion to its past and now is the leading tourist centre of Malaysia.

Please allow all those who love old buildings and old artifacts and others to contribute a bit towards a great Sibu.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

A comment on the photo by Meng Lei..

The geometric design reminds me of Aztec motifs.....

Has any one written about the designs Sibu buildings have and their significance? Tourists may be interested in knowing the ideas historical background of each design.

Re: Intelligent buildings in Hong Kong and other places have good write ups and tourists come to see them and become very inspired.

Tan Kee Hian said...

Dear Anon 1.55 am,

You are spot about not aiming for "just another college", what I call a "vanilla" university college. Tony reported on my comments on the futility of setting up yet another copycat college in Sibu in an earlier posting (Tony, can you help with the URL?)

Let's have an online discussion on the first point you made.

Why diploma courses? If you read the full set of postings on a proposed 'polytechnic' university, you can see that diploma and semi-professional qualifications are one of four major sets of products and services. The others are (a) degree /professional qualifications, (b) value-added knowledge and problem-solving services to business and other stakeholders, and (c) lifelong learning.

There is a deeper intent behind the diploma/semi-professional option. Degree courses and intellectual pursuits are not necessary the cup of tea for every student. In fact I am sure that pushing every son and daughter to go for a degree course without serious thought is patently wrong, and will seriously damage the devleopment of those young people who are not only more interested and talented in practical skills and activities.

I would add that for this group of people, they would probably do better in life, work and financially by taking the diploma/semi-professional route than be forced by conventional thinking and the aspirations of their parents and expectations of society to go the degree/professional route. I assume you are aware of the thousands of unemployed graduates in Malaysia. I am sure you are also aware of graduates who are not effective at work because it's not their cup of tea.

Is education meant for the people(our sons and daughters) we care about, or is it to massage the aspirations and expectations of others? I know this might require a major mindset shift among Sibu parents and society. Well, you said "Sibu kids deserve something better" and I would like to suggest the definition of 'something better' should be based on their personal needs and capabilities, not the expectations and aspirations of others.

Less you think I am shortchanging the future of Sibu kids, let me assure you that examples abound of national diploma/semi-professional system (the famed apprentice scheme of Germany) and individuals who succeeded famously without going the formal university route. The polytechnic university concept also caters (by design) directly for the late developers as now, they can join a diploma course and seamlessly transistion to a degree course locally, or transfer thier credits to another unversity in another country or city.

The whole polytechnic university concept includes many other aspects and it is not practical to include all of them in this comment.

I appreciate your questions and comments, as well as expressions of what you would like to see. We need to start somewhere to transform Sibu, and one critical starting point is deeper thinking rather than just rushing into actions.

I would also appreciate your comments on what i wrote above.

Thank you for caring about Sibu and the youg people of Sibu.


Kee Hian

Anonymous said...

I left Sibu for Kuala Lumpur in mid 1970s but my heart is Still with Sibu not just because my root is here but I was sad when young people cannot find decent jobs and career in Sibu and they migrate to Singapore and West Malaysia.

Just a thought, Sibu has too many luxurios magnificent buildings owned by clans, associations and religious buildings which Sibu community LEADERS pour millions into. As individuals, Sibu parents are also willing to pour millions into their children's education locally and overseas, WHY can't the clans, associations and religious bodies pour MORE of their money into education fund like Hii Kah Tung Education Fund & the like.

May be, just may be United Colledge, PMI, STM can combine and apply for a joint education entity for a start. Would Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference consider re-use their Bukit Lan (if still owned by them) parcel of land for education?

Anonymous said...

Very simple. If there is a will there is a way!!
We lack the will and not the way!!
Where is the will? Well, you need to ask well-minded people. Who are they? Well, keep searching... maybe you need to find a kind-hearted person in politics or a Philanthropist. As for commoners with big dreams, you need to join force or wait for some heroes/foolsh to lead the way... Its sad but its a fact for Sibu. But time is running up. Talented people are moving away and other poeple are moving in much faster pace than us. Anyway why should I care... I have some will...but not enough to find the ways.. not now at lease as I have no money and no influence/power... I better stick to my current job.

From a concerned Sibuian (Actually I originated from Bintangor, maybe its none of my business)