Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

The Student With 17As: So What?

Written by johnleemk on 10:57:06 am May 12, 2005.

Not too long ago there was huge hubbub nationwide about Nur Amalina Che Bakri, who scored 17As in her SPM. She's been recognised all around as an impressive student, no doubt about that. But all this proves is that she has a tremendous capability to study. Nothing more.

Half the electives she took aren't even relevant to her dream of becoming a gynaecologist. Do you need skills in visual art to be a doctor? Last time I checked, the answer was still "no". What is this country coming to?

There is absolutely no point in scoring 17As. None at all. Sure, if you can do it, why not go for it? The problem is, all the lauding and praising she has received is unnecessary. This undue focus on examinations merely reflects the shallowness of Malaysians. Considering the way our papers are graded (the real cutoff point for an 'A' is extremely low), an 'A' is meaningless.

In developed countries, do you see national newspapers celebrating a student's exploits? Local newspapers, probably; I can see why those in Nur Amalina's hometown would be glad for her; but on a national scale? I don't understand it. Scoring a certain number of As is meaningless, beyond showing you're really good at memorisation.

Of course, there will be those who say I am jealous. Me, jealous? I don't think so. I know for sure I won't score 17As in the SPM, but I don't care. What I do care about is the shallowness of the Malaysian public. We have better things to laud than a record-breaking number of As.

If you'd like to keep informed about updates to the site, consider subscribing to our web feed:

Infernal Ramblings is a Malaysian website focusing on current events and sociopolitical issues. Its articles run the gamut from economics to society to education.

Infernal Ramblings is run by John Lee. For more, see the About section. If you have any questions or comments, do drop him a line.

Najib's Orwellian 1Malaysia

Most Recently Read

  1. Sepet, A Malaysian Movie
  2. Malaysia, A Statist Economy
  3. Malaysia is Not a Federation
  4. Ad Hominem: How Malaysians Lose the Plot
  5. Segregated Schools: Does Quality Justify the Costs?
  6. Apartheid and Protectionism, Internal Issues?
  7. What does it mean to be Malaysian?
  8. Absolute vs Comparative Advantage
  9. Dissent, the Highest Form of Patriotism?
  10. Separating Head of State from Head of Government
Quoth the webserver...
I love the Americans because they love liberty, and I love them for the noble efforts they made in the last war.
— William Pitt the Elder