07 May 2018

Aspirasi Akademik Malaysia

To the new government of Malaysia after GE14:


Academic Freedom
Freedom from political interference – greater autonomy at tertiary level – eg., appointments
Universities should never be factories
Raising of academic standards at all levels
Meritocracy to replace kulitocracy
Restructuring of the education system
Replace rote learning with creative pedagogy
Emphasise `WHY’ instead of `HOW’
Equal opportunity and access to all stages of education
Removal of any discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, wealth, age


A more mature and understanding people
Which requires a liberating education system, not one that constrains and is conformist
The restoration of democracy and the righting of wrongs
Replacing a flawed democracy with one that is based on justice and honour
Perpetrators of heinous crimes against the nation must be brought to justice
Restoration of the independence of institutions
Judiciary, law and order agencies (police, AG chambers), banking
Genuine multiculturalism
Based on mutual respect (ethnic, gender, wealth, geography, for eg.), not based on silly slogans like `1Malaysia’ and `Malaysia Truly Asia’
They are silly and inane not because of what they could really mean, but because of the hypocrisy of the people who devised them.

Submitted by
Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)
Forum Aspirasi Rakyat
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan
MIECC, The Mines, Balakong
6 May 2018

03 May 2018

GERAK media statement



email: akademikmalaysia@gmail.com

27 April 2018

The academic community in Malaysia was shocked and angered with the early morning brutal murder of fellow academic, Dr. Fadi Al Batsh. We, the Malaysian academics, offer our condolence to the family of Dr Fadi. May they be strong and resolute in facing this test from Allah.

Dr. Fadi Al Batsh was a lecturer in electrical engineering at the University of Kuala Lumpur (UniKL). He got his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Malaya where he was an outstanding student, winning scholarship and numerous awards. He continued with his research at UniKL, to include supervising postgraduate students.

Accusations have been made about his alleged involvement in the Palestine-Israel conflict, including being suspected to be involved in attack on Israel. However, even if these were true, although no evidence has been forthcoming, this does not justify any extrajudicial murder in a country not involved in the conflict. He should have been charged and tried in a competent court of law. Not mercilessly gunned-down, as he was.

While recognizing and supporting the peaceful resolution of the Palestine-Israel conflict, GERAK also strongly believes that Malaysia must stop being used as a battle ground for this and other conflicts. GERAK urged support for the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) campaign (http://bdsmalaysia.com/h/) to push both sides to make peace. We hope that such effort will help to end the injustice in the region and the unnecessary killings on both sides.

30 March 2018

14 March 2018

WEF: Code of Ethics for Researchers

Engaging with the public means having an open two-way communication about science and the implications of research, as well as its need for society. Such communication involves active, objective and unbiased listening, discussing and questioning by both parties to enable the transfer of scientific knowledge into public wisdom. Indeed, researchers have a responsibility to engage in public discourse with all members of society and to make science more accessible. In return, the public will be more inclined to listen to, question and trust scientists.
Pursuing the truth means following the research where it leads, rather than confirming an already formed opinion. This is particularly challenging but necessary when questioning current beliefs. The discovered truth must be confirmed and verified by peers, which requires transparency and reproducibility in all steps of the research and publication, in the methods used and by providing access to raw data. Results must be represented accurately without over- or understatement, hiding facts and/or drawbacks, or misleading the reader in any way. They must be based on evidence and observations, rather than on preconceived truths or biases. 
Minimizing harm means that research inevitably carries some risk and, while it may be impossible to eliminate it, researchers can minimize harm to science, to others, to the environment, to society and to themselves. Despite the risk, society accords scientists extraordinary privileges to pursue research, and thus they have a duty to safeguard society against excess risk by taking steps to foresee, acknowledge and prevent harmful investigation. Every researcher must consider each experiment’s potential to cause harm and evaluate whether the generated knowledge can be detrimental to society.

Engaging with decision-makers means going beyond developing solutions, conducting experiments and publishing data. Situations arise in which there is an ethical responsibility to engage with decision-makers, for instance to understand the impact of climate change on populations. Other situations exist in which research is only possible by engaging with decision-makers, for example to access government or corporate data sets, facilities or resources. This engagement may be at any or all stages of the research process as needed.

Supporting diversity means providing an environment in which the ideas of all are evaluated equally, regardless of individual characteristics, on the basis of evidence. Diversity is not simply the representation of individuals and ideas but is actual inclusion, which can only be achieved by creating a culture of openness and recognizing and addressing unconscious bias. Achieving this representation may require seeking out participation from under-represented groups, while ensuring that the research process and its outcomes do not negatively affect particular groups.

Being a mentor means trusting and empowering less experienced researchers, especially during the early stages of their careers, to help them reach their professional goals and realize their full potential. It means creating an environment of trust and respect for all individuals in the scientific workplace, being available when needed and devoting time to listen to and address the concerns of mentees. Mentoring aims to communicate experience and values in a trusted and confidential environment.

Being accountable means taking responsibility for one’s actions when carrying out research and raising a red flag if one’s commitments are at risk, taking corrective steps when necessary. Scientists have a moral but also financial responsibility to answer questions raised by society, a core funder of research. They must use resources efficiently, not being wasteful and focusing on overall social welfare in all actions. Trusted to guide and educate individuals, researchers must serve as examples of ethical behaviour for their students and society. They also have a duty to secure this trust and hold each other accountable for research results.



Conference Announcement

27 February 2018

Nature: Researchers have finally created a tool to spot duplicated images across thousands of papers

"Computer software can now quickly detect duplicate images across large swathes of the research literature ........
............. the system could pick up potential duplicates even if they had been rotated, resized or had their contrast or colours changed."