Graduates lack critical thinking skills, says CEO

PETALING JAYA: Graduates these days are lacking critical thinking skills, said TalentCorp CEO Johan Mah­­mood Merican (pic).

“To ensure sustainability, people must be well-educated and the components for such a formula aside from thinking are knowledge, leadership and ethics,” Johan told youths at the KDU Pro-Am Debate Challenge on Saturday.

He said leadership did not involve a general leading his army in a battlefield but how one should be thinking in making a difference.

He gave an example of how people usually behaved in a meeting room where it was usually quiet but people started complaining when they came out of the meeting.

“When they see something that is not right, they do not speak out. Lea­der­ship involves how one in­­fluences things to be done the right way and one cannot influence without knowledge and thinking,” said Johan.

On the last component of ethics, he pointed out that this was key to making a better difference.

“It is like in the US where one opens the flap, takes a piece of newspaper out and drops a dollar into the coin box. I am sure this won’t work in Malaysia now,” he said.

Johan, who received such a feedback from companies on the lack of critical thinking among the youths, said the Government was trying to address this issue through the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

He said the components of critical thinking, know­ledge, leadership and ethics had been included in the blueprint.

Johan encouraged the youths to be part of the change that would help transform Malaysia to a deve­loped nation by 2020.

“We have a lot of problems and it can only be fixed with combined leadership. Be aware of issues around you and be part of this change. 2020 isn’t a point we hit and relax. It is a continuous journey to improve,” he said.

He said the world’s population had doubled compared to 50 years ago, yet the three billion people li­­ving in poverty today were more than the total population back then.

He said Malaysia had one of the highest Gini coefficient in the world at 0.45. (The Gini coefficient is used to measure the distribution of income among individuals in a country.)

“This shows that we have high economic growth. And to be in a sustainable track, we need to have a turnaround team which leads to the Government introducing the Government Transformation Programme and the New Economic Model.”

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