Syed Saddiq vs Minister of Education: Comparing the standard of education of Malaysia with that of Singapore


1. Malaysia’s education syllabus lags behind Singapore by 3 years, says Muar MP Syed Saddiq. “The report shows, a 15-year-old Malaysian has the same comprehension and understanding as a 12-year old Singaporean,” he quoted Programme for International Student Assessments (Pisa).

2. Syed also says Malaysia’s education system is still trailing behind, despite being allocated up to RM70 billion yearly. “Malaysia spends 20% of the GDP per capita on education, while Singapore spends only 11% and Japan about 7%,” the MUDA President told Parliament.



Education sector in crisis, needs urgent reforms – Syed Saddiq

Alyaa Alhadjri, Raveena Nagotra & Yasmin Ramlan

Published:  Feb 14, 2023 7:39 PM

Updated: 7:39 PM

PARLIAMENT | Weaknesses in the current education system have caused Malay parents from middle-class families to enrol their children in private or international schools at a significantly higher cost, according to Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

In his debate of the royal address, the Muar MP said the shifting trend was a sign that the education sector is in crisis and requires urgent reforms.

“In the past, there were often false fears raised over how children from Chinese and Indian families were unpatriotic and their families did not want them to attend national schools.

“But the reality today is that Malay middle-class families are willing to spend a quarter of their monthly income to send their children to private or international schools,” he said.

“What were the reasons that they gave? They said teachers at national schools face a heavy burden with clerical duties, administrative tasks, juggling two or three roles.

“The burden they carry is to the extent of temporarily putting aside their main duties as teachers, that is to teach,” said Syed Saddiq.

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Minister: Education curriculum on par with Singapore, Japan

Raveena Nagotra

Published:  Feb 17, 2023 12:07 PM

Updated: 4:44 PM

PARLIAMENT | Malaysia’s curriculum is comparable to its neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Japan, said Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.

This was based on a comparative study the ministry conducted which also involved comparing Malaysia’s curriculum to that of Australia, the United Kingdom and Finland, she explained.

“The findings showed that the school curriculum in Malaysia is comparable to the curriculum of the other countries,” she said in a written parliamentary reply yesterday.

The Nibong Tebal MP said the aim of the primary school curriculum, especially at Level I, was to foster physical, cognitive, mental, emotional, social, spiritual and moral development.

“The focus of the Level I curriculum is on the mastery of reading, writing, calculating and reasoning skills, basic information and technology skills, and creativity.

“The implementation of subjects at Level I allows each child to build a foundation of good values, develop self-confidence and a positive attitude as well as acquire basic knowledge and skills in preparation for further learning,” Fadhlina added.



By Shahrin Aizat Noorshahrizam

Tuesday, 14 Feb 2023 8:14 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Former Youth and Sports minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman today said that Malaysia’s education syllabus is trailing behind Singapore by three years.

Quoting Programme for International Student Assessments (Pisa), he said that a 15-year-old Malaysian student’s understanding of particular subjects like mathematics and science is on par with a 12-year-old Singaporean student.

“Why is our education output still behind based on Pisa’s report? The report shows that a (Malaysian) 15-year-old student’s understanding of maths and science is three years behind, compared to a Singaporean child, who is only 12 years old,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Besides that, he also elaborated on how middle-income parents regardless of racial background would rather invest a bit more of their money and register their children in a private school.

He said teachers in public schools are burdened with a lot of responsibilities including clerical work and other duties causing them to lose focus on their main task.

“Secondly, they also have to ensure that the syllabus system follows the modernisation of global civilisation,” he added.

He said that the issue of education must be prioritised because it will lead to a class gap between the rich and poor in terms of accessibility to quality education.

“Therefore we need to dare to think outside the box and we need to have the moral and political courage to overhaul our education system,” he said.


The most recent PISA scores and rankings indicate otherwise.


2. Singapore – 556.3 6. Japan – 520.0 48. Malaysia – 431.0 PISA

2. Singapore – 569 6. Japan – 527 47. Malaysia – 440


2. Singapore – 551 5. Japan – 529 48. Malaysia – 438 PISA

2. Singapore – 549 14. Japan – 504 56. Malaysia – 415


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