(As an aside Izzy, you're probably a tad more insulated about the government policies than I am, so naturally I'm more embarassed about the government because of the distinction it makes between Bumiputras and non-Bumiputras. For instance, for university admission, Bumiputras are allowed to "matriculate" and take some relatively easy tests, while non-Bumiputras are forced into sitting for the STPM, which is a standardised test based on the British GCE 'A' Levels, some of the hardest exams in the world.)
Anyway, true, Malaysia isn't rather unique or special (except from the food perspective and the fact that it's rather cheap - compare the price of, say, a Big Mac here and a Big Mac in the US) but the fact is I grew up here, so I'm more attached to it. (Although some other Malaysians have criticised me for not being as "patriotic" as I ought to be.)
And I don't think is just a matter of counting the chickens before they hatch. The fact is that the vice-chancellor was so apathetic about it, while the education ministry was in denial. That's pretty crazy, if you ask me, and is symptomatic of a larger problem in Malaysia: people's emphasis on status. Seriously, the vice-chancellor, for example, has to be called Professor Datuk Dr Hashim Yaakob instead of simply Hashim Yaakob.
Malaysian culture is nice now and then, but sometimes in can really frustrate you, especially when it comes to status and religion. Anyway, I'm rambling a lot now, aren't I, so I guess I'd better stop before it's too late.