Pick students for matriculation, public universities based on merit, not race, Putrajaya told

Datuk John Lau Pang Heng

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

KUCHING, April 26: The racial quota for matriculation programmes and admission into public universities needed to be abolished because the system is denying non-Bumiputera high achievers equal access and opportunity to higher education.

Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) chairman Datuk Lau Pang Heng commented that the time had come for the federal government to take the bold step to abolish the 90 per cent Bumiputera quota for matriculation programmes to reflect a progressive Malaysia.

“The enrolment into matriculation programmes should be done on merit based on academic achievements or grades obtained in national public examinations,” he said in a press statement today.

When the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government came into power on May 9, 2018, he observed that everyone was talking about a ‘New Malaysia’ and people were, in fact, looking forward to a better Malaysia, one that all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and background are treated fairly and equally.

“But sadly today, the racial quota system that has been implemented for decades is still practised today. The government must speak and do as a true Malaysian race,” he opined.

Lau was responding to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik’s announcement yesterday that the quota for the intake remains the same (90:10 ratio) after he brought up the issue in a Cabinet meeting, although the intake will be increased from 25,000 to 40,000.

The increase in student intake would mean the admission of Bumiputera students will increase from 22,500 to 36,000, while non-Bumiputera only received an increase from 2,500 to 4,000.

Maszlee said the programme was originally aimed at developing Bumiputera students’ potential in science, technology and professional (courses) through quality pre-university education.

While Lau commended the increase in the number of seats, he, however, emphasised that the non-Bumiputera students who had been left out from the programmes would have no choice but to enrol in private institutions or go overseas, but only if their families were financially-able.

“But more importantly, the government must start addressing issues of quality education to produce employable graduates who are highly competent. Parents are also worried about this matter,” he said.

“Moreover, many employers would prefer and likely employ graduates with high CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average). And the matriculation admission is the threshold to assert quality control. It is the quality, not the quantity,” he concluded. — DayakDaily