PENANG: Malaysian Education Minister Maszlee Malik has drawn flak from each facet of the political divide for his remarks linking the racial quota for pre-college admission to “employment discrimination” against bumiputras.
Dr. Maszlee reportedly said at a town hall consultation at Universiti Sains Malaysia on Thursday (May 16) that doing away with the racial quota for the matriculation program could only be taken into consideration when bumiputras are no longer turned away at task interviews for any longer having the ability to talk Mandarin.
His remarks did not go down nicely with different politicians, such as his Pakatan Harapan colleagues.
On Facebook, Selangor government councilor and Democratic Action Party (DAP) veteran Teng Chang Khim commented: “If the Education Minister truly did say so, then he honestly is silly. What a fool!”
Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy also took Dr. Maszlee to project for wondering along racial traces. “What are the difference between him and United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) politicians?” he said in an assertion.
“He is pronouncing as long as the personal region, in different phrases, Chinese employers, are recruiting on the idea of the information of Mandarin, then the government will preserve the present matriculation quota,” said the DAP baby-kisser.
Dr. Ramasamy puzzled Dr. Maszlee’s cause in raising the issue, asking if he changed into seeking to “score political factors in a predominantly Malay crowd.”
The pre-university matriculation program was rolled out in 1998 to create greater possibilities for bumiputras seeking higher training in technology, era, and applied arts.
According to cent of the seats, ten have been sooner or later allotted to non-bumiputras in 2003, therefore putting in a region the ninety:10 ethnic quota. Every consumption has 25,000 students.
Last month, Dr. Maszlee announced that the program might be extended to deal with 40,000 students, with the racial quota remaining in the area.
This intended that whilst an extra 1,500 seats have been created for non-bumiputra students (bringing the total to 4,000), seats reserved for bumiputra college students jumped using 13,500 to 36,000.
His declaration ignited a fresh spherical of debate on meritocracy and affirmative action in Malaysia.
In the Thursday metropolis corridor session, Dr. Maszlee stated the matriculation program become an installed place to balance the ratio of bumiputra and non-bumiputra college students in public universities.
“Non-bumiputra students come from wealthy families; they attend lessons instructions and acquire the right grades. Bumiputra college students, inclusive of those originating from B40 (bottom forty consistent with cent) families in East Malaysia, do now not move for lessons,” he became quoted as pronouncing.
Meanwhile, Ms. Saw Yee Fung – a spokesperson of the opposition Malaysian Chinese Association – stated she became at a loss for words by way of the hyperlink between ethnic quota and bumiputras’ command Chinese language.
“If we want to beautify the employability of university graduates, shouldn’t we support instructional education in preference to looking at the issue from a racial angle?” she stated.
HIGHER EDUCATION FUND CORPORATION TO CLARIFY REINSTATING TRAVEL BAN FOR DEFAULTERS
On a separate difficulty, Dr. Maszlee stated on Friday that the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has to clear the air over reintroducing a travel ban for loan defaulters.
Its chairman, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, had stated an afternoon earlier that it would advocate conveying returned the ban if the human beings comply with it, whilst launching an internet public consultation to acquire ideas for a new repayment scheme and measures to improve PTPTN’s sustainability.