ADUN SPEAKS | Why are so many students with excellent SPM results rejected from gaining admission into our matriculation programmes?
Is there an ethnic quota, as in the days of the BN government rule, or is there a new system of intake designed by the newly-minted Pakatan Harapan government?
Whether ethnic quota or not, it is clear that many non-Malay students have been rejected and told to appeal.
If there is an ethnic quota, then the rejection must have been based on this affirmative action plan. Then, what is the point of appealing?
If an ethnic quota is operative, then the government should announce the numbers allocated to Chinese and Indian students.
At least the affected parents might know without having too much expectation.
I would think after the Harapan government took over, the method of admission could have been revamped with emphasis on merit, without sacrificing the opportunities for disadvantaged communities.
However, as in the case of matriculation, nothing has been done. Under the BN there were concessions made to MCA and MIC for the admission of Chinese and Indian students.
Since ethnic representation hase been done away, with the exception of Bersatu, there reigns confusion as how the government will handle admissions without relying on the outmoded methods of the former BN government.
In other words, with the absence of ethnic representation in the government, it lookslike the non-Malay students are getting a raw deal.
It might even be correct to say that the matriculation system has gone back to the earlier days when it was meant to address the educational woes of one community.
Is Education Minister Maszlee Malik aware of this?
It does not make sense for the system to take in students with lesser qualifications and reject the good ones.
I wonder whether the Education Minister Maszlee Malik (photo) is aware of what is happening to the admission imbroglio of the matriculation.
I can understand his initial infatuation with the weight of schoolbags and the colour of shoes, but we expect him to provide leadership to address some of the perplexing problems of education, such as the controversial problem of admission.
To be fair, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching is aware of this problem. She has been quick to respond to my queries on this matter.
I hope Teo, in consultation with Maszlee, can come up with an acceptable plan for all communities.
Whatever method is adopted, it cannot be worse than what was practised under the BN.
This is the major concern of non-Malay parents who voted for Harapan in the last general election.
More than 30 parents with their children have come to see me about the admission fiasco under this matriculation system.
I am sorry, but asking the students to appeal might not address the larger problem of discrimination in education.
P RAMASAMY is the state assemblyperson for Perai. He is also deputy chief minister II of Penang.
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