YOURSAY | ‘Tun M, affirmative action should be based on needs, and not on race.’
Quigonbond: Dr M is not answering the problem (of the matriculation intake) itself. Should all Malays be allowed the backdoor; why deserving (poor, disadvantaged) non-Malays are not allowed the backdoor; and how long more will this backdoor persist?
Understandably, to remove this simple mechanism of quota, something better, more equitable must be put in place.
A new government means a new opportunity to think about a new mechanism. Perhaps a holistic approach is required. First, social-economical support service, then quality of primary and secondary education, then proper bursaries, grants, scholarships.
Implement this support system professionally, and if anyone falls through the cracks, it simply means they are not qualified for universities, but there is TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) for them. No one is left behind.
Once you have this system, then there must be a gradual decreasing of matriculation spots, and/or with it, balancing out the quota system. That's why people have been critical of Education Minister Maszlee Malik.
Instead of focusing on larger issues like this and working hand in hand with other ministries to come up with a holistic approach, he's just doing random inconsequential things. It's really time for him to buck up or be replaced.
David Dass: The idea of excluding non-Malays from an institution or facility funded by the government is wrong. Likewise, converting the civil service and the armed forces into 90 percent Malay is also wrong.
So Malays now feel entitled to discrimination on a scale never contemplated by the constitution. The result has been marginalisation of the Indians. And an exodus of talented Chinese from the country.
The reaction of many Malay politicians to those who leave has been “good riddance, these people are disloyal”.
The fact is that non-Malays cannot by themselves change things. They alone cannot make the system fairer and just. They require Malay support. And there are Malays who support the cause of just government.
Non-Malays understand the need to help the bumiputera to catch up. But is 60 years of catching up not sufficient? If earlier policies have failed, then change them. And is it necessary to sideline, marginalise and exclude non-Malays altogether in order to help Malays?
Pointing to a few Indian lawyers and doctors as evidence of Indian success is absurd. Most Indian lawyers end up in litigation. And not all can be top litigators like former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram and attorney-general Tommy Thomas.
And constantly pointing to the list of billionaires is also nonsensical. How does their wealth help the poor non-Malays? Okay, some of them are philanthropic but none of them are like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
Consider the plight of the average person. Most Malaysians are on fixed incomes. Perhaps the Malays are at 90 percent, Indians at 85 percent and the Chinese at 70 percent. And many families of all races are in the B40 (bottom 40 percent) category.
Our system of taxation is progressive and takes money from the well-to-do as government revenue and for government expenditure. The country needs successful businesspeople. And productive employees are essential to ensure the success of businesses.
All the poor of the country should be helped in the same way. The government must not discriminate and exclude people purely on the basis of race. Help those who need help.
Providing shortcuts to universities and colleges by lowering standards is not the best way of taking the Malays forward. Let’s train and educate everyone to the highest standards.
Rupert16: Tun M, affirmative action should be based on needs, and not on race.
The country has been following a race-based affirmative policy over the last 60 years, and what is the outcome? Many Malays remain poor and disadvantaged while the Malays who are in power or in leadership position become richer and more corrupted and greedy and have been using race and religion to protect their interest and the race-based affirmative policy.
As they say, it is insanity to continue with a policy that does not work and will continue to regress the country politically, economically and socially.
MN: Indeed, if the policy is based on needs, we can in fact give the poor Malays more than what they are getting. That is because the middle class and rich Malays are creaming off the goodies.
The deserving non-Malays do not need much, but if you give them just 30 percent of what is given to the Malays, it would make a huge difference to their lives. So basing affirmative action on needs is a win-win situation.
Fairmind: Yes, how is it fair when you increase the matriculation places from 25,000 to 40,000 when the criterion for selection of places is still 90:10 for Malays and non-Malays?
The first 25,000 could be based on 90:10 and the increase in place should have been given based on meritocracy. You have been given an opportunity to make decisions for a new and better Malaysia but instead you decided to follow the old norms.
Amateur: I think people are upset because those who got very much better results in SPM are rejected while others having average results are accepted for matriculation.
The reason is simply the race-based quota. If this bias system is also being practised in university, you cannot blame employers' reluctance to select bumiputera candidates at job interviews.
Anonymous 232753143837239: Tun, one can understand the desire to help more Malays get into universities but it must be based on merits. What’s the point of producing Malay graduates in name but the quality is below par (lower passing marks and grading)?
It’s like having an assembly line producing defective goods where the end product doesn’t meet the market standards, resulting in these products being left on the shelf.
not from Malaysiakini but kaytee's contribution, wakakaka
Worry not about Malay votes but think about the nation’s future where the Malay mindset and attitude are based on hard work, strong character and being competitive. This change can only come from doing away with the crutch mentality.
Make sure the system is not abused by those who can afford their children’s education, help those in need, set up specialised vocational or professional colleges to educate and trained those who can’t enter universities and enable them to be skilled and productive.
The time is right to redress our education policies to enable our young Malaysian men and women secure a better and more promising future.
Mohd Isnin: It's not that we Malays don't take STPM and therefore cannot enter universities.
It is just that we have this mentality that come what may, pass or fail, we are entitled to enter the universities. This is where we have trained ourselves not to be competitive.
This is also the reason why we have become complacent and lazy and expect the government to provide us with everything, from cradle to grave.
Look at how the minority races have learnt to struggle, survive and remain competitive but we are forever complaining that our race is under threat.