From Sun Daily:
Review scholarship policy for national unity and progress
by Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam
I WAS touched by the sad letter written by Ho Jan Yang in a daily yesterday entitled Harsh reality of education in Malaysia!
Ho bluntly stated that “I am a victim of the Injustice in our education system, which seems to defy the global trend, by awarding scholarships to students, based on not academic excellence, but racial agendas!”
I understand that his serious view is shared by most fair-minded Malaysians and especially non-bumi parents and particularly our non-bumi students.
The Ministry of Education under the new Pakatan Harapan government, definitely owes it to all Malaysians, bumis and non-bumis, to comprehensively clarify the truth of this sensitive matter, as soon as possible. This is essential in to protect and promote our national unity and progress.
Ho claims that he achieved all as in his UPSR, PMR and SPM examinations, but got “Zero scholarships for my tertiary education”.
Even his application for a loan from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) was rejected.
Those who are compassionate can easily empathise and sympathise with Ho, the aggrieved complainant.
We also wonder what this apparent injustice can do to undermine Ho’s and many other students sense of loyalty, patriotism and pride in our country Malaysia?
How will this apparently discriminatory scholarship policy and practice, aggravate the severe brain drain of our best talents to more enticing foreign countries, both near and far?
How do we progress at a faster pace in economic growth and better income distribution and even shared wealth, if we continue to reject some of our best students, on the basis of arguments that are archaic and unsustainable, for moving forward in the modern world of the digital economy?
But first of all, we need to know the full facts of this pathetic appeal by Ho for his “hope for a silver lining in the cloud of challenges confronting Malaysian students now”.
We appeal to the Ministry of Education to respond and to clarify Ho’s difficult and regrettable scholarship experiences.
I would also appeal to the new Pakatan government to review and revise the present scholarship policies and practices, to enhance rather than erode National Unity and the future progress of our country.
Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam
Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies