Will Qualified Non-bumi Students Be Sacrificed By Higher
Education Minister Dr Shafie Salleh To Atone For His Defeat At The
Next UMNO Supreme Council Elections?
by Lim Guan Eng
MCA, MIC and Gerakan should declare whether they endorse Higher Education
Minister Dr Shafie Salleh's remarks in the UMNO General Assembly that as the
Higher Education Minister, he will never allow non-Bumiputera students to
enter UiTM and he will not compromise on this matter.
Such remarks are not only hurtful to non-bumis but also un-Malaysian as
education should be democratised and open to all. All Chinese and Tamil
schools are open to every Malaysian regardless of race and religion and the
government should be working towards progressively multi-racialising our
educational institutions and not restricting it to only one race. How can
such an approach foster national unity?
Dr Shafie had also assured UMNO delegates that so long as he remains as
Higher Education Minister the number of Bumiputera students in public
universities will always exceed the given quota. For example, he said in
2002, there were 69 per cent Bumiputera students, while the quota was only
63 per cent, while in 2004, there were 64 per cent Bumiputeras (the quota
was only 53 per cent).
Where is meritocracy in our education system if a Minister can guarantee
that bumi students will always exceed the given quota. Dr Shafie should
instead state his pride that meritocracy has allowed bumi students to
perform and exceed their given quota. By assuring that bumi students will
always exceed the given quota, Dr Shafie is mocking the efforts of bumi
students and playing the racial stereotype. Further this is an injustice to
qualified non-bumi students who may be denied their rightful place because
of such political statements by Dr Shafie at the UMNO General Assembly.
Clearly Dr Shafie is still trying to get over his unexpected loss in the
UMNO Supreme Council elections despite being a full Minister. Will Qualified
Non-bumi Students Be Sacrificed By Higher Education Minister Dr Shafie
Salleh To Atone For His Defeat At The Next UMNO Supreme Council elections?
It is highly irresponsible for Dr Shafie to play politics with our
children's education and the non-Malay BN component parties must prove their
courage of their principles by condemning and opposing such extreme
statements. Failure by MCA President Datuk Ong Ka Ting, Gerakan President
Datuk Dr Lim Keng Yaik and MIC President Datuk S. Samy Vellu to do so, will
only prove how hollow their promises of educational excellence and
opportunities for all Malaysians.
* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General