Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pakatan wants scholarships for all top scorers - The Malaysian Insider

Lim makes a point at the forum. With him are Nik Nazmi (centre) and Pua. — Picture by Jacky Ooi

By Melissa Loovi

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is urging the Cabinet to issue a directive to ensure all top scorers in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination be given Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships.

It should also disclose the full criteria and list of recipients, PR leaders demanded at a public forum on the PSD scholarship issue last night.

"If not, then the Najib Cabinet is even worse than the ‘half-past six’ Cabinet of the previous PM Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as condemned by former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad," DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said of Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration.

Lim was referring to a statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz in March when he said that if a top scorer was not granted a scholarship, it would be an "injustice."

If necessary, the Ipoh Timur MP said PR would support a supplementary budget Bill in Parliament to increase the allocation for PSD scholarships from RM700 million to RM1 billion to ensure that all top scorers received scholarships.

He added that making public the criteria and recipients of the 10,000 local and 2,000 overseas scholarships "in the name of fairness, accountability and transparency is the least that the Cabinet should do at its meeting" today.

Other PR leaders present also reiterated that a full review and revamp of the current system is required, stressing an emphasis on merit over other considerations.

PKR's Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad also called for more transparency in the process of awarding the scholarships, pointing out that the funding for the scholarships came from the taxpayers.

"It is the taxpayers' money after all, so we should ensure that the best and brightest people get the scholarships in a transparent manner," said the political secretary to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

DAP's youth wing chief Anthony Loke stressed that while certain allocations had been made, such as 20 per cent of scholarships being awarded based on merit, the issue remained that terms such as "merit" or "disadvantaged" were not made clear to the public.

"We want transparency so that the full list of JPA scholarships are made known to the public and we have raised this in Parliament, only to be told ‘the process is fair and just but we don't reveal names’," said the Rasah MP.

His sentiments were echoed by Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkifli Ahmad. "What is the status of rights in Malaysia if even matters of education cannot be resolved in a just manner?"

The PAS research chief added that meritocracy is "universal and very Islamic" and expressed his disappointment that young Malaysians were "subjected to this kind of poor leadership and governance."

DAP information chief Tony Pua suggested several reforms for the government to consider in light of the annual bout of appeals from school-leavers whose seemingly excellent academic qualifications have not been enough to guarantee scholarships.

"Why not allow the students to apply for university placements first so that these renowned institutions can process their application before our governments awards the scholarships?" asked the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

Pua added that using STPM, A-levels or pre-university results rather than SPM would also help with the issue of too few scholarships for an ever-increasing slew of straight A students.


Tuanku said...

Dear Malaysians,

I am bloody sad to read, listen and see our bright and smart Malaysian students irrespective of races are denied scholarships to pursue their tertiary education in local universities or overseas. It is indeed shameful and disgraceful to learn from BN corrupted leaders with their poor CAT government and also very bad flip flop national policies today.

Many Malaysian top scorers from SPM and STPM are rejected by PSD or Universities Selection Committee in regards to their scholarships and choice of tertiary courses. Nevertheless, the injustice and unfair treatment given to our smart and bright students in Malaysia is a brain drain policy adopted by BN rulers for past 50 years till today. The BN leaders prefer to import uneducated migrants and converted the legal and illegal migrants to Malaysian PR but chase away many local smart educated cream students to our neigboring and western countries.

Well, it is really time for Pakatan Rakyat to change the education system and its CAT policies to ensure all smart students irrespective of their backgrounds, races nor religions deserved 100% financial support from the federal and state governments. If BN had caused billions of losses or missing funds in Klang Port, BMF Scandal, Submarines' scandal and etc to enrich some culprits and corrupted politicians using the taxpayers' funds, then why cant the BN federal govt via PSD provides 100% scholarships to all top scorers in SPM and STPM in Malaysia ?

For good example, I was one of the poor smart students been denied a scholarship and also rejected to enter local university during the early 80s due to NEP policy and Bumi quota system. I scored all As in my SRP, SPM and STPM during the 80's but unable to enter local university of my choices. Finally I got an ASEAN scholarship to complete my bachelor degree, master degree and professional degree in overseas and in NUS, Singapore under the private and Singapore government scholarhips. However, I was bonded to serve the Singapore government and private sector for 10 years and given a choice to become a Singapore citizen or PR status. I still prefer to remain as a MALAYSIAN because I am a loyal citizen. After 10 years working in this small country, I decided to serve in an investment bank for 15 years in Malaysia because I love this beautiful Malaysia. Today I am worried my smart son and two daughters will be denied scholarships and the Uni Committe will reject their choices of degrees in local universities. They are scoring perfect all As in the PMR and SRP results and will be sitting for their SPM this year. They have 100% confident to score all As to apply for scholarships to do medicine or music degrees here. As a local taxpayer contributed to the thousands income per month via PCB to IRD that my children deserved the scholarships based on meritocracy system but not race quota system.

Now it is time for all Malaysians to wake up the sleepy corrupted leaders and greedy politicians in BN to reward the smart Malaysian students' rights for full scholarships and enter to local universities of their choices. Otherwise, it is time to change the entire weak BN government and hand over the nation power to Pakatan Rakyat to rule in the next 13GE.

1 Makkal Sakti - 1People Power

Regards, Anak Perakian

Electrotech said...