KOTA KINABALU: A member of the G25 group of prominent Malays has backed the proposal for more non-Bumiputera students to be given places in the government’s pre-university matriculation programme.
Johan Ariffin said the present quota-based system, which allots 10% of places for non-Bumiputera students, is archaic and lopsided, and does not encourage meritocracy.
“If there is to be a quota, it is only fair that it be increased to a certain level.
“We can’t continue to spoon-feed one race and make them less competitive as they will eventually have to face the real world,” he told FMT.
He was responding to Leong Yu Sheng, DAP Youth’s university affairs committee head, who said today that Putrajaya should end the practice of prioritising Bumiputera students in the programme.
Leong said every student deserves the right to education regardless of race, adding the current practice goes against the Federal Constitution’s guarantee of no discrimination against citizens.
He also said the current policy of allocating 10% of seats at 15 matriculation centres under the education ministry nationwide is unfair as the centres are paid for by taxpayers.
Human rights activist Patrick Sindu agreed that students of all races and religions should be allowed to enrol in the matriculation programme.
“This should have been done long ago,” he said, adding that the focus should be on students’ academic qualifications and other related considerations.
“It is high time that the Pakatan Harapan government introduced this new approach,” he said, cautioning however against politicising the issue.
Education Minister Maszlee Malik recently said the policy of reserving 90% of seats in the programme for Bumiputera students would remain. However, he said the Cabinet would discuss this week whether non-Bumis would be given a bigger quota.