Parents, students protest outside PM’s office
The protesters called on the prime minister to intervene in the allocation of matriculation places for Indian students.PUTRAJAYA: A group of vexed parents and students gathered outside the Prime Minister’s Office urging Najib Tun Razak to intervene in the allocation of matriculation seats for Indian students.
They also sent a memorandum to highlight their unhappiness with the Matriculation Department’s decision regarding this matter.
The memorandum demanded that the government be transparent with regard to education opportunities.
“We are here to urge Najib to fulfill his promise to Indians in relation to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Hindraf and BN on matriculation places for Indian students,” said A Thiruvengadam, president of the Malaysian Indian Education Awareness and Welfare Foundation (PKP-KIM).
He added that the parents want this issue to be sorted out in a week since the second intake would begin this Wednesday.
“But sadly, only 500 students have been awarded for this year despite 6,500 Indian students having applied for the 2,100 seats.
“Indian students are crying for their right to fair education opportunities in Malaysia,” he said, adding that last year, the promised places of 1,500 by Najib did not work out.
He also challenged the Matriculation Department to unveil the total number of Indian students who received matriculation seats for the year 2012 and 2013.
Thiruvengadam also said that the parents are disappointed with the Matriculation Department, which is clearly discriminating the non-Malays in seat allocation.
According to him, the department insists on a merit point of 93.8 for Indians and 97 for Chinese students.
“This is something new to us which has never been highlighted before by MIC or even the PM himself. The victims are the innocent, powerless students.
“It seems like all the department heads are actually ruling the government instead of the PM or his cabinet ministers,” he said.
An official from the Prime Minister’s Department, identified only as Uva Raja, came under fire when he told the parents that the matriculation course was started for the Malays and therefore they must be patient about the allocation for other races.
“What he said is really embarrassing. Being an Indian, he should fight for the students’ right instead of defending the racist matriculation officers,” said a parent.
In April, the government signed a MoU with Hindraf, which among others, stated that 2,100 matriculation places will be offered to Indian students.