Monday, August 5, 2013

Time to introduce common university entrance examination



Media Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat on Monday, August 5, 2013

The absence of a common university entrance examination has made the meritocracy intake system to be unfair and unprofessional.

On July 21, MCA Youth leader, Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong described the university “meritocracy” student intake system as “more quota than the quota system”.

According to the Wee, the intake of Chinese students for eight major courses in public universities – medical, dentistry, pharmacy, electronics and electrical engineering, chemical engineering, law and accounting – has been declining in recent years from 26.2% in 2001 to 25.3% in 2012 and 20.7 per cent this year.

Wee’s revelation has shocked the Chinese community.

What is the situation with the intake of Indian students’ intake into public universities?

I had expected the Deputy Education Minister P Kalamanathan to quickly find out the answers from the Education Ministry.

However, till today, he does not seem to think that this is an issue which warrants his immediate attention and action.

A top MIC leader has recently said that this year’s situation is the most unfair and biased public university intake in the history of Malaysia.

Is Kalamanathan prepared to ask his superior, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin to be transparent and reveal the full details of intake of Chinese and Indian students into public universities since 2002, the year when the meritocracy system of university intake replaced the ethnic quota system?

Under the racial quota intake system that was in force from 1979 to 2002, the intake formula was in the ratio of 55:45 for bumiputra and non bumiputra students.

So what have caused the meritocracy system to be more quota than the quota system?

When the meritocracy system was implemented in 2002, there was immediate drop in the overall intake of non bumiputra students and a public outcry ensued.

Many opinions were then expressed that it was unfair to compare the Matriculation results with that of STPM as both are different systems and have different evaluation procedures. 

Undoubtedly, the absence of a common university entrance examination has made the meritocracy intake system to be unfair and unprofessional.
In fact, in May 2002, DAP leader Sdr Lim Kit Siang had sent an urgent email to all Cabinet Ministers asking them to rectify the injustice of the so-called “merit-based” university selection system, as the formula used to match the matriculation results and STPM grades was “unprofessional, unfair and gives meritocracy a bad name as it is without any professional merit”, like comparing an apple with an orange.
I believe that this unfair and unprofessional system is the main cause why there has been declining intake of Chinese students over the years.

I believe that if full statistics are revealed, Indian students are also the continued victims of such unfair system.

Hence, I call on the Education Minister to firstly, publish all statistics of public university intake for all races since 2002 and secondly, rectify the injustices of the unfair intake system by introducing a common university entrance examination system for all applicants.

Finally, I wish to commend some MCA leaders for being vocal and speaking up on issues after the general election although there is cynical talk that  MCA’s new political style is primarily due to the coming year of end MCA election.

There is also talk that  MCA leaders will be less vocal after the party election and will definitely go back to its old way of being an ineffective “ in office but not in power”  government party when they finally return to the Cabinet.

MCA has failed the past chances given to them and let’s see if MCA can prove the critics and doubters wrong after having been reduced to a 7-11 party after the 13th general election.

























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