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Sunday, May 30, 2004


IPTA Admission Part III---"Meritocracy ala Bolehland"

There's more on MaB. Look at these two Bernama items ::

1. Meritocracy Does Not Guarantee Choice Of Course In Public Universities
Excerpts from Bernama ::
Public university admission in Malaysia is based on merit and not on race or whether a student took the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) or the matriculation programme, Higher Education Department Director Datuk Prof Hassan Said said Saturday.
Commenting on newspaper reports that students who had qualified did not get places in public universities, he said, "That is not true. But they didn't get their first choice."
He advised students to make their eight choices in the application form wisely, "otherwise, you may not get the subjects which are heavily competitive."

Some one commented that applying for IPTA is like a lottery or playing Toto, list your options wrongly and you will not get the course of your choice and may end up being offered a course to study Technology and Industry Fibre Wood when your interest is in Medicine or Pharmacy. There appears not to be a standard way of filling up one's options. Many students have complained that they were 'ill-advised' by their teachers and school counsellors. Can we have clearer guide lines on how these application forms should be filled up, please, so that the lottery element is removed. Can the counsellors be better trained too while we are at it.

2. Do Not Turn Meritocracy Into Political Issue- Najib
As usual when there is a controversy and you have politicians talking about it and making suggestions and the people come out with complaints, the standard warnings will come forth from our leadership :: Don't turn the issue into a political one and/or racial issue. So here you have it, our DPM coming out with the warning regarding the IPTA admission issue. What else can one expect.
Excerpts from what the DPM had to say ::
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Sunday reminded all groups not to turn the government's practice of meritocracy when giving seats to students in public universities into an issue of racial politics.
"Under the quota system practised in the past it was difficult to get places but now it was based on meritocracy and this should be a relief to non-Bumiputeras."
"Hence no one should turn the issue of university admission into a racial issue," Najib told reporters at the Saujana Golf and Country Club here.

What relief can the non-bumiputras see when the statistics show that ever since 'Meritocracy ala Bolehland' has been practised, the percentage of non-bumiputras admitted to IPTA is getting smaller, from 45% to 31.1%[2002] to 37.4%[2003] to 36.2%[2003]. Many non-bumiputras are wondering now whether it would be better to revert to the quota system of 55%:45%!
Many see the dual examination entry systems ie Matriculation and STPM which are used for IPTA admissions as the problematic issue and this is the issue they want the government to address. Does wanting this makes the issue political or racial? But then again in Bolehland what is not?


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