Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad promised to look into the quota system for student intake in the matriculation programme, which Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik had previously said to be remain on the 90:10 basis.
The issue was prompted by urges from DAP Youth’s university affairs bureau director Leong Yu Sheng for the government to stop the discrimination practice against non-Bumiputera students who only received 10% seats in matriculation.
According to Leong, it is unfair for qualified students to be denied admission into the programme because the quota allocated for them is full.
In addition, it is also against the Federal Constitution’s guarantee of no discrimination against citizens.
Last year, 2,200 and 1,000 seats were allocated for Indian and Chinese students respectively, which Dr Maszlee Malik said was only a “one-time” initiative.
Education Ministry’s director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin said that matriculation programme was originally created only for Bumiputeras, backing Dr Maszlee’s statement.
Taking the second spot, former Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak criticised the Education Minister for his “one-time” initiative. This goes the same for former Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, who also disagreed with Dr Maszlee’s “one-time” claim, saying that the added quota for the Indians would not be changed if BN remained in power.
From the media share, it is also noticeable that Malaysia Gazette is significantly much more active than the other media when it comes to reporting on the matriculation programme. On average, media will produce five to eight news on the matter. In this case, Utusan which published 15 news, has also been inclined to tackle the subject of matriculation.
If the Prime Minister were to increase the matriculation quota for non-Bumiputeras, will it cause another racial issue?