Low intake of Indian students into Malaysian universities: DAP wants immediate Cabinet action to rectify the imbalance

DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, today issued the following statement:

Low intake of Indian students into Malaysian universities: DAP wants immediate Cabinet action to rectify the imbalance

The DAP regrets that although three weeks have passed since the issue of the low intake of Indian students into the Malaysian universities have been raised by the University of Malaya Tamil Language Society, the Ministry of Education and the Cabinet has taken no action to fully rectify the imbalance.

Thanks to the efforts and agitation by the Tamil Language Society of the University of Malaya, the percentage of Indian students in the University of Malaya intake for this year has been raised from 4.5% to 6.6%. This however, is still well below the percentage of the Indian population in the country.

When we take into consideration, the percentage of Indians in the other universities in Malaysia, this percentage is even lower. I do not have figures for the other universities for this new year, but for 1973, there were only nine Indian students out of 550 total intake for the University Kebangsaan, which is less than 2%; 49 India students out of 733 total intake for the University Sains, which is less than 7%; while for the Institute Teknoloji MARA, where there is a total intake of 1,911, t ere is not a single Indian student, while for the University Pertanian, there were 18 Indians out of 488, which is less than 4%.

In other words, out of a total of 6,232 who in 1973 were admitted into Malaysian institutions of higher learning, the Indian percentage was less than 5%.

From all government studies, for instance the recently-completed Murad Report on School Drop-outs, it has been found that educationally, the Malaysian Indians are even more backward than the Malays and Chinese. From the point of view of making special efforts to the uplift the depressed community, which according to the government is the objective of the Second Malaysia Plan and the New Economic Policy, then the government should make special efforts to allow even more Malaysian Indian with the qualifications to be given places in the institutions of higher learning in the country.

The DAP wants immediate government action to rectify this great educational imbalance. I suggest that the MIC President, Tan Sri Manickavasagam, should at the next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday coming week present a Cabinet paper to get the government to immediately rectify the educational imbalances in all the institutions of higher learning, so that all who have the academic qualifications will not be denied university places.

Furthermore, to avoid yearly occurrence of this matter, Tamil Language Society, which has provided its dedication and sincerity, should be appointed a member of the University of Malaya Council to ensure that in future years there will not be repetition of educational imbalance in the intake of university students,

I have notice to Parliament that I shall be raising this matter when Parliament meets on July 17, for such imbalances should not be allowed to continue if we want to build a truly just society in Malaysia.