Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, to the Selangor/Federal Territory DAP State Committee at Jalan Sultan DAP Premises, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday, 26th July 1980 at 5 pm
DAP calls for greatly expanded places for non-Malay students to study in Form Six to prepare them for university education
Public attention has so far been focused on the inadequacy of places in the five local universities especially for non-Malay students to pursue higher studies. However, equally important in determining the intake of university students is the situation of intake for Form Six places from MCE/SPM Students.
Last year, at the Perak DAP State Convention, I spoke of the gross inadequacy of form six places for academically suitable and eligible non-Malay students, and that at least some 40% of non-Malay first-graders could not get Form Six places.
The people, and in particular non-Malays, do not begrudge special handicaps being given to Malay students to get into Form Six classes even though they have lower academic attainments, as this is necessary in order to redress the educational imbalances between the rades which had been created by the colonial policy.
While the interest of enabling more Malay students to receive higher educations should be promoted, the interest of ensuring that all eligible non-Malay students to receive higher education are not denied such opportunities should also be safeguarded.
In this connection, I am not satisfied with the intake of students into the Form Six classes for this year, 1980.
For t 1980, the figures of intake of Form Six students for Peninsular Malaysia in the various streams and race are as follows:
Intake of Lower Sixth Form for 1980 in Peninsular Malaysia
English-media Malay Chinese Indian Others
Science 3,397 3,490 286 52
Arts 2,586 1,695 270 72
Science 2,982 295 97 13
Arts 2,869 25 18 4
Total 11,834 5,505 671 141
This works out to 65.2% of Form Six places for Malays and 34.8% of the places for non-Malays, which does not tally with the present alleged university intake for 1980/1981 academic year of 62.3% for bumiputera students and 37.7% for non-bumiputera students.
The DAP is convinced that for education, which is an investment for the development of the nation and not for any one racial group, the country’s leaders and planners must move away completely from the preoccupation with percentages.
The more our children of all races receive higher and specialized education, the more advantageous it is for Malaysia for the future.
In view of the persistent and perverted stubbornness of irresponsible groups to distort the DAP’s stand, I want to reiterate that we support all government measures to enable more Malay students to acquire higher education.
Thus, we are not opposed to the Education Ministry’s giving place to Form Six classes to Malay students whose academic attainments are very much lower than non-Malay students.
According to the Minister of Education, in a parliamentary reply, for 1980, for the entry into English-media HSC science, non-bumiputra students are required to have not more than 8 units from three best subjects for those who have Grade I, and an aggregate of not more than 6 units for non-Malay students with Grade II. Non-Malay students from rural areas Entry is slightly relaxed for non-Malay students from rural areas, in that Grade I students must have an aggregate of not more than 7 points and Grade II holders must have an aggregate of not more than 9 points for the best three subjects.
For Malay students, they are required to have an aggregate of not more than 21 points for Grade One holders, while Grade II Malay holders must have an aggregate of not more than 18 points for the best three subjects for selection into science.
For entry into Arts classes, non-Malay students must have Grade I, and must have an aggregate of not more than 9 units for their best three subjects. For Malay students, entry is open to both Grade I and Grade II holders provided they have an aggregate not exceeding 15 units for their best three subjects.
For the national-media STP, the points of entry are the same for both Malay and non-Malay students, in that for science, a candidate must have an aggregate of not exceeding 21 units for Grade I holders, and not exceeding 18 units for Grade II holders. For arts, candidate must have an aggregate of not more than 15 units for both Grade I and Grade II holders.
The points of entry for non-Malay students for HSC science classes, 8 points for Grade I and 6 points for Grade II, is too stiff, and should be relaxed to 15 points for Grade I and 12 points for Grade II.
The DAP calls on the Government to greatly expand Form Six places in government schools under the Fourth Malaysia Plan from 1981-1985 to ensure that all eligible and academically-qualified Malaysian students can take advantage of higher education to the benefit of Malaysia’s future development progress.
The DAP will give priority and urgency to this problem in the next meeting Parliament, for we believe that this is as important as that of university intake.
Finally, I note that for national-media STP entry into both science and arts classes, both Malay and non-Malay students are placed on par, probably for two reasons: Firstly, the number of non-Malay student in Bahasa-media STP classes is very small; and secondly, the students are complete products of the government’s Bahasa Malaysia-media education.
I call on the Government to give a concrete assurance that this policy of equal points of entry for both Malay and non-Malay students for STP Bahasa Malaysia media form six class would be continued without change, for after two years the English-medium HSC classes would be terminated!