by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 26.6.1986:
Call on Ng Cheng Kiat to resign as Deputy Education Minister if he could not get proper university and faculty places for students who have been denied a fair deal either because of discrimination against Chinese and Tamil language subjects or other new forms of injustice
It is clear that both the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim and the Deputy Education Minister, Ng Cheng Kiat, have failed to satisfy the students, parents and the Malaysian public about the injustices and discrimination arising from the new batch of university student intake this year.
Ng Cheng Kiat is particularly disappointing, for all he said in the dialogue between the MCA and the Chinese community in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday was that the Chinese students will face even greater disappointments next year as there would be keener competition among themselves!
I call on Ng Cheng Kiat to resign as Deputy Education Minister if he could not get proper university and faculty places for students who have been denied a fair deal because of new discriminatory rules and regulations, particularly with regard to Chinese and Tamil language STPM subject.
A few months ago, the Education Ministry had announced that beginning with this year’s new university intake, some universities would not recognise STPM Chinese end Tamil language subjects. Although subsequently, as a result of protests from the DAP and other organisations, the Education Ministry backtracked and claimed that this was a misunderstanding, from the actual process of university intake this year, it is clear that the Chinese and Tamil language paper at STPM level has been given a lower economic and educational value.
Although the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, had claimed that all along, the Law Faculty in University of Malaya had not accepted the Chinese language for purposes of admission, this has been proved false by courageous law students who point out that during their time, the Chinese language paper was taken into account.
Why should Anwar Ibrahim mislead the people – did he do it deliberately, or was it again, another mistake of the press?
Why should the educational and economic value of mother-tongue subjects whether at SPM or STPM progressively be reduced, which, if un-¬checked, will result in no one wanting to take the Chinese STPM subject!
The DAP calls for the full recognition of Chinese and Tamil subject on par with any other subject, as had been the position in the past, for university intake purposes.
All those for instance who in the past would have been allowed to take up their first choice of studying law at the University of Malaya – and who now are being sent either to Universiti Kebangsaan to do economics or Sains University to do humanities, should be allowed to do their first choice and re-posted back to the Law Faculty of University of Malaya.
As the UPU and the Universities had already made their selection of students, this would mean that some faculties would have more students than originally planned, and that there would be also a departure from the bumiputra/non-bumiputra percentages decided for each faculty and each university for this year.
I call for the suspension of the strict implementation of bumiputra-non-bumiputra ratio for university admissions for this year, for the resolution of the injustices arising from new discriminatory university intake policies is more important than any other factor.
Call on all MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers to jointly demand at next Wednesday’s Cabinet that the bumiputera/non-bumiputera rations be suspended for this year to resolve the new discriminations and injustices of university intake
If the UFU and the Universities, and the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim are not prepared to take the initiative to suspend the strict implementation of the bumiputera/non-bumiputera ratios for this year, then
I call on all the MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers to form a united front at next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting. They should jointly demand that in the interests of justice as well as national unity, the bumiputra/non-bumiputra ratios for this year for universities and faculties should be suspended, so that no student is denied his faculty or university based on his academic results because of new rules refusing to accord Chinese Language, for instance, any value or recognition.
Awar Ibrahim cannot convince Malaysians that the government has no financial capacity to make such adjustments, especially as the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, has only admitted two days ago that the government had used public institutional funds (which exceed $1 billion) to play the stock market.
Who will believe that the Malaysian Government can throw over a billion dollars into the stock market, but could not find ways and means to overcome the injustices faced by the new batch of students who have been denied the faculty and university of their choice based on their academic results, through no fault of theirs?
In this connection, I call on Anwar Ibrahim to make public the full details of the criteria by which the UPU and the various Universities selected students for their various faculties, as well as releasing full figures of the bumiputra and non-bumiputra students in each faculty – both the new intake, and the total student population.
So long as the authorities are not prepared to make public the criteria of selection of students for universities and faculties, so long will the government labour under widespread suspicion that it is not being honest and above board with the people on this vital matter.