At least, its Youth education bureau chairman does.
Ahmad Ikmal Ismail said that increasing the quota for PSD scholarships for non-bumiputras without increasing the actual number of scholarships had drastically affected the bumiputras.
Ahmad Ikmal added this meant scholarships were being taken from the bumiputras and given to non-bumiputras.- The Star
And MCA is shocked by it. But you know, MCA seems to be shocked by everything these days. After the shock of March 8, I guess, MCA has been shocked out of its collective pants.
The point is, Umno doesn’t see this move as leveling the playing field. Umno doesn’t want competition within its ranks and likewise, among Malay students.
There are probably thousands and thousands of Malay students out there who can compete academically with their non-Malay students and indeed, some of them excel. I’ve known many.
Competition can only bring benefits. It makes these students study harder, more creative and tougher. End result: quality graduates from our educational system.
But no. Umno thinks these reservations must be protected. None of these “geniuses” ever thought of providing alternative strategies.
What about building more universities, so that there is no scrambling for places and having good students denied a place in universities cos there is no space.
There is nothing wrong with the Public Services Department increasing the number of scholarships, since it is the tax-payers’ money.
And there is another issue here. It is a great mistake to see Malay students as the poor and underprivileged, that Umno likes to paint them as.
People like Nazri, Hishammudin, Mukhriz, Khairy Jamaludin and the likes are all the beneficiaries of this system.
Many of any of these creme de la creme Malay students were already selected from the top schools in the country. At first it was the MCKK, SDAR, Tunku Kurshiah College, Sekolah Tun Fatimah (the Penyata and then the MARA schools.
These hot houses which are almost exclusively for Malays (I say almost because there are a handful of non-Malays who were schooled here) produced lots of academic high flyers.
These you don’t see at local universities because they go to a prep college here to do their pre-uni studies before being whisked away to top British, American and Australian universities.
Many of these are of course not just PSD scholars but those sponsored by the GLCs. Petronas, Telekom Malaysia, Bank Negara and Tenaga Nasional, among others.
There is no non-Malay equivalent for this overseas brigade. Not in this size. Cos very few non-Malay students get the opportunity to have their studies sponsored overseas. Most are FAMA (father and mother)-sponsored.
And believe me. Many of these students I encountered at these prep colleges actually smell expensive. Many are children of Datuks and Tan Sris. A very minuscule number are actually non-Malay bumiputeras.
At the end of the day its nepotism and cronyism again. I guess that is why a small fry like Ahmad Ikmal is all upset. Because the larger pickings at the top are already beyond his reach. And the pickings at his level will have a bigger pool of sharks attacking them.