Over radio and television, Liong Sik said that the Cabinet yesterday had instructed the Education Ministry to offer places in public universities to all Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) high achievers, raising false hopes among the SPM top scorers and their parents.
This is because a close reading of Liong Sik’s statement in the printed media gives a completely different version, that there is no promise whatsoever that all the SPM top scorers would be offered places in public universities.
Hidden away in the New Straits Times report, for instance, is his statement that “the Cabinet’s decision today did not mean that all the students would be admitted into universities later”.
This is most unsatisfactory and makes a complete mockery of the Eighth Malaysia Plan and the National Vision Policy to transform Malaysians into a highly-skilled, knowledgeable and productive workforce to make a success of Malaysia’s k-economy and information society.
I am not convinced with the explanation given by the Education Minister,
Tan Sri Musa Mohamad that there are no 7,168 unfilled university places.
Putting that aside, for the national good of the country, the Cabinet should
adopt a new policy of university admission and in the case of the 500-plus
SPM top scorers, adopt the following principles:
The Cabinet’s preparedness to adopt a fair university admission policy is an acid test as to whether Malaysia is ready for the challenges of globalisation, liberalisation and information and communications technology (ICT) in the 21st century or whether we should scale down our Multi-media Super Corridor and IT ambitions and targets.