Musa took five days to vigorously deny that there were 7,168 unfilled university places although he was unable to explain the statement by the Education Ministry Higher Education Department director Professor Hassan Said who announced on 3rd May 2001 that there had been a 15 per cent drop in university intake from the originally-targetted 38,000 university places because of a shortfall of qualified bumiputra science students.
Musa should explain whether the 7,168 science university places had all been filled by bumiputra science students and if not to state the number of places filled by bumiputra students in arts and Islamic studies.
It would be most ridiculous and make a mockery of Malaysia’s ambition to become a hi-tech nation and IT power to fill the shortfall of bumiputra university places with bumiputra arts and religious students.
While retaining the bumiputra arts and religious students who have been admitted into the universities to fill the 7,168 places, I call on Musa to release all science places from the 7,168 university places which were not filled by bumiputra science students to eligible Chinese and Indian science students from among the 500 plus SPM top scorers and thousands of STPM holders, as otherwise, Malaysia will be going against the Third Outline Perspective Plan, the Eighth Malaysia Plan and the National Vision Policy to forge a united nation consisting of a progressive and dynamic Bangsa Malaysia which is globally competitive.
It is most regrettable that as an academician and non-politician, Musa should have given encouragement to the demand for the increase of the bumiputra university quota from 55 per cent to 66 per cent, when he should have spoken out in no uncertain terms that such a proposal is completely unacceptable for two reasons - against the national interests of Malaysian nation-building as well as against the very spirit in which the quota system was first introduced by the New Economic Policy as a temporary measure and not a permanent feature of the Malaysian education system.
Berita Harian in its editorial of Wednesday, 9th May 2001 under the heading “Kuota masuk IPTA harus cerminkan nisbah kaum” was the first time the call for the increase of the bumiputra university quota from 55% to 66% was made.
The editorial argued that according to the 2000 Census, the total Malaysian population of 23.27 million comprised 14.56 million bumiputras or 66.1%, 5.58 million Chinese or 25.3% and 1.63 million or 7.4 per cent and that the university entry quota should reflect the latest population ethnic ratios, i.e. 66 per cent for bumiputras and 34 per cent for non-bumiputras.
Berita Harian pursued this line in its Thursday edition in a report under the heading “IPTA: Tambah kuota pelajar Bumiputera”, where it elicited the support for the demand to increase the bumiputra quota from 55% to 66% in public institutions (IPTA) to reflect population changes.
Among those who came to Berita Harian’s support was Datuk Zainal Abidin Wahid, “tokoh pendidik dan pengasas Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)”, who claimed that there are only 15% bumiputra students in the private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) where non-bumiputras constituted 85%.
This is a most irresponsible statement as it does not accord with the
facts. Based on data from the Education Ministry, a total number of 456
IPTS were registered as at 31st December 1999 with a total enrolment of
199,613 students, comprisng 40.6 per cent bumiputras or 81,043 students
and 59.4 per cent non-bumiputras or 118,570 students. In contrast,
out of the total enrolment of 203,675 students at tertiary level in public
institutions in 1999, bumiputras constituted 72.7 per cent or 148,149
students while non-bumiputras constituted 27.3% or 55,526 students.
The total enrolment of students at tertiary level at all local institutions of higher learning, both IPTA and IPTS, in 1999 are as follows:
First degree, diploma and certificate enrolment in all institutions (IPTA and IPTS) for 1999
Enrolment Bumiputra Non-Bumiputra Total
60.78% 39.22% 100%
Diploma 94,403 75,805 170,208
55.46% 44.54% 100%
Certificate 30,936 31,287 62,223
49.72% 50.28% 100%
Total 229,192 174,096 403,288
56.83% 43.17% 100%
The data for total enrolment in private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) in 1999 according to racial breakdown is as follows:
First degree, diploma and certificate enrolment in private institutions (IPTS) according to race for 1999
Enrolment Bumiputra Non-Bumiputra Total
19.4% 80.6% 100%
Diploma 44,815 65,914 110,729
40.5% 59.5% 100%
Certificate 30,211 27,736 57,947
52.1% 47.9% 100%
Total 81,043 118,570 199,613
40.6% 59.4% 100%
After his five-day “David Copperfield” performance, Musa now claims that there are in fact 11,376 qualified bumiputra students who had not been given places in the universities.
There are three questions for Musa: