Email to Mahathir to  urgently  redress policy neglect to develop high-quality university education system by ensuring that all SPM and STPM top scorers are admitted to local universities

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): I have today sent an email to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad expressing grave concern at the recent nation-wide uproar over the rejection of 500-plus SPM top-scorers from universities and the inability of the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad to give a satisfactory explanation about the 7,168 unfilled university places .

I told  the Prime Minister that Musa’s clarification is unsatisfactory for at least  four reasons:

In my email to the Prime Minister, I stressed that the public outcry over unfair university admissions was a bad start for 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

I urged the Cabinet to immediately resolve the public controversy over university admissions as its prolongation will not only be a great setback in forging a Bangsa Malaysia but will be a new and major factor to undermine efforts to restore investor confidence in the future of Malaysia and our economy.

This is because the message the government is sending out from the unfair university admissions controversy is that the government is not attuned to the needs of the new K-economy,  does not give the highest priority to talents, creativity, skills and innovation but only interested in  quantity and not quality of higher education in the country.

This will be a major constraint to Malaysia’s success to become a knowledge-based economy, when in all the advanced nations, knowledge is supplanting physical capital as the source of wealth and a nation’s prosperity in the new era will depend on the quality of its higher education.

Today, global wealth is concentrated less and less in factories, land, tools, and machinery. The knowledge, skills and resourcefulness of people are increasingly critical to the world economy. Human capital in the United States is now estimated to be at least three times more important than physical capital.

The Cabinet should wake up to this reality in the new economy that human capital is more important than physical capital, and that the quality of knowledge generated within our  higher education institutions is  becoming increasingly critical to our national competitiveness.

Malaysia must not only expand the quantity but also improve the quality of higher education in Malaysia, and the Cabinet should urgently redress the policy neglect to develop high-quality university education system by ensuring that all SPM and STPM top scorers are admitted to local universities, and for the current crop of university admissions, approve a four-point plan comprising:


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman