Email to all Ministers to support my call to  Mahathir that the Cabinet on Wednesday  urgently  adopt a high quality higher-education policy where all SPM and STPM top scorers are admitted into public  universities

Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Yesterday, I sent an email to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad urging the Cabinet to urgently adopt a high quality higher-education policy where all SPM and STPM top scorers are admitted to local universities as the present educational controversy over the rejection of 500-plus SPM and thousands of STPM  top-scorers from public universities is doubly unfortunate -  a setback to Malaysian nation-building as well as  undermining efforts to restore investor confidence in the Malaysian economy.

This is because the message the government is sending out from the unfair university admissions controversy is that the Cabinet  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.

In my email to the Prime Minister, I said:

“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.”

Today, I sent an email to all the Cabinet Ministers asking  them to support my email proposal to the Prime Minister yesterday that Malaysia must not only expand the quantity but also improve the quality of higher education in Malaysia, and that  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:

In my email to the Cabinet Ministers, I also attached a copy of my email to the Prime Minister where I expressed grave concern at the current 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 for four reasons:

I hope the Cabinet Ministers, irrespective of race or party, could agree with the  email view I conveyed  to the Prime Minister that the public outcry over unfair university admissions is  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 competitive - and that the Cabinet should resolve this controversy once and for all at its  meeting on Wednesday.

*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman