MCA Ministers should censure or at least ask for an apology from Musa at Wednesay's Cabinet meeting for breaching the principle of collective responsibility of Ministers  in going out-of-line by giving personal support  to the extremist proposal to increase bumiputra university quota from 55:45 to 66:34


Media Conference Statement 2
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr. Fong Chan Onn told Nanyang Siang Pao in a front-page headline report today that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had at last Wednesday's Cabinet meeting directed the Education Ministry to strictly adhere to the university quota to ensure that non-bumiputra students reach 45% of the intake.

Fong said Mahathir also instructed the Education Department to allow eligible non-bumiputra students  to fill quotas which are not taken up by bumiputra students.

Fong also disclosed that at the Cabinet meeting three or four weeks ago on the Third Outline Perspective Plan and the Eighth Malaysia Plan, there was a   "counter-proposal" to the university quota system but because of the opposition of MCA Ministers, the Cabinet including UMNO Ministers decided that there was no need to review the quota system.

If it is true that the Cabinet had taken a policy decision when approving the Third Outline Perspective Plan and the Eighth Malaysia Plan that the status quo for the university quota system should remain, then the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad had been most irresponsible in breaching the important principle of collective responsibility of Ministers by  going out-of-line by giving personal support  to the extremist proposal to increase bumiputra university quota from 55:45 to 66:34 in order to distract attention from the education scandal on university admissions where  even SPM top scorers with 12As are also rejected.

Last Thursday, Musa was reported by all media as saying that the government was prepared to increase the bumiputra-intake quota from the present 55% to 66% based on the countryís current racial composition.

He said he was of the view that the proposal to increase the university quota for bumiputras could be accepted but the government must first consider the views of society at large, including the Barisan Nasional parties.

For a non-politician who entered the Cabinet by way of "helicopter", Musa has learnt very fast how to "play politics" with educational issues!

As the Cabinet had just  decided that there should no change to the bumiputra university quota, the MCA Ministers  should censure or at least ask for an apology from Musa at Wednesay's Cabinet meeting for  breaching the fundamental principle of collective responsibility of Ministers by going out of line in giving personal support to  the extremist proposal to increase bumiputra university quota from 55:45 to 66:34.

In the Nanyang Siang Pao report, Fong rightly said that from Education Ministry statistics in the Second National Economic Consultative Council (NECC) Report, the university quota of 55:45 for bumiputras and non-bumiputras had not been complied with.

MCA Ministers and all MCA Deputy Education Ministers, present and past, including Fong,  who was formerly Deputy Education Minister, should explain why they had failed for over a decade to monitor the university quota system to ensure that it is strictly complied without creating new  injustices in its implementation.

In this connection, I am shocked that MCA Ministers and leaders are claiming that they had never been allowed access to information and data about university admissions  to enable them to check as to whether the university quota is being adhered to every year.

MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the other MCA Ministers and past and present MCA Deputy Education Ministers should clarify whether they had been kept in the dark and denied information about university admissions  which made it impossible for them to monitor university intakes  for over a decade, and if this is not true, then they should release the data of  all university intake figures for the past 25 years for all faculties in all universities  to establish whether the government had adhered or deviated from the 55:45 ratio.

As Fong has claimed that the Prime Minister had directed the Ministry of Education to release unfilled university places to eligible non-bumiputra students, the MCA Ministers should explain whether they could accept Musa's explanation that there were in fact no unfilled 7,168 university places  and his David Copperfield-like capability to  find 8,365 bumiputra students to occupy and    exceed the  7,168 unfilled university places from two matriculation groups.

The MCA Ministers should explain what steps they have taken to ensure that the university intake this year and in particular the mystery of the 7,168 unfilled university places will be satisfactorily resolved to comply with the university quota of 55:45 and Mahathirís directive on unfilled places.

(14/5/2001)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman