MIC commended for its resolution on 10% quota for Indians in IPTAs but Samy Vellu wrong to blame shortfall of Indians in universities on “stiff competition” from Chinese students

- Miri DAP Branch “Restore Justice” Dinner
Lim Kit Siang

(Miri, Monday): The 55th MIC Annual General Assembly in Johore Bahru passed a resolution asking the Education Ministry to reserve at least 10% of the places in every faculty in public universities for Indian students.

The MIC General Assembly is commended for its resolution “to enable the Indian community to move in tandem with the other races in the country towards a socio-economic equitable position”.

I am actually quite surprised by this resolution, as I have always been under the impression that the 55:45 bumiputra/non-bumiputra university quota comprised 35% for Chinese and 10% for Indians as far as the non-bumiputra apportionment is concerned.  May be, the MIC President, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu should explain why the MIC leadership had failed to ensure that the 10% quota for Indian university student intake was strictly  honoured in the past two decades.

However, the Samy Vellu is wrong when he said that the reason Indian students failed to secure places in local public universities was due to “stiff competition with Chinese students to fill the 45 per cent non-bumiputera quota”.

According to Bernama report, Samy said that “when mediocre Indian students are required to compete with the Chinese students who had obtained better results, they stand to lose out”.

Samy said: “This system is very disadvantageous to the Indian students as the Chinese students who have obtained 11As or 10As stand to gain places whereas Indian students who only obtain 7As the most, cannot compete.”

Referring to the “mediocre results” of Indian students in the Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM), Samy said:

“We only get a handful of Malaysian Indian students getting all As … I think it was about 15 students this year.  We need more students getting excellent results.”

Samy is wrong when he blamed “stiff competition” from Chinese students to fill the 45 per cent non-bumiputera quota as the cause of the shortfall of Indian students  in the local public universities.

This could clearly be seen from the following statistics on the university intake for bumiputera and non-bumiputera students  in the past two decades given in the first and second National Economic Consultative Council (NECC) reports:

First Degree Enrolment in Local Universities

              Bumiputra         Non-Bumiputra       Total

1980          13,610            8,334               21,944
              (62%)             (38%)               (100%)
1985          23,841            13,997              37,838
              (63%)             (37%)               (100%)
1988          30,085            19,705              49,790
              (60.4%)           (39.6%)             (100%)
1990          35,361            18,309              53,670
              (65.9%)           (34.1%)             (100%)
1999          97,836            42,084              139,920
              (69.9%)           (30.1%)             (100%)

(Source: NECC I & NECC II Reports)

From these data, there is a consistent short-fall of non-bumiputera intake from the 45% university quota - i.e. 7% non-bumiputra student shortfall in 1980, 8% in 1985, 5.4% in 1988, 10.9% in 1990 and 14.9% in 1999.

If we take the case of the 1990 and 1999 university intakes, where non-bumiputra student intake was only 34.18% and 30.1% respectively, even if 100 per cent of the non-bumiputra students were Chinese (which was impossible), it would still be short of the 35% Chinese quota - which means the 10% Indian quota had not been touched at all.  As for both years, there is more than 10% shortfall in non-bumiputera student intake, it is wrong for Samy to claim that Indians could not  secure places in local public universities because of  “stiff competition with Chinese students to fill the 45 per cent non-bumiputera quota” as more than 10% non-bumiputra quota had not been filled.

Samy Vellu should not mislead the people with wrong facts and mistaken reasons why Indians could not secure places in the local public universities.

He should explain for instance how the MIC General Assembly resolution reserving 10% places in local public institutions can resolve the problem of inadequate Indian university intake when in 1999, 14.9% of the non-bumiputra 45% quota was not filled!


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman