All Cabinet Ministers will be urgently contacted tomorrow to ask them not to run away from the injustices of this year’s unfair “meritocracy” university selection which compares an apple with an orange and leaves out the pears

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang,  Sunday)I will urgently contact all Cabinet Ministers tomorrow to ask them not to run away from the injustices of this year’s unfair “meritocracy” university selection which compares an apple with an orange and leaves out the pears, and that they should take  remedial action at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. 

The Gerakan President and Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik said the STPM examination and the matriculation classes should be merged to avoid confusion and misunderstanding over the method of admitting students into public universities. 

He said Gerakan supported meritocracy as the basis for selecting students to the university, but meritocracy should be based on purely examination results. 

While I applaud Keng Yaik for speaking out against the unfair “meritocracy” system which is not based on academic performance and pure examination results, it is regrettable that he has chosen the easy way out by not pressing for the rectification of injustices done to students unfairly deprived of public university places this year because of an unfair “meritocracy” system. 

There are two types of injustices in the unfair  merit-based university selection system this year. The first arises from comparing an apple with an orange, in the unprofessional manner in matching the STPM grades with the matriculation results when they are two completely different examination systems. 

The second injustice is that in comparing an apple with an orange, the pears have been left out. 

I have received the following email with the heading  Comparing an apple with an orange. Where are the pears?” from a “pear” who  complained:  

After reading some media reports by our Education Minister, I feel totally disappointed about the so-called ‘very fair’ university entrance selection system.  

“It has been explained that STPM and matriculation results are calculated using a CGPA system, that is commonly been used in college and universities. Where are the statistics of Diploma Holders, apart from the two  mentioned  exam holders? In my case, I am a college student, a UTM diploma holder (this diploma course was offered by my college as a UTM franchise program) who recently applied to get a place in local universities. I think there are a lot more Diploma Holders in the number of thousands from private and government institutions, including all government polytechnic colleges and partially from local universities itself. UTM is one of those. 

“In my college, about twenty of us (all Chinese UTM diploma holders from the same course) applied but none of us manage to get a place. Some of us even scored a 3.4 to 3.75 of CGPA (full CGPA is 4)… 

“This is ridiculous. If the education ministry decided not to give priority  or  even  consider Diploma Holders in the selection process …why did the ministry offer university places to Diploma Holders in the February application? The forms are clearly written that there were two categories of application, STPM and Diploma / Matriculation holders. This is a bad joke letting us wait for nothing.”

The Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad is scheduled to leave for a three-week overseas tour tomorrow, while Keng Yaik is also expected to leave for a two-week trip overseas – both missing the important Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, which should deal with the injustices of the “meritocracy” system in comparing an apple with an orange and in leaving out the pears. 

I would urge Musa and Keng Yaik to delay their overseas trips to be able to attend the Wednesday meeting to ensure that the injustices in this year’s unfair “meritocracy” system are resolved first. 


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman