Future of some 10,000 diploma holders with requisite CGPA marks to be admitted into public universities in the hands of Hon Choon Kim

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Saturday)MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said yesterday that the Cabinet had empowered the Education Ministry to find a satisfactory solution to the controversy over the merit-based university entrance selection system. 

This means that the future of some 10,000 diploma holders with the requisite CGPA marks to be admitted into public universities are in the hands of the MCA Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Hon Choon Kim, who must now decide whether he is prepared to take up the case of the diploma holders whose university applications have all been rejected because of a sudden, improper and illegal change of  policy not to consider diplomas for the merit-based university selection system. 

This is unfair, as  diplomas have all these years  been officially  recognized as one of the legitimate university entrance qualifications.  I have with me the guidebook for university admissions for the  academic session 2002/2003 issued by the Higher Education Department of the Education Ministry, which defined  “kelayakan lain yang di iktiraf setaraf dengannya oleh Kerajaan Malaysia”  with STPM as including “(a) Diploma dari Institusi Pendidikan Malaysia seperti dari USM, UPM, UTM, UiTM, KUiTTHO dan Politeknik”.   

This is why last year, some 4,800 diploma holders were admitted into the public  universities alongside students with  STPM and matriculation qualifications. 

To refuse to consider diplomas for university admission is not to treat them as qualifications “setaraf” but “selepas” STPM, and this  is not only unfair but a unlawful misinterpetration of the Education Ministry’s own regulations. 

Hon has now the opportunity to put right this grave injustice as the Education Ministry has been fully empowered to resolve the university intake controversy, and I call on Hon to announce by Tuesday that  the legal right of all diploma holders with the requisite CGPA marks to enter public universities would be respected and that a new list of university admissions would be issued by the Education Ministry.  

If Hon cannot make use of this “window of opportunity” to ensure that qualified diploma holders, including those with the full CGPA mark of 4, are offered public university places, then he should resign as Deputy Education Minister. 

If Hon is not prepared to ensure that the legal rights of the diploma holders with requisite CGPA grades to be  admitted to public universities are respected, then the diploma holders should institute legal action to ask the courts to declare the reinstatement of  their right to public university places based on the results of their diplomas  – and Hon should be one of the parties who should be sued for wrongful denial of the right of the diploma holders to entry into public universities.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman