DAP offers free legal service to diploma students to sue Government  if Cabinet throws away  last chance on Wednesday to rectify injustice of excluding diploma holders from university intake for the 2002/2003 academic session

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Monday) DAP will offer  free  legal service to diploma students regardless of race or state  to sue the Government  if the Cabinet throws away  the  last chance on Wednesday to rectify the gross  injustice of excluding diploma holders from university intake for the 2002/2003 academic session.

It is  most unfair for the Education Ministry to refuse this year  to consider the university application of some 10,000 diploma hlolders, as  diplomas have for many 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 an unlawful misinterpetration of the Education Ministry’s own regulations which can be challenged in a court of law.

The Cabinet on Wednesday should announce that all diploma holders with CGPA mark above 3 would all be offered places in public universities, as this is generally regarded as a “highly satisfactory” result.  I understand that at present, there are diploma students who score the top CGPA mark of 4 whose university applications have not been considered at all – which is completely against the Education Ministry’s profession of wanting to create a world-class education system.

The Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad and Education Ministry officials, including his deputy education ministers, must be made to realize that they cannot arbitrarily destroy the  legitimate expectations of diploma students to proceed to first-degree university courses based on academic excellence as has been the practice in the past without being challenged in a court of law for their unlawful actions. Diploma students who want a test case and a class action  to challenge the unlawful decision  of the Education Ministry in  refusing to consider their university applications should contact DAP MPs, Assemblymen, officials  and branches.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman