Cabinet next Wednesday should consider and approve DAPSY proposal that
all the 663 SPM top-scorers who scored 1As in all subjects should be granted
full university scholarships
by Lim Kit Siang
Friday): The release of the 2002 Sijil
Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results had its full share of moments of ecstasy,
rejoicing, sorrow and even tragedy, from the history-setting achievement of
SM(P) Kuen Cheng (Kuala Lumpur) Science student Yap Sui Lin, who scored 16As
(15 1As and a 2A for Bahasa Melayu) and the suicide of SM Tuanku Ampuan
Najihah (Seremban) Science student, J. Lakshmi who failed to get the 6As she
wanted, securing 2As for Mathematics and English Language and credits for
the remaining subjects with P7 for Bahasa Melayu paper, and upset that she
could not afford to continue her education in a private college.
The number of top scorers in last year's SPM increased with 663 candidates
obtaining 1A for all subjects and 2,732 candidates obtaining a combination
of 1A and 2As, compared to 489 and 2,116 respectively last year.
The Cabinet next Wednesday should consider and approve the proposal by DAPSY
National Secretary, Loke Siew Fook that all the 663 SPM top-scorers who
scored 1As in all subjects should be granted full university scholarships,
to send a clear and unmistakable message of a new educational ethos in the
country where the benchmarks are performance, achievement and meritocracy.
The Cabinet should also award the second group of 2,732 SPM top-scorers who
obtained a combination of 1A and 2As for all subjects, with commensurate
recognition to encourage the entire student population to compete and excel
at the academic level.
However, as befitting a just, caring and compassionate society, there should
be mechanisms and systems in place in every school and community to ensure
that tragedies like the suicide of Lakshmi do not recur, that all students
are fully aware that so long as they are prepared to work hard and improve
academically, they will not be denied the right to affordable quality higher
education in the country.
Monies spent on giving full scholarships to the 663 SPM top scorers as well
as other forms of recognition to the other 2,732 SPM high-fliers, as well as
to ensure that the Lakshmis would be assured of the right to affordable and
quality higher education, are investments in the future of the country which
are more worthwhile than many other forms of government expenditures -
including the over RM200 million spent on the 13th Non-Aligned Movement
(NAM) Summit in Kuala Lumpur and another RM200 million for the Organisiation
of Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit in October this year.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National