Call on the MCA Central Committee meeting on Friday to adopt a unanimous resolution, with full support from both MCA A and B factions, to ask Cabinet to discontinue the “meritocracy without merit” system for university admission selection and its replacement by a common entrance examination
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): All eyes in the country are on Friday’s MCA Central Committee meeting, where the simultaneous resignations of Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek as MCA President and Deputy President respectively are to be formalized, leading according to reports to their replacement by Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and Datuk Chan Kong Choy.
There is no denial that both Ling and Lim had simultaneously submitted their “short and simple” formal resignation letters to the MCA secretary-general, the culmination of the “peace plan” worked out by Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing with the blessings of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to end the three-year power struggle between the MCA Team A and B factions.
While it is understandable that the entire MCA leadership and membership are now fully pre-occupied by the Mahathir “peace” formula as worked out by Lim Kok Wing, it is no justification or excuse why no MCA Minister or national leader, whether from Team A or Team B, had spoken up in the past week about the injustices of this year’s university student intake in using a “meritocracy system” without merit, rejecting hundreds if not thousands of eligible and qualified students for entry into the public universities if there is a level playing field and fair university entrance selection system giving proper regard to genuine merit and academic attainments.
While the top agenda of Friday’s MCA Central Committee meeting is undoubtedly the Mahathir’s “peace formula” as worked out by Lim Koki Wing, I want to make a public call to the MCA Central Committee to also adopt an unanimous resolution, with full support from both MCA A and B factions, on Friday to ask the Cabinet to discontinue the “meritocracy without merit” system for university admission selection, the levelling of the playing field for admission to public universities and the institution of a race-blind competitive system based on a common university entrance examination with 80% places awarded on merit and 20% on needs.
Otherwise, the first casualty of the MCA power struggle and the Lim Kok Wing MCA “peace formula” are the legitimate rights of an entire generation of Malaysians to affordable quality tertiary education in the public universities – which are crucial and critical not only for national integration and nation-building but also in enhancing Malaysia’s international competitiveness in the face of the challenges of globalization.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman