University student intake – season for frus and despair

Image Hosted by

University intake for this year is out and its a season for frustration and despair at the injustices of the system.

I received the following sad letter from Clare:

I am writing to voice my dissatisfaction towards the Ministry of Higher Education who rejected my brother’s application into a local university.

When my brother told me that his application was “tidak berjaya”, I was very disappointed. Not that his result is bad, in fact, his result is very good compared to many other students (even better than mine). He got a CGPA of about 3.2 (I got 2.9 back then) and applied for ‘not-so-popular’ business-related courses and he was rejected.

I do not know what to tell my mum when she called to announce the result just now. My parents must be very disappointed, not with my brother, but with the higher education ministry. My brother has gone into exile because of that. I am not surprised if he has developed a mentality that the government is biased towards the handicapped (my brother is handicapped with cerebral palsy-as stated in one of the links in my post)

I do not know who else to turn to, Uncle Lim. Please advise.

I will write to the Higher Education Minister and hope he could do justice in this case. What is needed is an overhaul of the university student intake system which is just and transparent and not a scandal of a fraudulent system of meritocracy.

  1. #1 by Winston on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 11:25 am

    What is needed is a complete overhaul of the BN government. Or better still dump it!
    However, whoever wanted to change the system for the better will also face a lot of resistance, at least in the initial stages, until they see the benefits of the new system.
    Hopefully Uncle Lim will be able to win the coming GE and depose of the ineffective BN.

  2. #2 by Godfather on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 11:25 am

    All the while, the PM is dreaming of our local universities being universally-acclaimed centres of learning, and producers of nobel laureates.

    All this while, the UMNOputras are stealing from us – stealing our public money and stealing our hopes.

    Clare, your brother will be better off in a foreign university. Beg or borrow, get him to a foreign university so that he doesn’t mix with the big pile of junk that is produced in our local universities. Let them have all the places in the local universities so that they can graduate under the coconut tree, dreaming of nobel prizes.

  3. #3 by taikohtai on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 11:34 am

    I do emphatise with the writer. There is simply no short cut as BN refuses to attend to the rakyat’s concerns. Some of us are more lucky when we had to take the only other option – migration.
    Today, when I see my kids in university and doing very well, I know that my wife and I have made the right decision.

    I would advise that you must continue to encourage your brother to look for other alternatives. Overseas unis are expensive but if the sacrifice has to been made (just like some of our parents during their time – migrating from China), it may turn up to be a blessing indeed. And guess what? Countries like Australia are now accepting fresh graduates as PRs as jobs are plentiful and not been filled fast enough!

    Good luck!

  4. #4 by Jimm on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 12:07 pm

    Not that you have to be in the right color of lately, but must be a digitalized one too , just to be noticed.
    BN cares for their own version of ‘rakyat’.
    I have spend time away and back here now for awhile, in Malaysia.
    Things are rapidly changing with those ‘influenced’ people demonstrated their ‘power’ to us daily. We are merely people that happens to live in their soil.
    Don’t worry, we have been going through all these over and over again before. Most of us will have a chance to really feel being ‘victimized’ by the circumstances once or more.
    Be prepared always and seek a way out by talking to enough people in the street for opinion. Go to relevant embassies in town, there you can find answer on what is best to look out for..
    We have live through life until today and there are many more new days to come .. for us to live to our fullest .. go beyond ..

  5. #5 by sotong on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 12:27 pm

    The grossly damaging and narrow politics of the government affect everything and are doing enormous damage to the country.

    To perpetuate and grossly abused a damaging and unfair policies are most irresponsible.

    How could the government deny their citizens, bumi and non bumi, the right to get a fair and proper education?

  6. #6 by Toyol on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 12:29 pm

    Yes, as Chinese we are extremely well adapted not like the other kind who need crutches all the time. If migration is not an option, local colleges is also possible with the option of doing final year overseas. As long as work hard, the rewards will come, so hang in there! We have to help overselves now and we don’t owe the govt anything!

  7. #7 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 12:44 pm

    If you are qualified please go to Singapore.

  8. #8 by Plaintruth on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 1:08 pm

    I say it is a pure waste of ink to write to the education minister unless you name end with a Muhamad or Ahmad. You are living in a state of denial in this bolehland (bodohland). For 50 years the malay government has been using the admission to university as their weapon, as their powerful tool to limit the growth of other races. You are blind if you are not seeing this (I am so sorry for the harsh words) ….. but this is reality in malayland.
    Use your anger to do something, motivate all the people you know to vote for DAP and get rid of UMNO and their parasite.

  9. #9 by Joetan on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 1:15 pm

    Whenever result of this bolehland’s university intake is out, we can actually see the sad and despair of potential brain drain of this country. We can also see why more and more of these group of citizens opt for migration instead of staying put and contribute to this country. If not for the discrimination policies it practice, this country might have become one of the asian tigers or probably better. But unfortunately, what we see today after decade of these policies being practiced, are buildings falling apart due to incompetent contractors and also falling behind other countries like Singapore which dont even have natural resources but only human capitals. This is indeed a very sad sad story.

  10. #10 by Jefus on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 1:18 pm

    Many of the local unis are not handicap friendly. Cant he do a correspondence degree?

  11. #11 by tc on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 1:25 pm

    NST 19 JUNE Front Page: University Intake for 2007.Comprising 62.13% Bumiputra;31.77% Chinese and 6.10% Indians.
    Above intake based on what criteria?Looks like based on ethnic ratio rather than meritocracy.How about the racial breakdown for the following courses 1) Medicine 925 2) Dentistry 205 3) Pharmacy 280.These 3 courses should be based on meritocracy because lives are involved in these discipline.

  12. #12 by maya on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 1:38 pm

    Dear Clare,
    First of all, pls convey my warmest regards and heartiest congratulations to your brother for having done so well despite his physical challenges. I always believe that when a door is closed, God opens a window somewhere else. Maybe he would not achieve his full potential if he stays on here….think about the alternatives Clare. Just for an eg, my older brother was offered a course in agriculture after his HSC, he went ahead to Europe, obtained a scholarship to study medicine there and is now in a directorial post with United Nations. Can you imagine how his life would have been if he accepted what was offered to him in Malaysia?? As the others have stated, look beyond. God bless.

  13. #13 by izrafeil on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 1:38 pm


  14. #14 by sotong on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 2:32 pm

    This is not just about the discrimination in education and the subsequence opportunity presented elsewhere…..if you are reasonably lucky…..some failed and destroyed their life ambition.

    It’s about the damaging and divisive policies creating unnecessary hurt, frustration and anger to our innocent young people who felt they had been denied their fair and basic rights and opportunity.

    Are we discouraging our people to achieve their very best and become dependent on the government welfare and a liability to the country?

  15. #15 by rookie on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 2:42 pm

    I was interviewed by UTM and UPM 17 years ago for a place in the university. Guess what? I was rejected although my result was good. The reason given was that the course that I applied for was not offered. To me, that was a lame excuse! I was part of the statistics.

    Fortunately, my parent sent me to US for further study and I am doing well. The local graduates whom I had been interviewing had no analytical skill, couldn’t expressed their thoughts well and no initiative at all.

  16. #16 by a-malaysian on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 3:01 pm

    Clare, I really feel sad for your brother predicament. Forget about umno rule policy, they are really racist and there is nothing we can do about it. mca can just go and hang themselves. umno rule is “if you don’t like it, you can leave”.

    Start your search elsewhere. Search the internet for big companies here and other countries for sponsorship. Note: Don’t waste time to apply from the glc or any bumi big companies as they will reject you straight away because of their racist policy.

    Singapore is a good start and if you need further assistance let us know through Kit’s Blog and I am sure many are willing to lend a helping hand.

    May GOD bless and walk together with you and your borther.

    50 years is ENOUGH
    Vote For A Change
    Vote For Any Opposition
    Give Them A Chance To Change For A Better Malaysia
    Remember bn Is A Useless Grouping Of Self Serving, Corrupt, Dictator, Power Crazy, Racist, Kris waving, etc, etc type of parties.

  17. #17 by 4th_wife on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 3:30 pm

    “All the while, the PM is dreaming of our local universities being universally-acclaimed centres of learning, and producers of nobel laureates.”

    The problem is our PM is not, he is at best qualify as an Argama school teacher.

  18. #18 by Anti_NEP on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 3:34 pm

    Bodohwi dreamt of winning the nobel prize in 2057. My foot !!! ZZZZZZZ dreaming all day long. With this kind of discrimination policy this bodohland is doomed.

  19. #19 by marmitecrab on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 3:36 pm

    This is so amusing. Every year, this happens. And the usual finger pointing begins. The non-Bumis will blame the govt and UMNO, etc. for their non-acceptance into uni. All I can say is this: Get a life! Grow up! Move on!

    Before that, I truly sympathise with the author of this story and I do hope your brother will receive the education he longs for. Everyone deserves it, no matter their predicament so I hope something works out for him.

    And now, let’s look at the hard facts:

    Fact 1 – there are only so many vacancies in public universities. This was made known before the results were out. If you are offered a spot, then please take it if you have no choice.

    Fact 2 – everyone applies for medicine (sarcasm intended). And when alternatives are offered, you reject it because you ONLY want to do medicine and nothing else. And if you don’t get it, you go crying to the political parties.

    Fact 3 – the ruling party has to be seen to support their own. You cannot seriously expect them to offer ALL the good spots to the chinese, can you? How naive and stupid of you to think so.

    So what do you do? You cry and complain that the govt is being unfair, that they practice discrimination, etc. Yeah, so what? This is Malaysia. Don’t you know this is the policy? Don’t you know this is what we’ve been doing all this time? It’s downright ridiculous, I know but that’s the cold, hard fact.

    So what are you choices? Apply for other courses, go to private institutions, go overseas or get a job and postpone your studies.

    That’s all you got and that’s all you gonna get. Oh, you can also complain to the political parties and they will “try” their very best to talk to the Minister of Higher Education to see if they can get “you” in. Why the inverted commas? Talking about unfair advantages, because you had an avenue to talk to your state representative, something can be done. What about those who don’t have this avenue? What’s going to happen to them? And what gives you the right to have an unfair advantage over the rest?

  20. #20 by fm2 on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 3:36 pm

    i’d suggest go to apply oversea, singapore or any other country if the result is good. dun come back, no point stay in this useless country.

  21. #21 by Godfather on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 5:06 pm

    Every year, we hear of similar heart-rending stories, and we rant and rave against the uneven playing field, and we file motions of debate in parliament. Every general election, the non-Malays continue to vote the BN into power, and the playing field gets tilted even further.

    Guess what? If we are not brave enough to make a stand now and vote for the opposition – any opposition – then we should not ask for fairness from politicians who never had the intent to be fair.

  22. #22 by shiver on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 5:30 pm

    marmite crab,
    it has been going on for years. last time, parents could send their children overseas but times are tough now. we have to do locally.
    we dont go crying but enough is enough. this govt treats us as we are nobodies, we are not worth helping and we are always part of the statistics. ask yourself this. do you think by being a one race controlled country, do you think malaysia will be able to boleh? look at the parliament in msia, we have monkeys shouting of keluar dari msia, bocor etc. look at our newspapers, what kind of stupid headlines is bahasa melayu now bahasa malaysia or abdullah dreams of wawasan 2057? what good is that? there is no talk of developement except for the IDR, which doesnt even make sense.
    i have never voted BN as my area is under seputeh and teresa’s been great but i cant help it that the rest of the people voted dacing.. 50 years of freedom has made us 20 years back from the rest of the world.
    stop thinking like chinese, indian or malay and start thinking like a malaysian, can you?

  23. #23 by Phat-kor on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 5:51 pm

    Godfather,,,,,,,,,,,you are absolutely right. A total reform is long overdue.
    Uncle kit, we need you to be physically and mentally strong as we will need you even more in the next ge, you definitely have our votes. And not only that, a total reform will need more new young bloods of the parti pembangkang.

  24. #24 by marmitecrab on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 8:23 pm


    Sorry but you’re not making any sense. You said a lot of things without actually saying anything. Please be more specific in what you’re trying to say and get to the point.

    You asked me to think like a malaysian but you didn’t say what thinking like a malaysian is all about. Maybe you can elaborate?

  25. #25 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 10:54 pm

    “I am writing to voice my dissatisfaction towards the Ministry of Higher Education who rejected my brother’s application into a local university.” Clare

    Maybe we should also organize 100,000 signatures campaign for uni reject, but on second thought don’t waste your time. I felt very sad everytime this kind of letter appeared in Uncle Kit’s blog and yet many voices are still unheard. DAP needs a concrete plan to counter this problem as there will be more victims as things will never improve under BN. An educational fund or scholarship can be set up to offer to these bright students that suffered BN’s discrimination poilicies.

  26. #26 by Pengajar on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 - 11:47 pm

    Mr Lim,
    First of all, we must look at several points. I think the first point should be the health status of the said person. What is his own chosen field ? I can understand his anger but one cannot go into exile all the time when things are not right all the time. We do have to face the reality no matter how difficult the reality is.

  27. #27 by Irene on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 - 5:58 am


  28. #28 by ProMalaysiaNotBN on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 - 6:41 am

    Obviously, the country still need more than the 180,000 unemployable graduates to be satisfied before it will rethink its education system and/or entry intake of the brains rather than the privileged. Meritocracy is too long a word for it to spell or to understand. Once candidates are assessed on lowered standards, grant them tertiary entry on privileged standards, teach them on sub-standards, and graduate them on even lower standards, what can you expect to get as an outcome. No matter what everybody say or decry, the SIMPLE TRUTH IS THAT THE EDUCATION SYSTEM NEEDS A TOTAL REVAMP and the criteria changed to one of merits of the qualification. Continue to put fish on the plates of the privileged instead of teach them to catch fish is to continue to do them a disservice and the country an injustice to what the country contends to aspire to. Incidentally, it is doubtful to change (as a footnote) as the privileged no longer think such privileged treatment is no longer a privilege but a right – a birth right, it seems. So are we banging our heads on the walls as always – Politics, my ass!!!!!!!!!!

  29. #29 by greenacre on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 - 9:47 am

    Maya said when a door closes another true….in life that’s how it works. As a bachelor degree holder I applied to three Malaysian universities IIU , UM and UKM.(rank?) The first two never came back. The third asked for RM30/ processing and that was the end of it. I thought my third class Hons. was not good enough for masters. Two years ago I applied to an Australian university in Victoria(ranking 650-700 ) and I not only did well but got distinctions in a part of my research. Why tell all this ?
    Well it’s about the door as Maya stated.. do the next thing that may open the other door.

  30. #30 by megaman on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 - 10:04 am

    agree wif pengajar …

    we have to look at all the facts n from both perspectives …

    however most of the rantings do have it’s truth …

    The truth is, academically, the non-bumis have been the high scorers and achievers but when it comes to local university admissions, the bumis get the upperhand even though the results are less than the non-bumis that applied … this is still happening even though the guarantee given by the government that admission is based on meritocracy …

    Doesn’t give the tough public examinations its proper values and respect … Besides this, parents have to fork out more to send their children to private institutions, often blowing their lifetime savings and etc …
    Therefore, you can’t blame them for being bitter when their children have to study so hard yet they can’t get into a local uni and they have to end up ten of thousands or more poorer …

    This is for ppl who can afford the private institutions’ fees, what abt the less fortunate ones, to be honest, I think the non-bumis are the ones being marginalized not the bumis.

  31. #31 by marmitecrab on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 - 12:07 pm


    You say we have to look at facts and from both perspectives. How do you know the truth is that non-bumis are the high scorers and achievers? Do you have any facts to back that up or is it just an assumption? This is a sweeping statement that just doesn’t qualify. You also said to see it from both perspectives and yet, you’re only quoting from one. Could it be that the bumis are catching up academically and do deserve their place in public universities? Now wouldn’t that would be looking at it from both perspectives?

    The govt did practice meritocracy a few years ago and as a result, a large number of positions in the local unis were given to the non-bumis. This obviously caused an uproar amongst the bumis and they of course, demanded that the quota system be reinstated. But what this also did was to spur the bumis to do better and they did just that. How do I know? I read the newspapers.

    As for your statement about parents spending money on their children’s education, shouldn’t that be the primary responsibility of any parent? Which country are you living in whereby you didn’t know this to be true about malaysia? I’ve been told this ever since I was a little kid and I accept that this is the responsibility of any parent.

    Finally, both bumi and non-bumi have been marginalised. Either socially, economically or politically. Don’t you think there are poor non-bumis out there who also yearn for an education but can’t afford one? No doubt the govt uses our tax dollars to help as many as possible but there are also unfortunate ones. The difference here is, we can complain.

  32. #32 by Orangutan on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 - 6:30 pm

    I concur with a-malaysian, Singapore may be a good try for your brother if the cost of going to western countries is a big factor.

    I rejected UM’s offer to do Mechanical Engineering 15 years ago to come to Singapore and I never looked back since. In retrospect, in was a good decision looking at where UM’s standing is today in Asia’s best university ranking. You do not need to worry about your handicap and skin colour giving you a disadvantage over here.

    I knew of a few private scholarship foundations then offering scholarships to deserving students to pursue their higher education in Singapore and overseas. I am not very sure if they still do now. Among them were Kuok Foundation, Shaw Foundation and Lee Rubber Foundation in Malaysia. Also, do find out from Singapore GLCs like Keppel Corp, JTC, SIA, GIC, NOL, Sembawang Corp and DBS. They do offer scholarships to deserving Malaysians as I was a recepient of one.

    All the best to you and your brother, do not feel despair as I believe he can make it one day.

  33. #33 by ReformMalaysia on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 - 8:03 pm

    It is open secret that the Non-bumis are marginalised in all aspects by the BN government…. so what LKY said last year is true…

  34. #34 by ReformMalaysia on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 - 8:22 pm

    I still remember- when I was in Form 6 many years ago, my PHYSICS subject was taught by a teacher whose own Physics grade was an ‘R'(a subsidiary pass) at STPM level…. but being a Malay, she was able to enrol to a public university with some sorts of bridging course…. just imagine what would be the quality of such teacher? Who would be the victims?

    The NEP products are just like genetically modified food, …not safe for consumption!!!

  35. #35 by lupus on Thursday, 21 June 2007 - 5:48 am

    Tried to study in Malaysia, was not offered a place – so, when oversea to study – parents were lucky enough to send me there. Came back to be closer to my family – got a job but was told that I had to be a bumi-putera or a foreigner before they will talk to me. After working in Malaysia for 2 year, I left and went overseas. After reading this blog, I asked myself, how many Chinese and Indians I meet overseas, working in the same line that I work in – the answer – alot. People with ties from Penang, Perak, Selangor and Johore. How many Malays I meet working oversea – other than the odd Mara student that I run into or Embassy staff, none.

    My conclusion, if you are good enough, you will make it in a global environment as everyone is treated the same and only how good you are is the only thing that matters. If you are not that good, you will remain in Malaysia and never try and take on the world. If you compare the population percentage of the races in Malaysia and the percentage of non-bumis overseas getting recognition for their work, it is “not balanced” and that because there is no NEP. What NEP has done for the other races is made them stronger as we are force to work harder and become smarter.

    Beside, I find I get more respect from my oversea peers when they find out that I am a non bumi Malaysian as they had good experiences in the past. Hence, people like me will continue to do that so that people such as your brother will find it easier to bloom in a global environment. The only thing is that the younger generation must continue this work for future generation that are going to school now.

  36. #36 by endoru on Thursday, 21 June 2007 - 9:23 am

    “What is needed is an overhaul of the university student intake system which is just and transparent and not a scandal of a fraudulent system of meritocracy.” Very well said, Uncle Lim. I was worrying whether my sister could get into any, not because she has handicap or so, but it is said to see the fact that all students have to go through the fear whether he/she gets a place although they have a set of excellent results. Merits, yes, perhaps a way to judge good “bookworms” but it is simply a waste to see children who can make a difference in the future go bewildered just because they got rejected. Hopefully, a day will come that all Malaysians children get the chance to get higher education which I believe is very vital.

  37. #37 by Clare on Thursday, 21 June 2007 - 9:49 am

    Hi Uncle Lim and fellow commentors (incl. readers)!

    I was the Clare mentioned in the post. I would like to thank Uncle Lim and you all for your suggestions, support and concern.

    As much as I hate to admit it, the truth is obvious: local university products (esp [email protected]|@Ys and most Chinese) are full of shit! Period! I am currently studying in one of the local uni (hint:up North) and have realized the hard cold fact. They know nuts, have no communication skills, have no people skills, no common sense, plain stupid, you get the drill. I tried to stay away from them because I am sure I’ll be pulled to their level of stupidity in no time. Thank God, I’ll be in my final year in the coming new semester.

    Anyway, to understand in detail regarding my bro’s condition, you can click over to my blog in the linkback in one of the comments.

    I’ll update the final decision in my blog and hopefully that decision will be the best for my bro.

    Again, thank you all!

    PS: DAP will have my vote in the next GE. Vote for the better.


You must be logged in to post a comment.