University of Malaya medical student intake

by cat

A Background Introduction

Entering the Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur is still the prized aspiration of many doctor-wannabes. The medical degree conferred by UM is the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) which is the title awarded by universities in the United Kingdom and Australia. Other local public universities like University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) confer medical degrees in the acronym of MD which stands for doctor of medicine (Latin: Medicinæ Doctor).

Contrary to the common but erroneous perception among pre-university students, there is no difference between the MBBS and MD medical degrees.

Up till 2001, University Malaya along with other local universities practised an intake of medical students based on a quota system. Under the quota system, the ratio of medical students was in the order of 6:3:1 that is, 60% of places for bumiputeras, 30% for Chinese Malaysians and 10% for Indian Malaysian students. Bumiputera students comprised both Malays and the non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak.

From 2002 onwards, the UMNO government introduced a system of ‘meritocracy’ whereby the intake of students into local universities was based solely on academic achievement without regards to co-curricular activities and ethnic background. Conventionally, bumiputera students took matriculation as the pre-university examinations while the non-bumiputeras took the STPM/Sixth Form examinations. There are occasional exceptions though these are rare. Some Malay students do take the STPM route and vice versa.

As of 2004, the non-bumiputera Chinese and Indians students were allocated 10% of the total matriculation seats. This was the beginning of a new era in the local universities especially for the most competitive courses. Beginning 2004, the majority of non-bumiputera students entering courses like medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and engineering courses were from matriculation background.

In addition, from 2001-2003, University of Malaya accepted additional students from the Royal College of Medicine Perak (RCMP) in a supposed and controversial twinning program between the two institutions. The number of RCMP students taken in between 2001-2003 numbered 13, 60 and 90 respectively. These comprised mostly bumiputera Malay students. Upon graduation, these students were conferred a medical degree indistinguishable from the degree awarded to ‘genuine’ University of Malaya medical students.

The Motive

This article intends to inform and reveal statistics as they really are. The numbers quoted do not include students accepted into the faculty from the Royal College of Medicine Perak.

I have divided the intake of students into the MBBS program by ethnicity and route of entry.


You are at liberty to draw your own conclusions by studying the charts and tables.

In order to facilitate thinking however, I have arbitrarily chosen three different points of view.

From a Racist Angle

The pre-‘meritocracy’ era ensure a minimum number of students from each major ethnic group. The bumiputeras made up 60% of the total intake, from which usually about 15 were composed of non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah/Sarawak. As seen from the charts, their numbers have dwindled from a pathetic 9% to a miserable 1% under the current so-called meritocracy system.

Indian Malaysians used to form 10% of the student population under the quota system, numbering around 15-18 depending on the total annual intake. In 2003, Indian Malaysian students were left in a quandary when they had but one solitary representative in the medical faculty of University Malaya. Since then however, their numbers have somehow reached a figure comparable to that under the quota system. Their absolute number may not have slid much, but the percentage has decreased remarkably. HINDRAF apologists should take note of this.

The supposedly marginalized Chinese Malaysians have the least to be dissatisfied over. From a mere 30% representation under the quota system, they have increased in both absolute numbers as well as percentage, forming about 40-50% of the annual student intake. This came at a costly price though, as most of these Chinese students were from matriculation background. The Chinese students from STPM background can never compete with the matriculation students despite attaining excellent results.

If ethnicity is the sole issue here, the non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak are the biggest losers among the races in meritocracy Malaysian style. Chinese Malaysians should zip up and continue throwing their support behind the beggar political party named MCA so that the MCA can continue their boot-licking heritage to beg and plead for the crumbs falling from UMNO’s golden platter.

It should not be forgotten that from 2001-2003, the Ministry of Education admitted additional Malay bumiputera students into the MBBS course via a backdoor named the Royal College of Medicine Perak. The official reported figures therefore do not reflect the actual student composition seated in the lecture halls of University Malaya Medical Faculty. When these RCMP students are added to the total student intake, the non-Malays student population in both absolute number and percentage falls to a very low figure indeed.

Do the maths yourself.

From an Academic Perspective

The essence of meritocracy is remarkably similar to Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’.

The pre-2002 quota system was a very flawed one.

Ethnicity was a very crucial criterion for acceptance into university, medical school included. Merit took second place and thus compromised the selection of students into every discipline. Universities had little or no autonomy as the selection of students was decided by the Unit Pusat Universiti (UPU), an institution under the Ministry of Education.

Academic achievements in national exams accounted for 90% of the points for entry into university while co-curricular achievements the remaining 10%. Many a time, students are tied in terms of academic achievements. The final deciding factor therefore was one’s co-curricular achievements. However, students are not required to submit their certified documents in order to support their claims of any grandiose extra-curricular activities.

The current system of meritocracy is no better and in fact worse. Since its introduction in 2002, the evaluation methodology has undergone such frequent changes that no one knows for sure what measures are employed to gauge students’ qualification into local universities.

Converting one’s STPM grades into a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) as practised for matriculation students is like trying to smell the color 9. It is not possible, not intelligent and is basically an effort of make-believe only. The two pre-university examinations are different in syllabus, level of difficulty, and criteria for final assessment.

The odds are heavily stacked against STPM candidates and therefore directly non-bumiputera students. Comparing STPM with matriculation results has resulted in the drastic drop in STPM students in competitive courses over the last five years. When the playing ground is unequal, true meritocracy and fair competition is practically impossible.

On another note, that the Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya has noticeably increased its annual intake of medical students by almost 30% over the last eight years. This is alarming in view of the limited resources in our local institutions. Like other public universities, University Malaya has lost a great number of experienced academicians over the years. Its teaching staff now comprises mostly junior lecturers who are still climbing their career ladder or themselves undergoing training under the Skim Latihan Akademik Bumiputera (SLAB) program. A great number of these SLAB lecturers have barely one year of clinical experience before joining the academic ranks. Can they be relied upon to provide quality teaching and sound guidance?

Infrastructures and facilities are also not unlimited. Laboratories that were designed to host 15 students are now cramming 25 students. The quality of teaching and learning is therefore significantly compromised. Small group teaching is almost non-existent.

Indeed, the oft repeated quantity versus quality axiom never goes stale.

More important than a student’s entry qualification is one’s performance throughout the duration of study and the quality of product upon graduation.

The entry of non-bumiputra students into matriculation and therefore university has vastly changed the university’s landscape. Non-bumiputra matriculation students now outnumber their STPM counterparts in ratio of 10:1. In the last five years, the performance of non-bumiputra students in most local universities has deteriorated remarkable, a phenomenon not previously seen commonly. Failure and dropout rates across the races have skyrocketed to alarming levels. In 2004, the first year when non-bumiputra matriculation students first entered university, the failure rates for medical students were as high as 15%. Over the years the failure rates have decreased somewhat but still significantly higher than yesteryears. One hypothesis is the lack of competition among students. Previously, weaker students were forced to measure up to the more competent ones. In a scenario where most are equally inept, there is no drive and motivation to rise beyond mediocrity.

We have yet to witness the graduating products of these students with predominant matriculation graduates. From their performance thus far in university, one cannot be labeled pessimistic for being less than hopeful.

From a Sensible Viewpoint

Malaysia doesn’t need a committee of experts and academicians to produce an expensive and much-hyped blueprint in Malaysian higher education.

It’s not rocket science, advance trigonometry or quantum physics.

At the heart of most pressing issues is political will. Where there is no will, there is no way our local institutions can lift itself out of the doldrums.

UMNO controls everything and the narcissistic UMNO mindset seeps far and wide into the upper echelons of local universities.

Selection of students may be meritocracy in rhetoric but very much race-based in practice. The ratio among the races has changed little since the inception of Malaysian meritocracy. In the background are probably unseen political forces and manipulative hands that ensure a certain distribution of races into the faculties. The non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak have not really been marginalized in terms of university intake. They have simply opted to apply to University Malaysia Sarawak and University Malaysia Sabah for reasons that are obvious.

The university authorities are not oblivious to the radical plunge in the quality of students entering competitive courses like medicine. The apparent arrest of high failure rates beginning 2004 was not because of proactive measures taken by the universities but because the goal post has been moved and widened to allow for easier passage.

Importantly to note, an STPM or matriculation background is no guarantee of one’s performance in and beyond university. STPM students flunk examinations even in the so-called glorious days in the distant past. Similarly, matriculation students have aced assessments without the need of crutches or leaked questions.

Regardless, academic achievement in university is no reflection of one’s competency at work later on. It is however, a partial and reliable testimony of one’s attitude towards responsibilities and job commitments.

The solution to our higher education woes is not difficult actually.

The answer becomes obvious and clear when we look towards our tiny neighbour called Singapore.

Singapore stands tall among the shoulders of giants.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 1:08 am


    Avoid locally trained doctors as you would avoid the plague.

  2. #2 by hiro on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 1:42 am

    I was at a teaching hospital not too long ago. As usual, I am left with an impression that some of the doctors there, be it supervisors, or even trainees, have a chip on their shoulders. Arrogant, unhelpful, as if you owe them and it is not enough that you kowtow them. Only they and their God will know what grades it took them to get into the medical faculty, when others who did better failed by the sidelines, never to achieve their dreams. This government has wasted so much money that could have been used to train as many doctors from all the races who merit being trained, that it has failed generations after generations of aspirant doctors who would have become great doctors of modern times.

    It’s simply yet another reason to remove the scourge called Barisan Nasional from the corridors of federal power.

  3. #3 by RIPLEYS CSI on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 1:54 am

    A true story to tell Malaysians about a horror experienced that I encountered when I went to seek medical treatment with Uni of Malaya trained locum doctor in a clinic registered with the panel clinic chains in Malaysia.

    A local trained UM Malay male doctor was on duty to do a medical check up on my UBS sickness. I started complaining about my pain and fever. Unfortunately, the Doctor was more concentrated in browsing the live stock market in his laptop rather than doing some medical treatment or listen to my grievances of pain. I scolded him for not concentrating in his professional duties and seeking his immediate attention. Subsequently, the doctor looked more panic when I saw the red color of shares falling in the laptop’s screen. He told me to sleep for few mins before he was ready to conduct a medical check on me with the assistance of his nurse.

    Feeling fustrated with the irresponsible doctor attitudes, I walked out of the clinic and lodged an official complain to his owner chinese senior doctor who engaged him the next day. I was shocked to know that this locum Malay doctor was not fired but he was transferred to another clinic branch nearby. Last year, my wife went to see him about her virus fever sickness. She noted that the medicines provided were for cough and cold only but cannot cure virus fever. We finally found out from the nurses about this doctor who lost heavy in the share market and he quited his position.

    We got to know that he is pursuing his specialist PhD in ENT under MARA scholarship in UK. MY GOD !

    (p/s I congratulate a Malay specialist trained in Wales who successfully treated my UBS problem in GH after several visits. He also did complained that the standard of education is low for local universities to meet the passing quota system of trained doctors based on races rather than meritrocacy system.

    This Malay specialist was very unhappy with the low passing rate in local universities but opted to do his degree and specialist in foreign country without any government assistance or no scholarship. BRAVO !!)

    Just me….Ripleys CSI Malaysia

  4. #4 by ruyom on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 1:55 am

    Then let me re-quote Lee Kuan Yew:

    Singaporean politician Lee Kuan Yew of the PAP, who publicly questioned the need for Article 153 in parliament, and called for a “Malaysian Malaysia”.

    In a speech, Lee Kuan Yew bemoaned what would later be described as the Malaysian social contract:

    “According to history, malays began to migrate to Malaysia in noticeable numbers only about 700 years ago. Of the 39% malays in Malaysia today, about one-third are comparatively new immigrants like the secretary-general of Umno, Dato Syed Jaafar, who came to Malaya from Indonesia just before the war at the age of more than thirty. Therefore it is wrong and illogical for a particular racial group to think that they are more justified to be called Malaysians and that the others can become Malaysians only through their favour.”

    Eventually, and Singapore became an independent nation in 1965, with Lee Kuan Yew as its first prime minister.

  5. #5 by Godfather on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 1:58 am

    We all know meritocracy does not exist. We all know that statistics are manipulated by UMNO. We all know the system is set up for a drastic fall.

    The only means of changing of all these is to change the government.

  6. #6 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 3:25 am

    “Contrary to the common but erroneous perception among pre-university students, there is no difference between the MBBS and MD medical degrees.”

    In the U.S. it is Godfather M.D. and in U.K it is Godfather MBBS.

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 3:31 am

    In the US it is a postgraduate degree. In the UK and elsewhere, it is two bachelor’s degree.

    In Mugabeland, we have both to hoodwink everyone that we are “qualified”.

  8. #8 by Xenobiologista on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 4:02 am

    The terminology is a huge problem. Clearly a doctorate should be more advanced than a bachelors – how can we have public universities issuing an undergraduate degree which is labelled a doctorate?

    It’s good that “ko-ku” activities don’t make up a whopping 10% of the admission system any more, since as mentioned above there’s practically no documentation required. Also, co-curricular activities are _compulsory_ in most schools which makes participation meaningless. Thirdly – what relevance does being in the Boy Scouts or Girl Guides or Kadet Polis or the chess club have to being a doctor? Bulan Sabit Merah or St. John’s…maybe, but my during my 1-year experience with Red Crescent, the seniors were all obsessed with drill marching competitions and we didn’t learn any first aid.

    Something that would be truly useful would be to require a certain minimum number of hours volunteering at hospitals and clinics. The students must keep accurate logs of volunteer sessions and every session must be verified by the doctor or nurse who supervised them, not just have one signature at the end of the year.

    Furthermore, the students have to do real work while volunteering, not only observing/shadowing the medical staff. They should have to mop floors, carry blankets, and help bathe patients. The insight into the nuts and bolts of what caring for patients really involves will be helpful for those who really want to heal people – and the hard dirty work will scare off those who just want to play God and earn lots of money.

  9. #9 by bumi-non-malay on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 5:24 am

    First we need to Rid UMNO-BN to Scrap the Stupid 2 years STPM and have ALL Malaysian do Matriculation.

    Barisan Rakyat Malaysia United coalition can work around Federal Laws pertaining to education…..look into it.

    Thirdly We should all start a SIMULTANEOUS Nation Wide Protest for Freedom of Education, ISA, Religion and from Persecution from UMNO-BN tools..and Wear Black this Coming Merdeka line the streets in every cornet of celebration to TELL The world Avoid Investing the next Zimbabwe. UMNO-BN must be Obliterated whatever it takes….

    Do your best to Boycott Air Asia, Proton, Petronas….the power is now with Credit Crunch all over the world….its killing these cronies cash flow….DO IT

  10. #10 by riha on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 5:55 am

    actually most universities in the UK award the MBChB with a few exceptions

  11. #11 by MissJ on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 6:16 am

    I beg to differ, although it might still be MBBS in some countries, most British Universities, have opted to change it to MBChB.
    MB stands for Bachelor of Medicine.
    ChB stands for Bachelor of Surgery, Ch stands for Chirurgia, which is Surgery in Latin.
    If UM is still using MBBS, then that must be a sign that it has not yet caught on to the rapid changes taking place within medicine.

    Another interesting fact is that when you google the for the world’s top medical schools, University Malaya’s Faculty of Medicine, is no where on the list of Google.
    Worst off, Wikepedia offers some insight to the world of medical schools, at this site :
    They mention every possible country that produces medical grads, countries in which Malaysia hires migrant workers from such as Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippenes & Indonesia. This gives me the impression that maybe our neighbouring countries are far advanced and renown then we were thought to believe by our stupid main stream media. Even they seem to be mentioned…..but we Malaysians are no where on their list.

    So I beg to differ, studying Medicine in UM is no longer prestigious, or world renown. Race should not be an issue when it comes to being a good doctor. A good doctor will also not let his or her personal beliefs or religious beliefs get in the way for the care and treatment of the patient.

    Last but not least, this whole supreme Race thing…..brought upon us by our beloved BARISAN, has left our country brain drained,
    as all the better doctor’s who were not taken in by the PSD, have been offered better jobs elsewhere by countries who do not think that RACE/RELIGION come in the way of intellect.

    My message to the aspiring doctors of Malaysia, medicine is more then just about diseases or disorders. Its about life! Not about race. We should boycott any institution that selects by race/religion.

  12. #12 by highhand on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 7:00 am

    you sure you still want to be a doctor in msia? u will be treated like a dogtor with no dignity, no rights, no respect right from the very top till the very bottom.
    but if you want to have a license to kill, i welcome you

  13. #13 by lupus on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 7:27 am

    Satu lagi projekt dari BN.

  14. #14 by highhand on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 7:49 am


  15. #15 by suara on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 8:03 am

    Locally trained Malay professionals are always looked upon cautiously and with suspicion with regards to their ability. Ask the man on the street and he/she will tell you.

    I have witnessed a Mara sponsored graduate in accounts stared into a blank piece of paper when asked by his senior to prepare a simple cashflow statemnent. He just did not now where to start!!

    Thats local grad for you. I have come across good Malay specialist doctors. They were trained overseas!

  16. #16 by wtf2 on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 8:16 am

    sorry to say that if i were to see a doc, i would look at his qualifications and ethnic background – with umno forever painting the malays as race supremist which are lowly qualified, i will always think twice on who is qualified to treat even simple ailments.

  17. #17 by selvam on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 8:37 am

    Also don’t forget 1 more thing. MARA!!!!
    MARA has almost 300 bumiputera students all over the world doing medicine and anither 100 over students doing medicine in UiTM medical school!!!
    So the seats that they give in UM,UKM and USM are just pathetic numbers to satisfy MCA …
    BTW vice versa(to MARA) does not work like AIMST and Manipal medical college that was forced to take certain number of bumi students!!
    These are all just UMNO’s political move.
    Do you see them saying anything about MARA scholarship when they talk about JPA scholarship??MARA offers more scholarship and loans then JPA, mind you!

  18. #18 by saiful on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 8:48 am

    pathetic to u guys…………….cant get into university then blame the gov similar when u not been able to study abroad… Y Robert Kwok never wrote a blog cause he is so bz counting money and not like us…………….so tink about it……………………. :)

  19. #19 by LALILOo on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 9:08 am

    The govt always wants to be compared to power nations.
    They always sings that our experts are on par or if not better than experts from other countries.

    Bottomline is, they are not interested in quality. They only wants the numbers – the more the superior e.g. 1000 mediocre doctors are better than 100 highly trained doctors.

    If they can, they would want to flood the nation with lawyers, doctors, engineers, achitects etc of mediocre and wishy-washy qualities.

  20. #20 by taikohtai on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 9:24 am

    I was reliably informed by a doctor in Brisbane that TDM applied pressure on a Western Australian uni to pass a batch of bumi students studying medicine there. The uni was not impressed by their academic results but TDM apparently told the uni that unless the students passed, there would be no more intake from Malaysia. Furthermore, Australia need not worry as the students would all go back to their homeland after their graduation.
    So Malaysians also need to be careful with bumi doctors who are trained overseas too :(.

  21. #21 by ktteokt on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 9:24 am

    selvam, doesn’t MARA stand for MAJLIS AMANAH RAKYAT? Then why are most, if not all MARA students Malays? Aren’t the other races RAKYAT too? What MAJILIS AMANAH RAKYAT are they talking about when they have marginalized the non-Malays and just how AMANAH are they?

  22. #22 by oknyua on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 9:41 am

    En. saiful, this is hardly a “blame letter.” If some one exposes the truth, you can’t say it’s a blame letter. I, too, a so-called bumiputera and a product of the local university, except had to beg and borrow in order to complete a simple BSc.

    By the way, study the life of Robert Kwok, it might add a little wisdom into yours. You see one side of him counting money but have you ever learnt how he, struggled, single-handedly, to develope the sugar industry in Malaya, now Malaysia?

  23. #23 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 9:50 am

    It is a short-sighted move as it will eventually affect national security.

    Already there is talk about going nuclear. Just imagine a group of half-baked scientists being in charge of our nuclear program.
    Even now we don’t have to look far. We still have whirly-birds of the RMAF going down with regular frequency.

  24. #24 by megaman on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 9:56 am

    It doesn’t matter whether the students are from matriculation or STPM, what matters is the quality of the output i.e. the graduates that come out the other end of the pipeline. However, what matters are the actual quality and attitude of the undergraduates.

    If the passing rate is lowered to allow more to graduate, it means more ‘defective products’ will emerge.

    Simple logic isn’t it but so very difficult to implement. The statistics listed here means nothing to me as it doesn’t indicate the most important point of all, the final quality and capability of the graduates.

    If more malays are better than the other races, then by all means let’s have more intake of malays into medicine. Matters of life and death matter more than race.

  25. #25 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 9:57 am

    Dont depend on Doctors, especially locally trained doctors who are half past six. Next time, ask all Drs to show their exam marks and the no. of resits etc. instead of just the MBBS or MD. Even with these measures, I think we also cant fully trust the marking system, a fail could be made into a distinction anytime provided you belong to the supreme race!!!

    Depend on God’s healing power instead!!!

    Note: Noticed many belonged to the supreme race were visiting the best private hospitals nowadays, there are few reasons for this, one, they are much richer than before even during bad times, two, they dont trust those Drs in the public govt. !!!

  26. #26 by NewDAP on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:00 am

    if those matriculation students were to sit for the Examinations, 95% of them will failed miserably or failed to obtain grace ‘c’.

    the gomen thought we chinese are real stupid to believe on their so called ‘meritocracy’ is fair.

  27. #27 by yog7948 on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:05 am

    HJ Angus sir..
    What is your opinion on our RMAF Whirly-birds going down frequently? Pilots? Technicians? or the Bird it self? Just for opinion..

  28. #28 by Kathy on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:05 am

    En. Saiful, do not use the blaming game on the rest of us. To be accepted into University should be based on merit and not on race. If you think that non-malays are not capable to meet and face the challenges that are being imposed on them now, I am sorry that you choose to think so. Everyone born in this country is a Malaysian and have the right to equal opportunities.

  29. #29 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:07 am

    My brother has just become a Singapore Citizen after losing hope for a change in Malaysia!!! For him, there’s no celebration as he felt bad that he had to say goodbye to our beloved country called Malaysia (where many now call Bolehmurderland!!!) .
    He asked me whether there’s any plan to move south since there’s no more hope here??? What do you think???

  30. #30 by NewDAP on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:08 am

    if those matriculation students were to sit for the STPM examination, 95% of them will failed miserably or failed to obtain grace ‘c’.

    the gomen thought we chinese are real stupid to believe on their so called ‘meritocracy’ is fair.

    The STPM examination is one of the toughest exams in the world and is widely respected and recognised by most of the top universities in the world. Unlike the unmo type of matriculation….

  31. #31 by suara on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:13 am

    Oknyua, don’t bother about Saiful. Wasting your time barking at a piece of wood. High chance he is a product of the local u. Pea brained.

    How many Robert Kuok or Bill Gates are there is this world?

  32. #32 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:15 am

    The other day they had GPMS going around making noise about the new JPA scholarship quotas. If you hear the debate among themselves they talk of its a racism vs their ‘special right’.

    What is most wrong because the larger picture that its for the good of Malays in the long run and no recognition of the limitation of government.

    Yes, a meritocratic system would see Chinese dominating in the best faculties but that is because that is the reality. To think that it will always be so is ridiculous. The likely scenario is that Chinese will lose their domination of these faculties in 10 years by pure demographic. If I have money, I would not even consider sending my child to a local uni even if its on par with Singapore. Its limited, it is not the best and it will never change because of our political culture. 25% of Chinese kids don’t finish SPM. Education is not the end and be all for everyone in ANY community EVEN if its the best option out the racist system we have in Malaysia.

  33. #33 by NewDAP on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:28 am

    somewhere in the eighties, our racist gomen spent millions to put MARA grads into the big six accounting firms, paying them monthly allowances to them for signing up 3 years contract with those accounting firms.
    most of the grads cannot read or understand english reports, the gomen had to pay them another allowances in order to ask them to attend intensive english course so that they can be assigned or be trained by the big six.

  34. #34 by yog7948 on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:35 am

    The government think that malays have no brain, need to be spoon fed and must always depend on government for survival. that is way they must have quota system rather than meritocratic system.They want to make sure that all malays will have gratitude.

    Hence malays gratitude was profound, passionate, boundless; and although the policies of BN government was often clouded, severe, injustice to others, although their attitude were habitually racist , harsh, imperious, that gratitude never wavered for a single moment.

    The Malays must show the government; that they are in par with other races, they still can survive without the governments coddle at least in Education.

  35. #35 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:42 am

    Kathy Says:

    Today at 10: 05.48 (2 minutes ago)
    En. Saiful, do not use the blaming game on the rest of us. To be accepted into University should be based on merit and not on race. If you think that non-malays are not capable to meet and face the challenges that are being imposed on them now, I am sorry that you choose to think so. Everyone born in this country is a Malaysian and have the right to equal opportunities.

    There’s no point talking logic and reasons with fools, it will only bring your IQ down and waste your time!!! how can someone learn algebra if he didnt even know how to count 123 and the worst part is refusing to even start learning counting 123 and wants every thing to have shortcut!!!
    Not only that they dont want to learn every thing from basic, they misuse their power to stop others from learning 123, so that the people all over the world will not laugh at them for their stupidity and ignorant!!!

    Talking to fools will make you lose, talking to people with wisdom and you will gain!!!

  36. #36 by kritikus on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:44 am

    Why get unduly frustrated in not getting into Medical Colleges and being a Doctor ??

    Try Alternative MEDICINE…..










  37. #37 by NewDAP on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:48 am

    “…….and it will never change because of our political culture. 25% of Chinese kids don’t finish SPM. Education is not the end and be all for everyone in ANY community ……..”

    because almost all of the 25% were from chinese schools.
    Chinese schools had produced more useless chinese than sk schools.
    Chinese schools ratio of producing useless chinese vs top chinese students is 3.5 : 1
    it means every 10 kids sent to chinese schools, 7 will ended become useless chinese(low income earners), only 3 will able to get good employment.

    and the ratio for tamil schools is 4.5 : 1 .

  38. #38 by Kathy on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:54 am

    i_love_malaysia Says:
    Today at 10: 05.48 (2 minutes ago)

    There’s no point talking logic and reasons with fools, it will only bring your IQ down and waste your time!!! how can someone learn algebra if he didnt even know how to count 123 and the worst part is refusing to even start learning counting 123 and wants every thing to have shortcut!!!
    Not only that they dont want to learn every thing from basic, they misuse their power to stop others from learning 123, so that the people all over the world will not laugh at them for their stupidity and ignorant!!!

    Talking to fools will make you lose, talking to people with wisdom and you will gain!!!

    Thank you for reminding me of that….. let us be more discerning

  39. #39 by NewDAP on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:56 am

    yog7948 Says:

    Today at 10: 35.04 (12 minutes ago)
    The government think that malays have no brain, need to be spoon fed and must always depend on government for survival. ….


    malays have brain. They know that it is a tough battle to compete with the intelligent, bright and hard working chinese. Therefore they must get gomen support and help to face the sharp and efficient chinese.

  40. #40 by fight4truth on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:59 am

    matriculation and stpm are very different. How can they use an apple to compare to an orange? STPM is 2 years but matriculation is only one year. STPM is so much tougher than matriculation. In order to get an A for STPM, it takes so much sweat and effort. For matriculations, the exams are internal. One can’t compare a straight As STPM student to a straight A matriculation student. It’s only in Malaysia that this is how we define meritrocracy.

  41. #41 by Kathy on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 11:11 am

    Not all Malays are like Yog and NewDap says to be. Not all Chinese are as efficient and as sharp as we are portray to be too.

  42. #42 by Kathy on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 11:13 am

    Sometimes we have those sharp ones like MCA members that would “kill” any chance for the ordinary people to get equal opportunities in this country in terms of education — they can profit from their investment in tertiary education mah.

  43. #43 by NewDAP on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 11:45 am


    I did not say all chinese or malays.

    may be I should put it this way in order not to confuse you.

    the malays hv to equip themselves with gomen supports and helps in order to compete with malaysian chinese as most of them are intelligent, bright and hard working.

  44. #44 by Damocles on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 1:08 pm

    “sorry to say that if i were to see a doc, i would look at his qualifications and ethnic background – with umno forever painting the malays as race supremist which are lowly qualified, i will always think twice on who is qualified to treat even simple ailments.” – wtf2

    You’re right.
    A certain local uni hospital have doctors who have degrees that cannot be listed on their web-site!
    Also, it is a given that most medical websites don’t give the medical qualifications/place where obtained of the doctors.
    Are our doctors or institutions so shy of their qualifications?

  45. #45 by oasis2002ae on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 1:14 pm

    UiTM Med school has admitted 200 students this year for the MBBS course. Next year, it’ supposed to take 250! The infrastructure is poor, no patients to teach on…it’s worse than a 3rd world country school!

  46. #46 by donnaopi on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 1:28 pm

    Hmmm… if u saw the figures, it just basically want to condemn the matriculation and STPM system. If you think the Matriculation and STPM is the spoil, it’s unfair for the faculty of medicine, university of malaya alone to be blame. It’s unfair for an oldest medical school to be blame alone. It should be address to the other specialty or course too. The faculty is totally professional. It is not based on Political thinking, and also based on racial sentiment. The meritocracy that they talk about is not a bullshit. If you see all the students enter purely based on their academics. It also not depend weather he/she got 4 flat only but also based on the previous SPM result. Who are you by giving the figures, you can assume and conclude that meritocracy has not been done in Faculty of medicine in UM. The basic thing you should know is what is the system they use in UM and not to judge with the figures alone. In UM, majority of the students are Asasi Student. Thus, the ASASI student should become the majority of the UM. That’s why UM has more Malays because Asasi is totally Malays. Of course they need to compete with others to like STPM and Matriculation, but they got the privillage because they was in UM and the standard for ASASI is totally different from STPM. ASASI is not the same as Matriculation where they only take Core subject. Asasi needs to learn much much more than the STPM student. Thus giving the left over seat to the Matriculation and the STPM. Racial sentiment should not be raised here. If you see the figure for the STPM students and Pure MATRICULATION students, the STPM students are much higher than the Pure Matriculation. The chinese and indians also have the equal chance in matriculation. Thus meritocracy is still apply in this context. Apart from figure, there are alot of things to considered also based on social background, family background, cocurriculum activities, and also interview.This also one from many criterias to enter medicine in UM.

    For RCMP – a correction needs to be made. RCMP is totally subsidise by the private sector. If you have money you can enter there with minimun pointer of 3.5. It’s under Royal Perak, under Sultan Azlan Shah who is also a vise chancellor in UM. I want to correct the statement that, they have totally and purely UM degree, but actually, they are from RCMP. In the title given, there should be RCMP – UM. Same with registering in MMU, they have to identify as a RCMP student. Is a conjoint program. And i dont think racial sentiment should be stated here.
    Indians percentage is decreasing – As it said before, meritocracy. The number is not decreasing, however it increase. Why it is decreasing in percentage? Because the total intake is increasing. Do you think the government doesnt support enough to the indians? They have support the indians alot! Why only talk UM? MIC have send students to a lot of places such as India, Indonesia, Russia to study medicine to cover the small number of intake in the local universities.
    For conclusion u should know the system first rather by judging your own self. Of course you have search the figures above and do some homework, but, is it enough to strongly conclude your statement?

  47. #47 by helpless on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 3:12 pm

    Conclusion ?

    Who can proposed to scrap STPM as there is not purpose of having it.

    If STPM to be maintained because of limited resources to cater for matriculation, then the examination should be the same.

    The doctors must have the real quality and not like ” copy-O licence” quota system or recent ” special entry permit” sold by the immigration department.

    The Health Minister will be shouting at the parliment and the Education Minister if he has an quilty mind for witness “education corruption” that victimise the poor people everyday.

  48. #48 by britcrazelady on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 3:21 pm

    I wonder what’re the criterias for Matrics – is straight A 1 (ie; 12 – including GCE O’Level English) enough? Don’t think so, cause my brother was rejected cause he “wasn’t good enough”. He’s now doing Lower 6 cause we can’t afford A’Levels. Wonder what his future beholds. Poor boy! I hope he’ll beat the odds and be a “strong survivor” – Show them, bro!!

  49. #49 by britcrazelady on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 3:26 pm

    It seems that some commentors thinks that Matrics and STPM are (almost) the same – WRONG!!! Look at the syllabus, look at the facilities (more often than not, Form 6 students have to rely on themselves; cause it’s either there’s insufficient OR incompetent teachers or there’s a lack of study material (especially in rural areas). Secondly, if Matrics is of such high regards, why is STPM regarded as “one of the toughest pre-U entrance exam” whereas Matrics is only recognised internally? Thirdly, kindly compare the number of graduates with GCPA of 3.5 and above for both the Matrics and STPM. Lastly, as clearly broken up by our blogger here, the ratio of racial intake. Q : Is Matrics worthy of its “high regards”?

  50. #50 by taikor on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 3:48 pm

    Luckily, we still have brothers down south – Singapore. And they’re more than willing to take us into their universities.

  51. #51 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 4:25 pm

    I wonder whether Singapore can take in all the Malaysian who are qualified to become Singapore PR or Citizen!!! Singapore wants to have 7 million people compared to 4 million now. I think with few millions qualified Malaysian going over there, Singapore will be laughing all the way to the bank i.e. no more worry over negative population growth and free talents!!! any taker???

  52. #52 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 4:38 pm

    Please dont belittle any race here i.e. whether Malay, Chinese, Indian or any other races, all of them have brains, gifts and talents. All of us are created equal by our Creator, God. But some may be poor and some may be rich. The rich should help the poor, so to show their generousity and the poor should receive to show their gratitude!!! The govt should tax the rich fairly and help the poor without discrimination in anyway!!!

  53. #53 by NewDAP on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 6:14 pm

    The rich should help the poor, so to show their generousity and the poor should receive to show their gratitude!!!

    poor hv to beg for help?

    there are many reasons or factors caused people to be poor.
    may due to

    family, environment, attitude, education, went to wrong schools(ie to chinese or tamil schools) become unemployable, government, friends, relatives and etc.

    how about those poors are because of their own laziness, sluggishness and stupidness attitude? the rich still hv to help this kind of poor people?

  54. #54 by Jan on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 6:36 pm

    I thought MD stands for Me Doctor.

  55. #55 by melurian on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 6:42 pm

    “Please dont belittle any race here i.e. whether Malay, Chinese, Indian or any other races, all of them have brains, gifts and talents. ”

    not really, statistic has shown that the indigenous always perform below par (something must be very wrong with the gene), so without this so called “quota” and “nep”, no way indigenous could fulfill 60% seats in the univ by means of merit. even lky describe this as X-factor…….

  56. #56 by private_undergrad on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 7:05 pm

    MARA is just a hanky-panky by UMNO to mislead the rakyat since its inception decades ago to suck the people of all races up dry to benefit its cronies. And this is also a leading example of blatant RACIAL DISCRIMINATION right in front of us. Should be a UN case long long time ago equivalent to Zimbabwean one in the UN Security Council to warrant a sanction.

    Tell me if I’m wrong.

  57. #57 by private_undergrad on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 7:11 pm

    In regards with my above post, just look at UniTekMara. They have the audacity to say that it’s a PUBLIC institution when it is certainly NOT by BARRING any non-bumis admissions. I suggest the THES bars Malaysian Unis into its ranking list until this RACIAL DISCRIMINATIONS have been undone.

  58. #58 by cemerlang on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 9:45 pm

    Then why is that BN politician from Pasir Salak barking so loud in the Parliament ? Doesn’t he know that the government is helping the Bumiputras ?

    See, a U qualification does not mean one is really academically that intelligent even though it is from the best university in Malaysia.

  59. #59 by cheng on on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 10:19 pm

    Early this week, my mother in law went to KL GH to fill a tooth, instead, the dentist there extracted out her tooth. She was cursing like mad.
    I don’t know what to say as she did not let any family member know before she went there! What to say , sigh!

  60. #60 by AhPek on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 11:28 pm

    “The solution to our higher education woes is not difficult actually.The answer becomes obvious and clear when we look towards our tiny neighbour called Singapore.
    Singapore stands tall among the shoulders of giants.”. cat

    Absolutely true and a clue to solving the problem is also found in your earlier statement …”UMNO controls everything and the narcissistic UMNO mindset seeps far and wide into the upper echelons of the local universities.”.
    If anyone here can remember the time when MU first started with Oppenheimer as the first Vice Chancellor who holds sway over the running of the university ensuring that it matches to some of the best in the world.There is such a thing known as autonomy whereby the running of the university is in the hands of those who know how to and certainly the UMNO goons who are mostly incompetent and clueless.
    Like everything that has been run to the ground, the university started to decline when Mahathir stepped in somewhere in the seventies to intervene into the running of the university by admitting poorly qualified students into the medical faculty and insisting that passing marks be lowered for Malay students culminating in the non recognition of MU’s medical degree by the British Medical Association.Autonomy is thrown out of the window and the standard of local universities here begins the downward slippery slope of decline!

  61. #61 by setiawan on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 11:30 pm

    “Singapore stands tall among the shoulders of giants.”

    The entry qualification into the NUS Medical is so stringent and competitive.

    My son, an Asean scholar, who obtained 6 A1s in the Cambridge A-level exam, and has an impressive co-curricular portfolio could not obtained a place in NUS medical school

    He was informed thus, when he appealed:
    “This year, the competition for admission to Medicine was especially keen. Over 2,000 ‘A’ level students indicated Medicine as their first choice. We shortlisted 801 for interviews [and rigorous test] but could offer only 250 places. As a result, we were obliged to disappoint many talented and promising students like yourself. We do have a reserve list and will be able to offer a small number of places after 5 June, should any students decline our offers of admission. Please know that places are limited in all courses at NUS for international students. ”

    Anyway he is offered Law/Life Science [5-year double degree course] by NUS, with scholarship and MOE grant to cover the full fees, plus some token allowances for other expenses. That was a great relief… for I can hardly earn enough to support a family of four children.

    His principle: better to be mediocre among the best, than to be the best among the mediocre! For that reason he did not even bother to apply for JPA. May such noble spirit lives on in the younger generation.

  62. #62 by AhPek on Thursday, 17 July 2008 - 11:31 pm

    correction. “There is such …………………..and certainly not the UMNO goons who are … clueless.”.

  63. #63 by trublumsian on Friday, 18 July 2008 - 4:12 am

    the whole umno’s ideology is based on the malays being a supreme race. on paper it is. in their minds, it’s a face they put on to mask their inferiority complexes. they know fully well, affirmative policies are for 1) under represented, 2) weak. well, we know malays are not under represented.

    why are they weak if they have the numbers, the keys to coffers, and pen to policies? hate to say this, but the only answer is STUPIDITY. yes, you heard me, they are stupid!

    my college roommate in cal is a malay. he is good. smart, hardworking, and there ARE the ones like him. but he admitted he is a minority. he could have taken the federal grants, get the degree, and return to jobs that he needn’t even apply for. in the name of malay SUPERMACY!

    he didn’t, and is now a dentist in l.a.

  64. #64 by Godfather on Friday, 18 July 2008 - 9:38 am


    UMNO and the Malays don’t really want the best of the best. They don’t want competition, hence they lower the bar time and time again. They are satisfied with the mediocrity, and they are willing to live with it. Beg, steal or borrow if you must, but make sure that your kids have a better future by studying overseas. Leave the local universities to “them”. If you don’t believe the mentality of these people, just read Mahathir’s blog.

  65. #65 by tohff7 on Friday, 18 July 2008 - 9:58 am

    It’s funny that donnaopi said that Chinese and Indian have equal chance into matriculation. It is a fact that matriculation are created to help the Malays to get into local university easily.

    I studied in a SBP school (Sekolah Berasrama Penuh) and was one of the few non-Malays. I was among the top student in the school, represented the school in National Science Quiz (Malacca Champion), and was the captain of the school basketball team.

    But funny thing is, i was rejected for matriculation (school automatically apply for us). This sure proves a lot of things. Even my teachers do not believe i don’t get a place in matriculation.

    The new principal, who was previously the principal of a matriculation in Tangkak, offered to appeal for me, but i sincerely declined and thanked him for that. Reason is i had lose hope in our education system.

  66. #66 by Anba on Friday, 18 July 2008 - 11:17 am

    Dear Cat,
    Hi there. I’m impressed the way you have written the article, full of statistics. I feel that these are the studies that needs to be conducted at local Universities, but I’m sure the Deans of our local universities will not be open enough to allow a student to do such a project/thesis/dissertation that will shed the truth about the education inequality in our country, our tanah tumpah darah ku.

    Cat, could you please share the references for your article? I’m an educationists and keen in tracking these data’s. You can write to me at [email protected].

    Hoping to hear from you soon.

  67. #67 by highhand on Friday, 18 July 2008 - 3:00 pm

    NIBONG TEBAL, July 18 — The Health Ministry is ready to ease the requirement compelling each doctor to serve at a government hospital for three years in an effort to get them to come home and work in Malaysia.
    Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the proposal, which was being carefully examined, is part of the deal to bring doctors who had chosen to work abroad to come home.

    “If this proposal is approved, more doctors working abroad will return to the country.

    “We are not only facing a shortage of specialist doctors, but also regular doctors. The doctor-patient ratio is 1:1,145 (one doctor for every 1,145 patients),” he said.

    He was speaking to reporters after accompanying Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas on a visit to the Sungai Bakap Hospital here yesterday.

    The visit was held in conjunction with the celebration of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s 70th birthday on July 12.

    In addition, Liow said his ministry was also ready to consider discarding the mandatory requirement for doctors aged 45 and above to work at government hospitals.

    “This is because they have acquired a lot of experience and skills from working abroad, so they shouldn’t have to fulfil that requirement,” he said.

    He also said that the effort is an initiative to increase the level of health in the country, adding that at the moment there are 13,000 doctors in the country of whom, 1,800 are specialists.

    Liow said so far only 100 local doctors working abroad had returned home to serve the country.

    “The number of those who have returned is small compared to those who are still abroad. This is why more efforts are being made, including offering certain incentives,” he said.

    However, he did not mention the incentives that would be offered. — Bernama


  68. #68 by lopez on Friday, 18 July 2008 - 10:01 pm

    In many father’s last days he was in bolihland hospital, in his final days, calling out his offsprings , reaching out, even attempt to leave his bed in the middle of the night…..the night nurse tied his hands and legs to his bed what did he do wrong ,,,dying from old age and disease….we found out when we visited…complaimed to deaf ears…even to a deaf doctor.

    I never forget and i dont thinlk any one can forgive.

  69. #69 by alaneth on Sunday, 20 July 2008 - 1:18 pm

    I rather go to a doctor trained in India, Ukraine, Russia or Indonesia than a locally trained Doctor from any Malaysian Institution…

  70. #70 by alaneth on Sunday, 20 July 2008 - 1:23 pm

    Compare our PhD degrees here where students can easily get without having written/published many papers in international journals; compare with PhD students of other 3rd world countries & see for yourself ‘our Malaysian Quality’ of PhD & higher education…

    No wonder we don’t fare well in the top 200 universities…

You must be logged in to post a comment.