Abolish race quota for PSD scholarships, says ex-FT education chief

By Boo Su-Lyn | May 26, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, May 26 — A former Federal Territory education director today pressed the Najib administration to abolish the race quota in Public Service Department (PSD) overseas scholarships.

Abas Awang, who is now the PKR education bureau chief, said the government should consider the long-term interest of Malaysia which aims to become a high-income nation by 2020.

“We should not take race into account,” Abas (picture) told reporters today.

“In Malaysia, let the brilliant explore their biggest potential and let them be assets to the country. We should give justice to everyone in Malaysia,” he said.

The Malaysian Indian Student Association (Misa) yesterday also called for the abolition of the race quota and said all students who scored 8A+ should be awarded the overseas grants.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, who is in charge of the PSD scholarships, has said that the government had allocated 1,500 overseas scholarships to top students, but only 300 of the total were given based entirely on merit to students scoring straight 9A+.

The remaining 1,200 overseas grants, he said, were distributed according to those qualified within four categories — Sabah Bumiputeras (five per cent), Sarawak Bumiputeras (five per cent), social composition or the population’s racial composition (60 per cent) and socially handicapped (10 per cent).

Abas served as the Federal Territory education director from 2005 to 2007 and has 34 years’ experience in the education profession.

  1. #1 by pulau_sibu on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 3:03 pm

    Let’s get out of the mentality of being a backward nation by first abolishing the scholarships for overseas undergraduate study.

  2. #2 by rjbeee on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 3:15 pm

    Mr Abas, Syabas, but wondering why comment now… when in service you must be one of them implementing the quota system, now trying to change…Worms like you are still aplenty in service.

  3. #3 by waterfrontcoolie on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 4:01 pm

    Why is it necessary to send those with 8A + be given overseas scholarship? Just improve our local Us’ standard and educate them locally. I would rather propose that only those with STPM be qualified. Sending those with SPM results is not the solution. Knowing the modus operandi of the gomen, En. Abas would have been sai-lang had he opened his mouth then. The mindset of the civil service has been moulded since the 70s, it would certainly take a much bigger man to oppose UMNO’s MOE. Just look at current scenario. We all know that the education process had failed the nation but so long that the politicians wanted to maintain their strangle hold on the mind of the majority of the population, they will never allow it to flourish. Never mind, if as an after thought, Abas decided that a change is needed. At least he realized that!!

  4. #4 by DAP man on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 4:06 pm

    Unless the race quota is abolished the Malays will never progress. They don’t have the will to excel because of the ‘privileges’ and race quota.
    When mediocrity is rewarded, why struggle for excellence?

    But then this is a dream. UMNO will want more race quotas for its own survival. Never mind what happens to the competitiveness of the community.

  5. #5 by digibee on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 4:28 pm

    2020 is considered long term? was long term 10 years ago. from what i am seeing high income developed nation status is a pipe dream.

    however, high income based on inflated currency (printing more RM) that exchanging RM4 to S$1 is probably possible. then they will say they accomplished 1/2 their goal of being high income nation.

  6. #6 by machiavelli on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 4:52 pm

    The youth of this nation must be guided and nurtured. They are the future of this nation.

    So it is with a lot of sadness and anger that I see this fiasco over scholarships being played out every year.

    The young, the bright and multi-talented of this nation should be given every opportunity, every assistance to grow to their full potential; the government of the day should be the first to step into this role.

    If the government of the day cannot fulfill this role fairly, equitably without fear or favour then what hope can we as the Rakyat of this nation place on them to fulfill other vital roles and functions.

    In this context I took the liberty to share with you an excerpt from the Slate magazine written by Annie Lowrey on 10/05/11.

    “This winter, George Mason economist Tyler Cowen publishe d The Great Stagnation, an ebook arguing that the United States has exhausted all its easy sources of growth. We have, Cowen says, no more low-hanging fruit: no more cheap frontier land to farm, no more places to build new interstates, no rural homes to electrify, no more girls to send to school and then add to the workforce. From now on, Cowen says, growth will be slower, and transformative innovations like toilets and telephones will be rarer.

    Cowen is alarmingly convincing, and The Great Stagnation received a round of queasy applause from the chattering classes—including from this publication. But maybe there remains one last shiny, fat apple hanging right in ! front of our faces, one last endeavor that would bring us fast, costless, and easy growth. It is immigration reform. The United States can grow faster by stealing the rest of the world’s smart people. “….Annie Lowrey/Let in the Super-Immigrants.

    Thank you.

  7. #7 by bush on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 5:12 pm

    Well, they are looking at the “QUANTITY” to produce how many graduates per year. This is why they dare not abolish the quota system and use the matriculation system to gain entry to university.

    No way BN dare to abolish the quota and matriculation system. This is their voting card to tell the naive bumiputa of their “privilege” under the constitution and at the same time to enrich the Umnopu…. .

    Umno Mamak from India and cronies is getting richer at the expense of the BumiP by just providing the paper qualification for them.

  8. #8 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 5:13 pm

    Awarding 1,500 “scholarships” a year is a joke and a misnomer.

    Why don’t just award real scholarships to real top performers – those with straight As. Restrict to 50 or 100 awards where race is irrelevant.

    Next, call the rest of the 1,500 awards “bursaries” which in fact is what they really are. These can and should be given to those who make the minimum acceptable standards (set according to how many bursaries there are). Again, race may be irrelevant here. The poor of every race should be helped, provided they meet the standards.

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 6:30 pm

    We should view d video entitled “A Malaysian Dream – Life and Times of Lim Kit Siang” posted on d right side n recommend it to others to view as well
    It is also available here (4 parts):
    Got or no got versions in BM, Tamil, n Mandarin?

  10. #10 by hallo on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 7:53 pm

    The problem is the mentality.

    They have a mentality problem to accept those Malaysia born children as equal

    They have a mentality problem treat local born citizen as alien caused of color

    They feel so proud praticing unfair over others

    Except they those rich foreigners like super vip their saviour sort of and respect

    For local born, they treat like shit of color

  11. #11 by pulau_sibu on Thursday, 26 May 2011 - 8:00 pm

    Let’s get out of the mentality of being a backward nation by first abolishing the scholarships for overseas undergraduate study.

    I will see when the opposition will suggest to the government to stop wasting money in this way. Because of the votes, I am sure no politicians are willing to open up their mouth.

You must be logged in to post a comment.