DAP insists on overseas scholarships for all SPM aces

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
June 07, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7- All SPM top scorers should get overseas Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships instead of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) grants if Malaysia wants to retain the country’s human talent, DAP has said.

Putrajaya announced yesterday that 500 special education grants would be disbursed by 1MDB to rejected applicants to study locally. The categories (annual): Scholarships to public universities (RM7,500), scholarships for critical courses in private universities (RM15,000), and grants for non-critical courses (RM7,500).

“This pledge to award overseas scholarships equally to all top students is necessary to win Malaysia’s future by escaping the middle-income trap to become a high-income economy with USD15,000 per capita income…Malaysia would be sending a wrong message if we reward mediocrity instead of excellence, do not have a level-playing field that is fair to the best and brightest and allow the brain drain to continue,” said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng in a statement today.

Lim repeated his call for the Najib administration to make public the results of those who were awarded overseas scholarships, and accused Barisan Nasional (BN) for failing to uphold transparency and accountability by not doing so.

The Penang Chief Minister said that MCA was trying to “distract” attention by attacking his administration for not having enough money to provide scholarships to top students in the state, in response to MCA’s claims yesterday that Penang had vast wealth to spend on overseas scholarships because Penang came out top in investments with RM 12.2 billion in 2010.

“If MCA cannot differentiate between foreign and domestic investments with revenue then MCA does not deserve to be part of government. Investments are held by the private sector to spend to generate jobs and economic growth, not revenue for the state government to spend.

“Further the Penang PR state government is still trying to clean up years of BN’s misrule and abuse of power in the state that caused RM230 million in losses to Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai(MPSP) until MPSP became practically bankrupt and the Tang Hak Ju land scam that costs the state RM40 million,” added Lim.

Lim said that despite revenue constraints, the Penang government has continued to award loans at local public universities to all deserving Penang students, and also increased primary and secondary scholl grants to poor students.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 10:54 am

    I have to disagree. The answer to solving the scholarship problem is institutional reform of universities – complete, no holds bar, merciless darwinian globalized meritocracy.

    Lets not kid ourselves what these scholarships are – they are pressure outlets of hungry even desperate bright young people the govt is failing miserably. You shut them down and you are inviting a Mohammad Bouzazi or even worst. They are emigration policy.

    The answer is not to have these pressure valve but to rid of the pressure themselves and that is to create reasons for them to stay and that is simply to be as good as anyone else in the world.

  2. #2 by drngsc on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 11:24 am

    Dear Mr Kamal,
    It would be much better if all SPM scholars have the same system of awards based on merit. That is meritocracy, something which must be implemented with all scholarly achievements at all levels.
    What is presently done is obviously wrong.

    We need to change the tenant at Putrajaya

  3. #3 by PoliticoKat on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 11:40 am

    The really sad thing is that long ago, in the 1960s, University Malaya was the second best University in Asia, second only to University of Tokyo.

    If standards had been maintained, we wouldn’t need to send our student abroad.

    Sad is it not?

  4. #4 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 11:42 am

    let’s cancel all the PSD scholarships. It is a joke.

    And why Najib has less important thing to do than selection of 1MDB scholars?

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 11:59 am

    I am a bit puzzled by this issue of government scholarships.

    Firstly, are the SPM ‘scholars’, who are barely out of their diapers, ready for higher education? They are about 18 years old, not allowed to smoke, vote or even drive and yet some of them are already entering courses like medicine, engineering, pharmacy etc.

    If I am not wrong, they have yet to complete their secondary school education as there is still form six, the A levels or STPM? Yet these ‘scholars’ are already entering Universities? Which university of repute admit students with O levels and SPM? Our education system churn out young, immature students who are often unable to cope with more mature students from other countries.

    Secondly, if the scholarships are intended for them to pursue their sixth form or A levels first, why can’t these students do these exams locally as some private Foundations and Institutes are already doing for their scholars?

    And if these ‘scholars’ can again prove their worth and consistency at the higher level, then by all means send them overseas, this time to enter university with greater maturity and experience.

    Many of our ‘top scholars’ are actually ‘stray shots’ who cannot repeat their past ‘one-off’ performance. I know of students who had a string of distinctions at SPM but are failures at 6th Form and at university. Which brings me to my next point.

    Thirdly, can we have statistics of the performances of our past scholars who were sent overseas? Are they doing well? How many have continued with their ‘brilliant’ SPM performances, how many earn good degrees or end up with mediocre degrees, how many failed? Can we have some hard figures?

    How come we do not hear of any these many scholars we send annually overseas, topping their classes and getting reported in the media? Has our scholarship selection system been effective and reliable or is it badly skewed and flawed and in urgent need of repairs? Have the scholarship monies spent seeing results and returns or have these been wasted?

    And lastly, for the moment, shouldn’t we all take one or two steps backwards and analyse the situation and find out WHY we have so many brilliant ‘scholars’?

    Is it really true we have so many brilliant students thousands of whom obtain strings of A+s every year? If it is really true, then we should be topping the world tables in secondary school competitions (mathematics, sciences etc) beating the likes of Japan, Korea, Norway, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany and the like. Why is it very difficult to get As or A+s in other countries and not many of their students end up with strings of As and A+s like we have here in 1Bolehland?

    Have our examination system and marking dumbed down over the years? Barely a generation or two ago, it was very difficult to get a distinction and a SC / MCE certificate was worth alot. Sources have told me that 60 marks will earn you an A+ nowadays.

    These days, just about anybody can get a degree from some University College or ‘recognised’ institution of higher education. You can see the products, ‘graduates’ who cannot think or write, who are barely literate but to whom the government owes them a living. Unemployables who end up in some uniform groups.

    As far as I can conclude, our whole education system and scholarship process should be totally revamped to stop it from crumbling further into the abyss.

    The DAP and PR should come out with concrete plans for restructuring the whole system and also how it proposes to stop the brain-drain when they take over Putrajaya. Let us see your plans.

  6. #6 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 12:02 pm

    Moderated yet again. How to take over Putrajaya when you need to sensor, sanitise?

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 12:16 pm

    SPM standard betul so high aah? So many full A+ students. R we a nation of geniuses meh?
    Y can’t wait 2 reward students who did well in STPM? Can wait what, no

  8. #8 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 12:26 pm

    I strongly reject BN to look down at Sarawakians by giving us scholarship when we are below the national standard. Should there be any reason to do it? If we are less good, don’t give it to us. We don’t need special considerations. Just treat us the same as others. In fact, I afraid the west is robbing from us but not doing any favour to us.

  9. #9 by pulau_sibu on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 12:29 pm

    many A++. we should be worrying of having too many nobel winners from boleh soon!

  10. #10 by k1980 on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 12:34 pm

    According to yesterday’s Star paper, a PSD overseas scholarship ranges from several hundred thousand ringgit to as much as RM1.5million. And say to say, most the rakyat can’t earn that amount even after a lifetime of backbreaking work.

  11. #11 by ktteokt on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Chromatocracy, i.e. differentiation via skin colour, practised by UMNO will continue to drive away brains from Malaysia with the one benefitting most being its arch enemy, Singapore!!!!!

  12. #12 by k1980 on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 1:24 pm

    CSL was sipping on a glass of wine while sitting on the patio with his wife.
    He says, “I love you so much. I don’t know how I could ever live without you.”

    His wife asks, “Is that you or the wine talking?”

    He replies, “It’s the wine talking…. to Angela Yam.”

  13. #13 by undertaker888 on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 3:10 pm

    Wondering how many of the sons and daughters of the stinking rich umno, mic, mca and BN got the full scholarships?

  14. #14 by 1orangkaya on Wednesday, 8 June 2011 - 5:45 am

    Trust me, there is no point of studying hard in this FunnyLand for you may end up becoming underdogs by serving your half-past-six employer.

You must be logged in to post a comment.