Archive for July 23rd, 2013

At last, the cat is out of the bag – “meritocracy”student intake system into public universities “more quota than quota”

At last, the cat is out of the bag – that the university “meritocracy” student intake system which replaced the ethnic quota system for entry into the public universities in 2002 is “more quota than quota”.

According to the MCA Youth leader, Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong, the intake of Chinese students for eight major courses in public universities – medical, dentistry, pharmacy, electronics and electrical engineering, chemical engineering, law and accounting – has been declining in recent years from 26.2% in 2001 to 25.3% in 2001 and 20.7 per cent this year.

I commend Wee for finally making the public admission that the so-called “merit system” which replaced the quota system in 2002 was an even worse form of quota system in reality, resulting in the dropping of Chinese students to 19 per cent from more than 30 per cent in the early years, and the general drop in non-Malay students in the eight critical courses in public universities.

In May 2002, I had sent an urgent email to all Cabinet Ministers asking them to rectify the injustice of the so-called “merit-based” university selection system, as the formula used to match the matriculation results and STPM grades was “unprofessional, unfair and gives meritocracy a bad name as it is without any professional merit”, like comparing an apple with an orange.

I had argued at the time that it was quite absurd to compare the results of the STPM and matriculation courses as they are completely different systems, with different kind of evaluation procedures. Read the rest of this entry »


Reform TITAS to ensure fair and balanced teaching of civilisation studies

— Lim Teck Ghee and Din Merican
The Malay Mail Online
JULY 23, 2013

JULY 23 — We owe a debt of gratitude to Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli and other supporters of the proposed Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies (TITAS) course for opening the Pandora’s box on the educational value and desirability of this officially decreed course previously imposed on public universities and now planned to be extended to private universities.

For now, there has been nothing offered by way of justification or in defence of the course design by the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his subordinate, Higher Education Department director-general Morshidi Sirat, to allay the concern that the introduction of the course is politically motivated to serve the ruling government’s agenda, and not the interest of our young.

We should have no illusions that even with the spotlight of public criticism strongly on it, the authorities will not continue with the planned enforcement of the course. The political stakes are too high for the minister of education, soon contesting the Umno elections, to do an about-turn.

Recognising that it is well-nigh impossible to expect the authorities to withdraw its proposal, we urge Rafizi and others in favour of the course to support the following measures to ensure that TITAS does not become another platform to load our young with politically, racially or religiously skewed knowledge. A narrowly conceived, ethnocentric and politically biased TITAS is counter-productive in a world characterised by diversity and pluralism and in our homeland which is one of the major cultural and civilisation crossroads of Asia.

If indeed the intention is noble and aimed at instilling cross cultural learning and appreciation of the major civilisations of the region among all students, Malays and non-Malays, surely no one in their right mind will object to the safeguards below to ensure that this intention is achieved and not subverted. Read the rest of this entry »