We urge the Education Minister to announce the details of the criteria for university admission that is acceptable to the public

Media Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Kuala Lumpur, Friday):  Last year, the Government said it used a merit system for the first time to admit students to public universities. There was a furore because the criteria for admission were based on Matriculation and STPM.

 Tan Sri Musa said:  "The merit system will be used to determine entry into all public university faculties.

 "We will not combine the quota and merit systems as was proposed by certain quarters last year."

 If the Government truly implement meritocracy, it will go a long way to prepare Malaysians for the modern world. Further globalization, AFTA and the dictates of WTO make the quota system unrealistic. But then, the Education Minister must show that the criteria used are acceptable to most people.

 How does Tan Sri Musa reconcile Matriculation and STPM? These are different examinations. Once he sets a standard for admission, he must let the people know the equivalent qualifications.

 That he has chosen the National University (UKM) to announce the continuation of the merit system means something. UKM has been relatively mono-ethnic since its inception. These few years, there has been a gradual
increase in the number of non-Malays.

 The Minister has been reluctant to announce the details of enrolments in all public universities. If he wants the people to believe that meritocracy holds sway, then he must be more transparent and accountable.

 The merit system should not stop at university admission. It should be applicable to the appointments of teaching and administrative staff members.


* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong