If the Education Minister is
so confident of defending the meritocracy system, he should be bold
enough to review and make public all the details of admissions to UM
medical faculty this year
by Loke Siew Fook
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): If the Education Minister is so confident of defending the meritocracy system, he should be bold enough to review and make public all the details of admissions to UM medical faculty this year.
The admission of only one Indian Malaysian STPM graduate to the University Malaya’s medical faculty this year as a result of the so-called “meritocracy system” practiced in the admission system to local universities is probably “a tip of the iceberg” of the whole problem of different university entrance examination system.
The UM medical students have correctly pointed out that no common system exists for the selection of students, who mainly enter the Universiti Malaya medical faculty based on either STPM or matriculation results.
DAPSY has argued extensively in the past why the so-called “meritocracy system” is unfair due to the huge differences in academic standards in the different entrance examination system, just like comparing “an apple with an orange”. STPM is a 100% written examination with its standards evaluated by external examiner while matriculation is an internal system with marks given based on semesters examinations, coursework and class participations.
Admitting students based on these two entirely different examinations is already most unfair, even more ridiculous, additional students have been admitted to the medical faculty via a twinning programme with the privately-run Perak College of Medicine (PCM) which has a lower academic standard not even on par with the central processing system (UPU).
DAPSY expresses our full support to the UM medical students who asked Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad to compare the academic results of candidates considered from all three routes – STPM, matriculation and PCM examinations before claiming that the whole process was based entirely on merit.
It was a general perception among non-Malay STPM students in the past that only straight A students can think of admitting to UM medical faculty under the quota system due to the intense competition for the limited places. Since now that the Education Ministry claimed that all applicants were considered based on their results, then all the 160 places in the UM medical faculty should be given to the best students irrespective of their race or religion.
It is quite impossible that out of the 160 places available, only 1 Indian Malaysian student is qualified! In other words, this work out to be only 0.625% of Indian Malaysian student in UM medical faculty for this year’s intake. This doesn’t make sense at all because it did not reflect the real situation in the country. According to the Eight Malaysia Plan 2001-2005, out of the total 12,141 doctors in Malaysia, 3,448 or 28.4% qualified doctors are Indians Malaysians. Traditionally, Indians Malaysians have always excelled in the medical field.
Therefore, the results of only 1 Indian Malaysian is qualified to be enrolled into UM medical faculty has raised a lot of suspicions. If the Education Minister is so confident of defending the meritocracy system, he should be bold enough to review and make public all the details of admissions to UM medical faculty this year.
This is not just to ensure justice to the rest of the Indians Malaysians applicants to the UM medical faculty but to create a new level of transparency in the admission to public universities.
DAPSY reiterates that unless and until a common university entrance examination system is implemented for all students applying to public universities, the current meritocracy system is not genuine and without merit whatsoever.
* Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY National Secretary