MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Minister should stop shirking their
responsibilities and get Cabinet on Wednesday to set up independent
educationist panel to propose fairest formula for university admission in
May and decide on a common university entrance examination for all public
universities by 2005
by Lim Kit Siang
Monday): The joys and rejoicing over
the record-setting Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) 2002 results -
with an unprecedented number of 624 candidates scoring grade A for all the
five or four subjects taken, compared to 430 students in 2001, i.e. 40 with
5As and 584 with 4As in the 2002 STPM compared to 34 candidates with 5As and
396 with 4As in STPM 2001 - have swiftly given way to apprehension, anxiety,
frustration and downright despair.
Apprehension and anxiety about whether there would be justice and fair play
in the selection and admission to the public universities, while frustration
and downright despair at the injustice and unfairness of the STPM 2002
In fact, hanging over the heads of the STPM students as they prepared for
the examination last year was the worry as to whether there would be a
repetition of last year's national scandal over the public university
selection system as the result of the introduction of a "merit-based system"
which had absolutely no merit with the Education Ministry totally unable to
convince anyone that the formula used to match the matriculation results and
the STPM was not unfair, arbitrary and unprofessional - or not akin to
comparing an apple with an orange.
The "merit-based" university selection system last year was introduced to
replace the quota system of 55% bumiputra, 35% Chinese and 10% Indian
university student intake, which had been seriously violated in actual
practice. But it introduced a new and greater injustice, with bumiputra
student intake of 68.9 per cent or 13.9% higher from the 55:45 bumiputra-non
bumiputra quotas as the result of a most unprofessional, unfair and
arbitrary formula matching two completely different examinations - the STPM
results and matriculation grades.
On the same day as the release of the STPM 2002 results, the Malaysian
Examination Council (MEC) chief executive Termuzi Abdul Aziz announced a
"new system" to grade the 2002 STPM results to correspond with the
cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of the matriculation system for
purposes of admission selection into the public universities this year.
There is nothing new in the "new system" used to match the STPM results with
matriculation grades, as the same basic formula used last year has been
retained except with the further refinement to have 11 grades of comparison
between the two examinations when last year there were seven - but the
fundamental objections that such a comparison and matching was
unprofessional, unfair and unacceptable remain intact!
The Cabinet on Wednesday should reject the MEC rehash of the formula last
year to match the two completely different examinations and establish a
panel of independent and distinguished educationists to propose a
transparent formula which could be accepted as the most fair, impartial and
professional in the present circumstances as a common yardstick for
selection and admission to the public universities in May.
The MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers should stop shirking their
responsibilities by speaking up in Cabinet on Wednesday to demand that there
should not be a repetition of last year's university selection/admission
scandal by using an unfair and unprofessional formula to match the two-year
STPM results with the one-year matriculation grades and to formally propose
a panel of independent and distinguished educationists to produce the most
fair, impartial and professional formula in the circumstances.
They should also ask the Cabinet on Wednesday to take a policy decision to
end the annual educational furore over the public university selection by
having a common university entrance examination for all public universities
in Malaysia - either by having only STPM or matriculation for all
university-bound students, or establishing a common university entrance
examination for all pre-university students vying for places in the public
universities, whether from the STPM or matriculation systems.
The common university entrance examination system should be introduced for
all public universities latest by 2005.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National