Meritocracy system: An unfair meritocracy system goes against the government’s objective to raise the competitiveness of the bumiputra students

Press Statement
by Kerk Kim Hock

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The unfair and unprofessional meritocracy system implemented by the Education Ministry for the last two years for the intake of students into the local public universities has met with much criticisms and objections. 

The public criticisms are not surprising because the so-called meritocracy system lacks the principle of fairness and does not really promote competitiveness.


In fact, such unfair and unprofessional system will only impede the healthy growth and development of the country as the system will not only fail to lift the competitiveness of the bumiputra students, it will also hinder efforts to achieve genuine national unity.


In any real competition, the staring and ending points must be the same for all competitors. Even in some handicapped competitions where, by mutual agreement, there can be different staring points for the other competitor, the ending point will still be the same.


As such, if the government is not prepared to abolish one of the present examinations, that is to abolish either the STPM or the Matriculation examination, then it must be prepared to introduce a common entrance examination for all who wish to gain admission into the local public universities.


The racial quota system that was practiced in the past has deprived many students of their opportunities to study at the local public universities. An unfair meritocracy system will only bring about greater injustice as shown by the intake figures for last year and this year.



Student Intake fro 2002/2003 and 2003/2004



2002/2003 Student Intake

2003.2004 Student Intake


22,557 (68.9%)

23,162(62.6. %)


8,665 (26.4. %)

11,921 (32.2. %)


1,530  (4.7. %)

 1,934 (5.2 %)


32,752 (100 %)

 37, 034 (100 %)


In a genuine, fair and professional meritocracy system, none should doubt the performance of any race or neither should any one complain from a racial angle.


The government must realize that the present meritocracy system has raised much controversy, criticism and objections, not because the ability or performance of the bumiputra students has been questioned, but because the meritocracy system is unfair and unprofessional. It must be brave to admit the unfairness of the system.


DAP MPs will therefore continue to speak up in the Parliament against such a system which cannot be effective in raising the competitiveness of the bumiputra students but will instead divide the people rather than to unite them.


* Kerk Kim Hock , DAP Secretary General and MP for Kota Melaka