revisit and review the problem of the 128 top scorers as more than half of
them are unable to take up the subsequent offer of medical places in IPTS
either because of costs or quality of course
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): The Cabinet on Wednesday should revisit and review the problem of the 128 top scorers with the maximum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.0 but initially denied their choice of a medical course, as more than half of them are unable to take up the subsequent offer of medical places in the private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) either because of costs or quality of course.
The Cabinet must ensure that its earlier decision that all the 128 top scorers are given a chance to do medicine is a meaningful one, and not merely a “formula without a solution”, resulting in the “best and brightest” students having to forgo the opportunity to do medicine.
The “formula without a solution” devised by the Ministry of Higher Education to offer medical course for the 128 top scorers comprised three elements:
This is a “formula without a solution” as the majority of the 99 students offered places in the private medical colleges have to forego the opportunity to do medicine either because of costs or the quality of the medical course and the subsequent problem of recognition of the medical degrees. For instance, only four of the 50 students offered places at the Allianz College of Medical Sciences in Penang to work for the North Sumatra medical degree has taken up the offer.
The costs of private medical schools in the IPTS are easily in the RM200,000 to RM300,000 region as compared to RM20,000 in the IPTA.
What the Cabinet should seriously consider on Wednesday is the award of scholarships for all the 99 top scorers offered places in the IPTS, and not just the award of Mara scholarships to 19 of the 128 top scorers, or the increase in the absorption of the 99 top scorers into the eight public universities having medical faculties, at the rate of 10 or 12 students each.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman