The new Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh should set an example to show that he is prepared to implement a first world higher education system  by abolish different examination systems and replace it by a common university entrance examination system for all students in Malaysia who wish to apply for places in public universities system

Media Statement
by Ean Yong Hian Wah

(Ipoh, Friday):  According to the newspapers today reported that a total of 38,892 candidates with Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM), matriculation and equivalent qualifications have secured places in public universities this year. 

Higher Education Department Director Datuk Prof Hassan Said said, the achievement of Bumiputera candidates has improved by 1.2 per cent, that of Chinese students decreased by 1.9 per cent and that of Indians rose by 0.7 per cent.


Currently, there are three different pre-university educational systems; the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), matriculation programme and the Basic Science Centre (Pusat Asasi Sains) run by the University of Malaya or other diploma programs approved by the Education Ministry.


The STPM and matriculation students who are the two main groups applying for places in public universities are chosen by the same grading system but the two examinations are different in terms of academic standards. The method of assessment for this two examination systems are different. STPM students have to sit for an external examination which the academic standards is monitored by Cambridge University Examination Board. STPM grades achieved by the students are 100 per cent based on the written examinations standardized for the whole country.


This unfair and unprofessional “meritocracy system” will not only result in loss of confidence among students but also would not produce a competitive student to face the gobalisation challenges in the future.


Besides, the government need to ensure that those STPM students who passed at least 3 subjects in STPM 2003 to get a place in public university. This is crucial because STPM students need to face a tougher examination than matriculation students and finally they could not get their first choice in the universities although they have better results.


Shafie should give a ministerial statement in the Parliament on Monday to explain how the government can ensure fairness when the 2 batch of students who went through entirely different type of examinations, the STPM and matriculation are put into the same pool for selection, comparing an apple with an orange.



* Ean Yong Hian Wah,  DAPSY National Executive Council Member