We urge the new Higher Education Ministry to be more transparent, revealing the details of the intake of public universities, the ways with which Matriculation assessment is reconciled with Higher School Certificate(STPM) and showing that it is fair

Media Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Kuala Lumpur, Sunday): Today, the media report that four ministers will raise in the Cabinet the unhappiness of STPM students in university entrance. They are Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh, MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek and Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu. Their attention may offer a ray of hope to those who are rejected from their preferred courses in public universities. They must insist on university admission being fair and just. The Cabinet has already decided on meritocracy for all admissions. What happens? 

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi repeats the desire to use merits as the criterion for university admission. Then, the Higher Education Minister insists on the criterion whatever arises. Apparently, at least 128 good STPM students have been unable to get their desired courses such as medicine. There are six public universities offering the discipline.


It seems that the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) for medicine has been raised from 3.88 last year to 4.0 this year, making many students ineligible. Obviously students from various races may face disappointment.


The nation draws up a comprehensive plan on university admissions to diverse courses, setting the targets for all the faculties. Once the Government decides on the number of students for each course, it must show that it is fair in using meritocracy for all races, elucidating the ways with which students are admitted.


Dr Shafie says that he will study the matter (giving scholarships to bright students for private universities or going overseas) seriously and see how to implement it. Parents have approached us with the dilemma of their children. We bring this to the notice of the minister, pressing him to use credible methods to help these students to overcome their difficulty.



* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong