The Entire Education And Civil Service System Must Be Overhauled And Revamped If A Top 14 Scholar In the Country Is Not Good Enough To Qualify For A Public Services Department (PSD) Scholarship

Press Statement

Lim Guan Eng

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The entire education and civil service system must be overhauled and revamped of a top 14 scholar such as Penang top student, Ng Ee Liang who had scored 13 A1s in the SPM, is not good enough to qualify for a PSD scholarship to do medicine. Malaysians are sick and tired of the annual ritual of our the achievements of our top student not getting due recognition from the government whether in the form of scholarships or university places to do medicine. 

Why is it such clear-cut deserving cases must go to the “political sandiwara” of getting BN component parties such as MCA to intervene before the government can even consider their appeals? By right and merit, top scholars should be automatically given scholarships and places to do medicine. Unfortunately for the Malaysia Boleh spirit, top scholars are “Tak Boleh”! 

For PSD public relations officer Hasniah Rashid to say that fierce competition is the reason why a large number of applicants in prestige courses like medicine do not succeed is no different from saying that Ng, who is No. 14 out of 25 top SPM students last year, is just not good enough. This is both outrageous and ridiculous. There were 1,189 students applying for 322 places for medicine and even though Ng was the No. 14 top scholar he missed out. Such rationale and logic is beyond comprehension. How much better must Ng perform? 

If there were only 18 places available, and Ng missed out, perhaps this can be justified on the grounds that other applicants fulfilled other eligibility requirement. However this does not make sense when there were 322 places available. How can a top 14 scholar miss out on 322 available places? Malaysia’s image as a country with trained workers and an education hub that values meritocracy has taken a severe beating with the tears to our top scholars who are told they are just not good enough to qualify. 

To need political intervention by BN benefits no one except create a false publicity and “hero” image for some unscrupulous BN politicians. The government is behaving very irresponsible with such “self-directed” drama to promote itself. The time has come to stop messing around with the feelings and future of our top scholars for political gains but implement far-reaching institutional reforms in our education and civil service system so that such problems of top scholars not been awarded scholarships do not recur.  

Malaysians demand right now that not only must the current controversy of top scholars not getting scholarships be immediately resolved but that such a disgraceful annual ritual of tormenting and humiliating our top scholar be stopped to ensure we send the right message that excellence in results is rewarded and not punished.


*  Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General