Despite Hindraf's signing of a MoU with BN and despite MIC's continued participation in the government, there is no new deal for the Indian community

At the Thaipusam celebrations held at the Sri Subramaniam Swamy Devasthanam in Batu Caves in 2012, the Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib said the government was serious about addressing the concerns of the Indian community.

“The government has never gone back on their word. If I promise something, the government will surely do it. If you help me, I help you and if you trust me I trust you, Nambike (trust in me)," Najib assured the Indian community.

If the BN government is one that can be trusted, then there will not be a “Krisis Matrikulasi dan Pengambilan Universiti” forum here today.

This year’s intake of Indian students into Matriculation Colleges has become an issue that brings sadness and anger to many parents because the government has not fulfilled its promise made to the Indian community.

For this year’s intake into public universities, only 1824 Indian students or 4.38 % of the total 41573 successful students were Indians. As regards the intake for the Chinese students it was a miserable 19% only. With public out cry now the Government is trying to appease Malaysians with some implementation of some ad hoc policies.

A top MIC leader has even publicly said that this year’s situation as the most unfair and biased public university intake in the history of Malaysia.

Last year, the Prime Minister had agreed to increase the number of Matriculation places for Indian students from 556 to 1556.

But were 1556 places offered and taken up by the Indian students?

Last year, only 800 Indian students enrolled at Matriculation colleges. The balance places were not filled.

For this year, 1500 places were offered in the first intake but only 892 places were taken up. A total of 6150 students had submitted their applications.

Then why were the balance places not immediately offered to other deserving students?

It was said that for the second intake, 350 places were offered.

It is evident that the government has not delivered as promised.

It certainly cannot be because there are not enough candidates when so many qualified and eligible students have failed to gain admission into Matriculation Colleges.

A few top people must answer for the government’s failure to keep its promise to accord fair treatment to the Indian students.

The first person is the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib who had tried to woo Indian votes by asking the Indian community to put their trust in him and who had promised to do more for the community.

The second person is the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin who must explain why Indian students were not given their rightful places at Matriculation Colleges and public universities.

The third person is MIC President Datuk Seri Palanivel who has always heaped praises on Najib but yet has failed to ensure Najib delivers as promised to the Indian community.

The fourth person is the newly minted Deputy Minister Waythamoorty who decided to become a partner of BN by signing a MoU with BN just days before the May 5 polling day.

In the MoU signed between BN and Hindraf, the following were part of the agreement:-

  • To confirm that 7.5 percent of places in the government universities and institutions of higher learning are for Indian students.

  • To confirm that 10 percent of places in the government polytechnic colleges are for Indian students.

  • To confirm that 7.5 percent of places in the present residential schools, matriculation and technical colleges are for Indian students.

So let me ask , where are you now Mr Waythamoorthy? Why have you forgotten what you signed with BN?

The fifth person who must explain to us what he has been doing at the Education Ministry is the Deputy Education Minister P Kalamanathan.

Despite Hindraf‘s signing of a MoU with BN and despite MIC’s continued participation in the government, there is no new deal for the Indian community.

Under the BN government which does not keep its promises and which continues to implement raced based policies, Indian community will continue to get raw deal.

We must reject such treatment and must be united in demanding a fair deal for communities.

In a news report today, Health Minister Datuk Subramanim said the Cabinet has directed the Education Ministry to look into weaknesses in selection procedures for entry into local universities after a number of top scorers failed to gain admission.

He also said that the Cabinet will look into how to place them in private universities if their appeals are unsuccessful but cautioned there was no discussion on scholarships for such students.

I want to ask if the Cabinet really understands the plight of the students.

If the students can afford the high tuition fees charged by private universities, then they would have applied directly and on their own to these universities.

Subramaniam’s remarks that “in all countries, not everyone who applies gets a place in universities” deserves a strong rebuttal.

Can he and the Cabinet tell the people in which nation do you have top students with perfect score of CGPA of 4.0 who fail to get any a place in universities?

Let me remind the Cabinet that unfair intake of students for Matriculation Colleges and public universities is a very serious problem as it does not only involve the question of brain drain, it also affects the question of national unity.

M Kula Segaran DAP National Vice Chairman & MP for Ipoh Barat