PENANG: Malaysian Education Minister Maszlee Malik has drawn flak from both facets of the political divide for his remarks linking the racial quota for pre-university admission to “employment discrimination” towards bumiputras.

Dr Maszlee reportedly said at a town hall consultation at Universiti Sains Malaysia on Thursday (May sixteen) that disposing of the racial quota for the matriculation programme could handiest be taken into consideration while bumiputras are no longer became away at process interviews for now not being able to talk Mandarin.

His remarks did no longer go down properly with other politicians, which include his Pakatan Harapan colleagues.

On Facebook, Selangor government councillor and Democratic Action Party (DAP) veteran Teng Chang Khim commented: “If the Education Minister in reality did say so, then he actually is silly. What an idiot!”


Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy also took Dr Maszlee to challenge for thinking alongside racial lines. “What is the difference between him and United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) politicians?” he stated in a announcement.

“He is announcing so long as the personal sector, in other phrases, Chinese employers, are recruiting on the idea of know-how of Mandarin, then the authorities will hold the prevailing matriculation quota,” said the DAP flesh presser.

Dr Ramasamy wondered Dr Maszlee’s cause in elevating the problem, asking if he was looking for to “rating political points in a predominantly Malay crowd”.

The pre-university matriculation programme turned into rolled out in 1998 to create more opportunities for bumiputras to are looking for better schooling in technology, technology and implemented arts.

Ten in keeping with cent of the seats had been ultimately allotted to non-bumiputras in 2003, for this reason putting in vicinity the 90:10 ethnic quota. Every consumption has 25,000 students.

Last month, Dr Maszlee introduced that the programme could be improved to accommodate 40,000 students, with the racial quota last in area.

This intended that while an additional 1,500 seats had been created for non-bumiputra college students (bringing the full to 4,000), seats reserved for bumiputra students jumped through thirteen,500 to 36,000.

His announcement ignited a clean round of discussion on meritocracy and affirmative motion in Malaysia.

In the Thursday town corridor consultation, Dr Maszlee stated the matriculation programme turned into put in place to balance the ratio of bumiputra and non-bumiputra students in public universities.

“Non-bumiputra students come from rich families; they attend training classes and attain top grades. Bumiputra students, which include those originating from B40 (backside forty in keeping with cent) families in East Malaysia, do not cross for training,” he changed into quoted as announcing.

Meanwhile, Ms Saw Yee Fung – a spokesperson of competition Malaysian Chinese Association – stated she became at a loss for words with the aid of the hyperlink among ethnic quota and bumiputras’ command of the Chinese language.

“If we need to enhance the employability of university graduates, shouldn’t we reinforce instructional schooling rather than searching at the problem from a racial perspective?” she stated.


On a separate issue, Dr Maszlee said on Friday that the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has to clean the air over reintroducing travel ban for loan defaulters.