Friday, July 11, 2008

PSD got it wrong with new quota

I frankly believe that the Public Service Department has made a mistake shedding the Bumiputra quota for scholarship from 90% to 50%. While I welcome any changes by the PSD to increase more quota for Non-Bumis for the sake of fairness, but the new 50-45-5 quota is set to be lambasted by the Bumiputras.

They argued that the new quota should resemble the current proportion of the Malaysian population based on races. However, they have failed to realise that there are still significant wealth gaps between each races comprised of the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and others.

Therefore, I truly believe the new quota is unfair.

What they should focus is on how they can offer the scholarships to the needy ones. While there are so many bright students of different backgrounds and races it is crucial that PSD should find these students who are seen to be worthwhile.

Students with super rich parents should be excluded from getting the scholarship. Plus, I believe the 5% (stated as 'lain-lain' or Others) in the quota is referred to the PSD officers' children. This is seen as fine for me as long as their children meets the academic criteria deemed as excellent. For example, atleast 8As in SPM. They have been practising this 'quota' unofficially but it is proven that some of their children who received the PSD scholarships did not receive excellent results. Therefore, there should be a strict guideline towards giving the scholarships to PSD officers' children.

Or maybe just scrap the idea altogether! If their children need the scholarships just follow the process like everybody else. Favouritism will only breed corruption!

There are some complaints in the press about excellent students not been given scholarships by the PSD. Well, for me there is nothing that the PSD can hide from and tell the people why these students were rejected. They might have got rejected because of their poor performance in interviews. Maybe some of them don't even know how to speak English or Malaysian Language. Just let them know to shut them up. Do it publicly if you want.

Another matter they need to concentrate on is the contract. They have to be clear about the future of the scholars regarding where/what they will be doing after they graduated. Anyone who breaches the contract should be blacklisted altogether and the guarantors should be viable to any financial obligations. They can inform immigration officers about the status of the graduates and should monitor their movements in or out of the country. The graduates were toldby the Government a few years ago that they can stay for a few years to gain qualifications and this can also be made in the contract. Anyone who goes beyond that should be sued in the Court.

Under the new quota, I believe it will affect the Bumiputras and the poor. It is not new that there are still many poor Bumiputras and Indians compared to the Chinese. Like I said earlier I have no objections towards reviewing the quota. My suggestion would be 60-40. This number can be reviewed from time to time. The 40% should do fine to the Non-Bumis currently as the economic power that the Chinese still hold and the smaller number of the Malaysian Indians populace.

Together in the years to come we can create Bangsa Malaysia as proposed in the Wawasan 2020 where the quota system can cease to exist.

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