Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pakatan wants cosmetic changes only - 0% to 10%...

This is Malaysia - we are a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation, and after 50 over years of independence, certain positive affirmation policies need to be re-considered, and maybe even abolished. But then most likely the government and some quarters may say that these are "sensitive" issues that should not be openly discussed.

Of late, there has been much open discussions, and it comes to light that policies and practices that provide for Bumiputra quotas have really not been successful. In fact, it has been abused - and rich Bumiputras have benefited much and have become richer. The poor, which no real capacity to exploit these preferential quotas, have remained poor - or have become more poor. Which political party you belong to and your 'political connections' have also used to take advantage of these Bumiputra prefential practices.

It is not the poor Bumiputra that benefits...The rich Bumiputra have been becoming richer -- and as this policy failed to achieve more equitable distribution of wealth.

The BN government likewise have been slow to give us full statistics that look at individual households - rather than just looking at ethnic groups, as a whole.

If there is to be any quota system - or any policy of positive discrimination - it must no longer be based on ethnicity and/or religion - but on socio-economic factors - like pro-poor, pro-rural population..., pro-physically/mentally challenged, ...

We remind ourselves that Malaysia has one of the highest gap between the poor and the rich.(In 2004, it was said that the top 10% was about 22 times richer than the bottom 10%. In a country of about 27million, the bottom 10% is about 2.7million persons). This is the biggest failure on the part of the Barisan Nasional - they had failed miserably and embarassingly. They failed to achive a fair and equitable distribution of wealth and resources amongst Malaysians.

With regard to the gap between rich and poor, Malaysia is far worse than India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Can you believe that?

For the sake of unity -- for the sake of developing a one Malaysian people - it is time to re-think and do away with any government or government-linked or government-assisted educational institution, program and activity which caters only for one ethnic group. We are Malaysians.

We must start by stopping to ask this question of what our 'bangsa' or 'ras' or 'ethnicity' is in all forms, etc. We should be all just Malaysian - pure and simple. Not 'Chinese Malaysian' or 'Malaysian Chinese' - just Malaysians. Also, there must a realisation that there has been a lot of inter-racial, inter-ethnic and inter-cultural marriages - and really, it is becoming really difficult to find any more pure 100% Malay, pure 100% Chinese, etc... Our PM, himself is married to a Eurasian. The PM, himself has apparently some Chinese blood. The former PM was said to have Indian blood. And our possibly next PM, Anwar Ibrahim, has Indonesian blood - apparently Batak ethnicity.

It is sad that even Pakatan Rakyat still talks about quotas - even HINDRAF is still talking about quotas. All these have to stop.

Pakatan Rakyat MB of Selangor asked for a miserable 10% of the seats in UITM to be given to non-Bumiputra students - and I am dissapointed that this is all he asked for. Is this what the PKR and Pakatan Rakyat is all about. Do they want real changes and real REFORMASI or are they just talking about some little cosmetic improvements... like from 0% to 10%... This is not at all reformasi...

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has no power to propose that Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) be opened to non-bumiputras, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

The Prime Minister said matters relating to student intake was the prerogative of the relevant higher education institution.

....On Monday, Abdul Khalid proposed that 10% of places for new students in the university be reserved for non-bumiputra and foreign students - Star Online, 13/8/2008, 'MB can’t open UiTM intake to non-bumis’

2 points to be made here:-

Firstly, any Malaysian has the right and the 'power to propose[suggest, recommend, express an opinion, etc..] that Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) be opened to non-bumiputras' - so the Prime Minister was very wrong when he made that statement, as reported.

Secondly, MB Selangor is talking not just about this 10% being Malaysian non-bumiputras - but also foreigners. So what 5% Malaysian non-bumi malaysians and 5% foreigners. Clearly, the call of the MB is not a true REFORMASI - but just for a little cosmetic changes. (I believe that even today, there have been non-bumiputras and/or foreign students in UITM - maybe some MP may ask that question in Parliament...)

I am of the opinion that 100% for Bumiputra Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), and such institution must be phased out completely. If there is going to be preferential quotas, it must be for the children coming from the poorer families and/or rural areas/regions of the country.

Quotas should not be based anymore on race, ethnicity and religion for it has been proven that it does not even bring fairness and justice to the people from even those beneficiary ethnic group.

While Pakatan Rakyat is asking for measely 10%, MIC, MCA, PPP, GERAKAN and all them other BN parties do not seem to even to be even championing for reforms or the rights of their own non-Bumiputra members or constituents. Are they happy with things as they are now?


Anonymous said...

Hi Charles,

Although MB asks for 10%, it's a step in the right direction.

bluskyes said...

I do agree with you that 10% is measly compared to 100% bumiputera enrolment. However, I think that we need to be realistic about this. You can't just suddenly take away, say, 50% of seats from Malay/Bumiputera students and expect them to be OK with it. They and their parents have been raised with the notion that these kind of privileges are their birthright. So it will be a huge psychological and emotional trauma for them to suddenly have them taken.
I do believe that UITM and NEP-related policies all need to go. But they must be progressively dismantled, with a clear plan of action and time horizons. It's too typical of us to do things in an ad hoc manner, face huge public outcry and then shy away from making real, painful changes.
Unfortunately there has been no politician brave enough to state the need for this, and to push through serious reforms to build a strong and competitive malay community, and therefore a strong and competitive malaysia.
So, I think it's been a brave move by Khalid, and a first start in a long and painful journey for our country. Maybe it would be better for us to rally round and share our ideas on how to make it work rather than merely criticising from the sidelines.

siewkhim said...

Your arguement don't makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I must say, sometimes you come off like a great big idiot with your comments.

Do you know what will happen if MB Khalid suggests to open UiTM to all? Pandemoniom. Already with his suggestion of 10%, thousands of students marched to protest.

Be realistic lah. You can't force radical changes overnight. Yes, we all want to achieve that goal of an all-encompasing Malaysia, yet we cannot do it just with one snap of the fingers. Remember, we're up against 51 years of indoctrination.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Charles Hector,we are non malays are not very keen or that interested or starving to study in place like the UiTM.This is a place where a university produce the stereo type minded,narrow minded,static minded,robotic,uncreative,non-intracting with other races,unproductive,irrational and ultra malay minded groups of stududents and the nations leaders.This a place for fifth class mentality and narrow minded fools.Just look at their students leaders protesting at the MB office.there got no their no their own thinking.they will do whatever asked by their umno political masters unquestionably.Their student leaders fail to understand that by allowing the non malays to enter-it will enhance the racial intergration,competetivenes of the university and improve the command of their english.we non malays certainly not iterested to study in this class of universty even it offer free seats with scholarships.A university with opaque entry requirement,certainly we non malays are not interested.This UiTM is only a good for producing Napoliens for the malaysian and umno ultra civil service.It should not be open to the non malays and must maitain the status quo,if not it will produce excellent on par with non malay we non malays are totaly not interested to study in UiTM.And a lot of thanks to the MB selangor-and again please dont waste you time sir arguing on our behalf-the non malays.TQ.

Anonymous said...

For so many years the malays have been enjoying special rights though the actual benefits go to only a few considering the high malay population. The problem is when such a suggestion is made politicians took it as an opportunity to make it into a racial issue. They instil fear into the minds of the malays that their special rights are slowly being taken away. And sadly many malays still think they need protection..even after 51 years of so called independence. The malays are not stupid but maybe they still lack the confidence to stand up to the challenges. Mindsets have to change.