SERDANG – Malaysians of Indian descent would have less chance for tertiary education locally if Putrajaya imposed entry fully on meritocracy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
Najib had cited his administration’s allocation of additional 700 seats in institutions of higher learning and 1,500 seats in matriculation courses for Indian Malaysians, pointing out that the latter was done for the “first time” in history.
“I realise the participation of Indians in higher education is still low, that’s why recently I have given orders for an additional 700 places in institutions of higher learning to be given to Indians, because if we allow meritocracy to be carried out fully, then those who will become victims are the Indian community,” he said at the opening ceremony of the Indian Progressive Front’s 25th annual general meeting here this afternoon.
“The meritocracy policy was introduced not during my time, but during the time of others; but this policy does not help Indian community,” he said, without mentioning the name of the leader who started the meritocracy policy.
“If we don’t do something, maybe the participation of Indians in institutions of higher learning would be only 3 to 4 per cent, not up to 7 per cent. This will be a loss to the Indians because if one child succeeds, he can help other family members,” he added, when describing the extra seats allocated for the Indian community.
Throughout his speech, Najib listed various measures that his administration done for the ethnic Indian community, touting that the extent of his assistance had never been done before by previous leaders.
In 2002, then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had replaced the racial quota system for entry into public universities with entry based on meritocracy.
– Malay mail