This is a grave mistake by Pak Lah. But, the sickening thing is UMNO is dumbfounded and clueless to answer to any subsequent matters arising from those mistakes.
Harapkan blogger juga nak menjawab. Letih ...
Pak Lah's portioning was somewhat strange. Has the population ratio of Bumi:Non-Bumi changed to 51:49? Or perhaps it is the voters ratio?
Another issue is: Did his actions received blessing of the Majlis Raja-Raja?
Article 153 state that Raja-Raja Melayu are guardian to the Bumiputera interest. Thus, any reduction in allocation under Article 153 has to constitutionally receive prior blessing from Raja-Raja Melayu.
I believe he didn't do it. The likelihood is that there was no such practises before.
The most damaging part of Pak Lah's action is that it opened the Pandora Box of more and unrelenting demands.
Recently, the Presiden of MCA, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat demanded a review of JPA's scholarship program.
In The Star today (read at the bottom of this posting), Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong claim MCA received appeal from 800 deserving students. A simple guess would be the bulk of them are non Malays and predominantly Chinese.
If the attitude the Malay described as "bagi betis nak peha" persist, will this encourage dialogue and give and take among the communities or adverial response?
Coincidently or by design, "multiracial" party DAP added more pressure on Government. Lim Kit Siang repeated his age old stance here and here. DAP is organising a forum tonight here.
Cutting through the chase, DAP in unison with MCA, are demanding more JPA scholarship for non-Malay specifically Chinese.
So much for Malaysian Malaysia. As I see, it has always been a Chinese agenda that is sugar coated with fallacious claims for democrasy, fairness and equity, human rights, etc.
Where is Singaporean Singapore today?
Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng warn of applying OSA on matters not related to national security, defense, and other strategic matters. Selangor Speaker Chang Tan Kim claim he can be complainant, judge and jury.
And, warned against speaking to the press. So much for freedom of the press.
[Thus far, the manner I introduce this issue will definately invite accusation of racist against me and nasty personal insults. Let me forewarn. I will not publish juvenile comments filled with insults. Off course, unless I am dishing out insult too. Then I have to be a gentleman to play fair.
So, do discuss the matter intelligently with facts and arguments, without the emotion, and better still with civility. ]
Coming back to the issue in hand, Ong's remark attracted a natural response from Independent MP and Perkasa President, Dato Ibrahim Ali. He said Ong Tee Keat is constitutionally blind and demanded the reinstatement of the previous scholarship policy.
Ibrahim added Ong's remark is motivated by his selfish racial interest. By compromising to his demands, it does not necessarily translate into non-Malay votes for Barisan Nasional.
True enough, MCA and MIC could not and will not deliver non-Malay votes for BN. They have been found to perform poorly and even neglected their constituencies. Why should their demand be taken seriously? Thus, the Prime Minister should not secede more ground. As it is, Government have already change the policy to 51:49 ratio.
In response to MCA's list of 800 rejected applicants, Ibrahim is compiling a similar list of rejected qualified Bumiputera students. Contact his office or Perkasa's office here.
Merit or Needs?
My view on this relates back to a call by both MCA and DAP for JPA Scholarshop to be awarded based on purely merit.
Thats another giveaway for sugar coated justification which is hiding their chauvanistic racial interest too. Generally, Chinese students are academically better, thus meritocrasy will favour them.
Now, DAP, before this PAP, have been persistently arguing for decades that race based policy be abolished for policy they described as "sama rata, sama rasa".
The counter argument by the pro-affirmative action proponent is that equitable does not mean fairness and justice. The argument is the historical economic condition of Malays during independence till today.
To add, Chinese guanxi have a stronghold on the economy that it is difficult for a Malay to rise from rag to riches. The only way would be to kow tow to the taukeh and be their nominees and front.
On the interim, DAP have been arguing for the part of NEP in the eradication of poverty irrspective of race. They rejected the part for restructuring of society to level the playing 'economic' field.
Reward or Assistance?
Taking into account the claim that the JPA scholarship is racially biased and the existence of leakage in the system, it does not hide the fact that the basis of Government scholarship is to assist the economically handicapped.
JPA scholarship is not essentially a scholarship per se but a "welfare" program for students from lower income family.
For example, Rhodes scholarship are given to bright and brilliant students to cover for their tuition and living expenses. In fact, receiving such scholarship is an honour. JPA scholars in turn had to serve the Government and suffer a lower paying job for the early part of the gradautes career.
By demanding JPA scholarship be given based on meritocrasy, it denies the economically handicapped Bumiputera students access to higher education. Unlike the Chinese for instance, low income Bumiputera have limited alternative source of funding for higher education.
Will it be fair to deny potential Bumiputera students without other ways and means access to higher education?
There is another side to the simplistic generalisation.
Cabinet to hear cases of 800 top scorers who didn’t get scholarships
By FOONG PEK YEE and NG CHENG YEE
The Star, Tuesday May 19, 2009
PUTRAJAYA: More than 800 straight-A students will have their appeals for Public Services Department (PSD) scholarships taken up to the Cabinet for discussion.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the group, comprising 280 who scored straight 1As, had submitted their appeals to the MCA.
“I have just briefed the party president (Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat) on the matter and the four MCA ministers will bring it to the Cabinet,” he said here yesterday.
Dr Wee said the situation this year had shocked even him – although the MCA Youth chief and party national education bureau chairman had been handling education and scholarship issues since 2001.
He cited the case of a student with 6A1 and 4A2 who obtained a scholarship to study engineering. On the other hand, there were complaints from students with 13A1s and 14A1s that they were given places to do matriculation instead of being awarded with scholarships.
He stressed that such alternatives should be made known earlier, not just dished out to the students.
Dr Wee added there must also be a transparent system of awarding scholarships.
Asked whether publishing the names of the scholarship recipients could help address the question of fairness and transparency in selection, Dr Wee said he hoped this would be done by the PSD not too long from now.
The Cabinet had in January refined the distribution of scholarship: 20% solely on merit, 10% for the underprivileged, 10% for those from Sabah and Sarawak and the remaining based on ethnic quota, co-curriculum, results and socio-economic background.
Meanwhile students, parents and teachers who contacted The Star said they were shocked by the “consolation prize” (getting a place to do matriculation instead of a scholarship to study overseas) given to many of those with 13A1s and 14A1s.
They also raised a host of other problems, including that the scholarship recipients were not told which country they would be sent to study.
Meanwhile, the DAP wants the Government to show the selection criteria for the PSD scholarships and explain why there was a shift in implementation.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had reiterated in Parliament that 55% of the scholarships would be given to bumiputras while the rest was reserved for non-Malays.
“All of a sudden, they just changed the selection criteria. We want to know how many percent of the scholarships are given to bumiputras and non-bumiputras,” the Ipoh Timur MP told a press conference here yesterday.
Lim, three other DAP MPs and three state assemblymen had met with PSD director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Adam to discuss the matter.