KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — MIC Central Working Committee member P. Punithan today said that the government's decision to retain Bumiputera quota for matriculation programmes, while increasing the number of student intake to 40,000 is a populist and irresponsible move as it will cause bigger problems when students apply for public universities.
Punithan said the government should keep in mind that after completing the matriculation programmes majority of the students will apply to public universities.
“There will be a serious problem when the students apply for public universities, as there will be limited seats as there will be more applications.
“When it comes to universities, not only matriculation students will be applying but also students who have just finished STPM, diploma and polytechnic courses.
“Is the government going to increase the number of places in universities as well as in the future, when the number of students applying in local universities increase,” he asked.
Punithan said another issue that will arise following the increase in the number of student intakes for matriculation programmes is that STPM Bumiputera students will drastically decrease.
“Matriculation is much easier compared to STPM, it is likely that there will only be a single race that sits for STPM examinations which will have a long-term impact on the inequality and balance of the University's university entrance applications,” he pointed out.
Punithan said the government should be more responsible and not adopt a populist policy just to ease people's dissatisfaction with the government.
“An increase of 13,500 matriculation seats for Bumiputera while an increase of only 1,500 to non-Bumiputera is surely not fair. Especially to non-Bumiputera students who have outstanding results,” he added.
Meanwhile Gerakan Vice President Oh Tong Keong said the government has made a hasty decision in announcing the increase in the number of students for the matriculation programmes.
“Did the government consider whether the teachers and equipment are adequate? The number of matriculation places have increased to 40000 from the previous 25000. The authorities must ensure that there are enough teachers and equipment to cope with it,” he said.
Oh said although the matriculation seats has been increased, but non-Bumiputera students will still only have a 10 per cent quota.