Jul 26, 2013

    No sense in snubbing top KL students

    The Star/Asia News Network

    IT IS ironic that, on the one hand, Malaysia spends millions to attract our talented people home and, on the other hand, denies some of our brightest students of courses and universities of their choice.

    This annual season of silliness will only force high-performing students to look elsewhere to further their studies.

    One obvious benefactor is Singapore, which offers our students scholarships, living allowances and an attractive multi-cultural environment to study in. Eventually, after graduation, those students may be offered jobs there.

    The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and Malaysian Indian Congress have kicked up a storm, and rightly so, over the drop in university placements and the government has said a decision is pending.

    But why deny our top students the chance to study the courses of their choice in the first place?

    Why put them through this harrowing experience, which must surely test the limits of their love for their country?

    The MCA, in particular, wants to know why the intake of Chinese students is low - 7,913 successful applicants out of 41,573 for 20 public universities this year, or 19 per cent.

    In previous years, and since the meritocracy policy was introduced to the university-intake process from 2002, the Chinese-student intake had never dropped below 25 per cent, and the Indian-student intake averaged 9 per cent.

    Apart from the Chinese students who were successful, there were 30,903 bumiputeras (Malays and indigenous groups), 1,824 Indians and 933 from other races.

    Some students with the full Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.0 were not only denied courses of their choice, but also places in universities.

    These students are part of a talent pool that will do the nation proud in years to come.

    It was to avoid this mess that the government implemented the meritocracy policy.

    There is no point dredging the world for Malaysian talents and spending money urging them to return, while denying our young and brightest a university education.