KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — Education Minister Maszlee Malik has announced his ministry will retain the Bumiputera quota for matriculation programmes, while increasing the number of student intake to 40,000.

He said the issue was brought up earlier today in a Cabinet meeting, with the additional intake implemented to ensure the best-performing students have a higher chance to further their studies.

“Following this, the Cabinet agreed to increase the ministry's matriculation programme student intake from 25,000 to 40,000,” Maszlee said in a statement.

He said the Pakatan Harapan government sees a need to boost the number of students in the sciences field, hence the increased student intake.

“This decision is also seen as the best method in ensuring the programme can give educational opportunities to all races.

“Along with this, the Cabinet has also decided to retain the quota for 90 per cent Bumiputera and 10 per cent non-Bumiputera students, in line with the programme's original vision in encouraging more Bumiputera students to pursue sciences field,” Maszlee said.

He added the ministry will also discuss with the Finance Ministry on the additional cost of taking in more students.

“The Cabinet has also requested that the Education Ministry evaluate the appropriate strategic approach, including using the premises of the Institute of Teaching Education to accommodate the intake,” Maszlee said.

Earlier on Sunday, the minister said he would raise current concerns over the programme's admission to the Cabinet, so as to reach a proper outcome.

PH allies have been engaged in a verbal war with each other over the past several days on whether the 90 per cent Bumiputera quota should be retained.