KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — DAP’s Youth wing urged Education Minister Maszlee Malik today to withdraw his remarks linking the matriculation quota to Mandarin-speaking requirements for certain jobs.
In a statement today, DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) chief Howard Lee said he believed that Maszlee’s comments were his own personal views and did not represent the Cabinet or federal government.
“YB Maszlee should not bow to the racial rhetoric that has been easily utilised as a weapon by race supremacy groups. As a minister, he should not have spoken like a ‘jagoan politik’ (politician who champions controversial issues). He is far better than that, highly educated and certainly an intellectual.
“So it is hoped that Maszlee will retract his statement that is now being used as a racial weapon by certain parties, and return to the principles of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, which is united and determined in helping people of all races, especially the majority B40 (bottom 40 per cent) group,” Lee said.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa, however, reportedly said that Maszlee was merely defending the Cabinet’s decision to maintain a 90 per cent Bumiputera quota system in the pre-university matriculation programme.
Lee reminded Maszlee of Dapsy’s proposal to temporarily solve the matriculation issue, which he said had been officially presented to the minister, including addressing the significant status quo imbalance in matriculation exams, the review of matriculation and Form Six STPM co-curricular activities, automatic Cumulative Grade Points Average (CGPA) insertion for STPM students, and combining the examination, syllabus and grading systems for STPM and matriculation by 2020.
For better collaboration in solving such issues, Lee proposed that a committee be established to discuss higher education matters at the PH National Youth level.
On May 16, during a forum with university students at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Maszlee responded to a question on the 90 per cent Bumiputera quota in matriculation by stating that the quota system should not be looked at in isolation as there were Bumiputera being denied jobs because they did not know how to speak Mandarin.
His remarks have drawn criticism from Penang second deputy chief minister P. Ramasamy, who reportedly had likened the education minister to Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians.