Penang Gerakan urges govt to abolish race-based education quota system

Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong said the federal government should consider opening up education opportunities for everyone based on meritocracy regardless of race. ― Picture by KE Ooi
Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong said the federal government should consider opening up education opportunities for everyone based on meritocracy regardless of race. ― Picture by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, May 24 — Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong today urged the government to revamp the education system in the country by doing away with the quota structure.

Oh said Pakatan Harapan (PH) should consider opening up education opportunities for everyone based on meritocracy regardless of race.

“This is a so-called New Malaysia, so they must introduce a new system that is fair to all based on their educational performance and not on their race,” he said.

Oh said before the quota system was introduced in the 1980s, only students who scored good marks in the then Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) examinations were accepted into local universities.

“At that time, it was fair, those who scored straight A’s got into local universities while those who did not do well, did not get in, it was simple and straightforward,” he said.

He was commenting on the recent issue of 90 per cent quota for Bumiputeras in the government’s matriculation programme.

He said the quota system for the intake of undergraduates in universities should also be abolished.

“They should do away with any quota, this is the only way to maintain the quality of our university graduates as only those whose results qualify should be accepted,” he said.

The Gerakan Vice President also criticised Education Minister Maszlee Malik for his accusations last week that Bumiputeras were being denied jobs because they don’t know Mandarin.

“So is the minister saying that Chinese shops selling pork should hire Bumiputeras too?” he asked.

He pointed out that some companies had to deal with clients from China so they will need people who could speak Mandarin to deal with their clients.

He said this hiring condition is for business expediency and had nothing to do with racial bias.

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