Clarify if there is reduction in number of Indian, Chinese students for matriculation programme: Kamalanathan

GEORGE TOWN: The Education Ministry has been urged to clarify if there is a reduction in the number of places allocated for Indian and Chinese students in this year’s intake for the matriculation programme.

This comes after an explanatory statement reportedly released by the ministry yesterday that said last year’s intake which had 2,200 Indian students and 1,000 Chinese students ‘was a one-off’.

Former deputy education minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan (pix) said he was perplexed by the reasoning given and called for clarification from the Education Ministry.

He said the numbers announced last year was part of the ministry’s policy to see more Chinese and Indian students qualify for the programme.

“It was the first step in providing an initiative for bright Indian and Chinese students to gain entry into the elite public institutions of higher learning,“ Kamalanathan told theSun.

The statement also said that for this year, the matriculation quota will continue to be based on a 90:10 arrangement with 90% going to bumiputra students and 10% for non-bumiputras, with intakes based on meritocracy.

It also said 60% of the slots will be given to those from the bottom 40 (B40) income bracket, with the remaining 40% given to the middle 40 (M40) and top 20 (T20).

Kamalanathan was also critical of Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik and his deputy Teo Nie Ching.

“When you were in the opposition, you raised with vigour, many issues, giving an impression that you were more than capable of taking over the government when the time comes, but the perception now is that the PH government needs time.

“There is no learning curve in politics, politicians are well learned and capable people. That is why they enter politics because they know what the people want and they want to serve,” said Kamalanathan.