KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 712 outstanding students who achieved 10As and above in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination but have not yet been placed in the Ministry of Education’s (KPM) matriculation programme will be offered places in stages, said Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.

She said that KPM will ensure all these students receive their offers by the third week of August at the latest.

“We are committed and determined to provide educational opportunities to all outstanding (SPM) students with 10As and above, offering them places specifically in the KPM matriculation programme, regardless of their racial or regional background.

“... the reason for the third week of August is because the UPU offers (for university admission) will be released on Aug 6, so we are giving them the choice between UPU or matriculation,“ she said during a special chamber session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

She was replying to a question from Chong Chieng Jen (PH-Stampin) regarding the issue of outstanding SPM leavers who failed to secure places in the matriculation programme.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced on June 30 the guarantee of admission to the matriculation programme for outstanding SPM students who obtained 10As and above, regardless of race and background, assuring that the Bumiputera quota would not be affected by this intake.

Fadhlina said that the total number of outstanding SPM students who obtained 10As and above and applied for the KPM matriculation programme was 4,877, comprising 2,610 Bumiputera applicants and 2,267 non-Bumiputera applicants.

For the first intake, she said that 3,684 outstanding students were offered places in the programe, with 2,496 Bumiputera and 1,188 non-Bumiputera.

She added that 400 outstanding students, 33 Bumiputera and 367 non-Bumiputera, were offered places for the second intake, registration of which is today and tomorrow.