A DAP leader wants to know the reasons behind a sizeable number of Indian students turning down the offer.
He said an indepth study would reveal the actual reasons why only 943 students or 61.27% accepted the offer.
The DAP man was puzzled that while Indian students waited to be enrolled in matriculation colleges, which was an assured path to public universities, a sizeable number rejected the offer.
He said it indicated that the Indian community was economically diverse and any help for target groups must be identified and not generalised.
Ramakrishnan urged politicians and Indian-based NGOs to find out whether the students rejected the matriculation offer because they had better alternatives, which then would not be a loss to the community.
But he noted that if the rejection was on the ground of being offered different courses than the ones they applied for or because they would face food problems or difficulties in adjusting being a religious minority, then the matter could be taken up to the relevant ministry.
However, he did not rule out the possibility that Indian students were spoilt and pampered that they would only enroll in a nearby matriculation college and anything else would be “a big no.”
“I hope there can be an open discussion on these matters in forums, the media or online to identify the real reasons behind the rejection,” he said.
Was it an election gimmick?
Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong told Dewan Negara on Monday that of the 4,512 Indian students who applied for the 2012/2013 intake, 1,539 or 34.11% were offered seats in the 13 matriculation colleges.
However, only 943 or 61.27% Indian students enrolled in the colleges.
An appeal period between April 25 and May 13 was given to rejected students, during which 34,456 students, including 9,527 non-Malays, appealed.
On July 27, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yasin announced another one-off offer to 557 Indian students to fill the vacant Indian quota.
Offer letters have been sent out and students will have to register on July 18.
Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perlis, Labuan, Perak and Selangor have a college each while Johor, Kedah and Pahang have two each.
The 13 matriculation colleges enrolled a total of 26,700 students to study in their science and accounting streams per year.
Meanwhile, Ramakrishnan called on Muhyiddin to explain whether the over 1,500 matriculation offers were one-off offers as an election gesture.
“Hopefully, the Umno government does not exploit the community’s weakness,” he said.