Teresa Kok disagrees with Shahidan Kassim that scholarships are no longer given based on race.
PETALING JAYA: Most of the government scholarships for overseas study were offered based on ethinicity in the past five years, unlike what Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim has claimed, Seputeh parliamentarian Teresa Kok said.
In a statement today, Kok said Shahidan had misled the public by saying that the Public Service Department’s scholarship were given based on one’s merit.
Shahidan had said non-Bumiputra made up closed to 45% of the government scholarships recipients such as in the case of 2008 where 1,100 Bumiputra students and 900 non-Bumiputra were offered the study aids.
In 2009, 924 out of 2,100 scholarships were given to non-Bumiputra students; in 2010, 779 of the 1,750; in 2011, 618 out of 1,500; and in 2012, 120 of the 300.
Kok said Shahidan’s statement was in direct contradiction with what his predecessor Nazri Abdul Aziz had said in 2010 and 2011.
On June 30, 2010, Nazri said the 3,000 scholarships for that year were allocated under four categories, of which only 300 were awarded based on merit while 900 were based on racial compositions.
In May 2911, Nazri said of the 1,500 scholarship offered, only 300 were allocated for the merit category with 900 for racial composition category. The remaining were awarded to the Sabah and Sarawak natives, and the socially disadvantaged.
“It is obvious that Shahidan has not been properly briefed about the PSD overseas scholarships and he should therefore seek the correct answers and retract his misleading remarks,” Kok said.
She also urged Shahidan to explain the reason behind the declining number of scholarships offered since 2009.
“The drastic drop to 300 in 2012 is simply shocking. It is not justifiable in view that the prime minister has failed to rein in his own department’s spending and has allocated RM16.45 bil in the 2014 Budget estimate for his department,” he said.