PETALING JAYA: An opposition MP has called for an end to the “apartheid-esque” system in education, saying it keeps bright Indian students from the B40 community entrapped in a cycle of poverty.
Klang MP Charles Santiago said more than 200 straight-A Indian students were denied entrance into the pre-university matriculation system while Bumiputera admissions were at 90%.
“It’s important to remember that many of these children come from the B40 low-income group, where education is the only way out. But instead, they are kept trapped by an apartheid system,” he said in a statement.
“Instead of making university admissions accessible based on merit, the government chooses to play the race card.”
Santiago said this disparity denied students access to higher education despite obtaining good grades.
He said education minister Radzi Jidin’s recent acknowledgement of the education system’s stagnation, due to an unwillingness to change, came as no surprise.
“Instead of lamenting about the state of education, Radzi must create a system that’s fair to all Malaysians, irrespective of race or religion,” he said.
Santiago said discriminatory practices that denied children a better future because of their race would only serve to sow hate and animosity among the different races.
“Meritocracy is important moving forward, and easy pathways, premised on rights and needs to accessing university education is the way to create well-qualified and intelligent leaders of the future,” he said.