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The Failure Of The Public Services Department (PSD) To Spot Top Students Worthy Of Receiving A Government Scholarship Does Not Inspire Confidence In The Ninth Malaysian Plan’s(9MP) National Mission Of Fostering A First-Class Mentality.


Media Statement
by Lim Guan Eng

(Melaka, Tuesday): The failure of PSD to spot top students worthy of receiving a government scholarship does not inspire confidence in the 9MP’s national mission of fostering a first-class mentality. Every year after examination results for SPM or STPM were announced, we read about the press highlighting the plight of top students not able to get a scholarship.

Every year the Cabinet has to step in on one case or another and over-rule the refusal of the PSD to grant scholarships to top students. Something is very wrong when the PSD can not even carry out its basic function of granting scholarships to top students as it begs this fundamental question. If top students do not get scholarships then who gets them – the undeserving ones who are not top students?

Albert Wong, a special needs student suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dsytrophy, which is characterised by progressive muscle weakness who got 12A1s, had to get Cabinet attention to obtain a PSD scholarship. Has Cabinet no important matters to attend to until it has to take over PSD’s function of granting scholarships? In any other country, officials who fail to grant top students scholarships would be sacked but in Malaysia, they get promoted.

Every year we hear of MCA playing the hero in highlighting such injustice in the PSD and calling for PSD to improve its vetting procedures without any discernible difference. Clearly MCA is more interested in playing the successful hero than succeeding in taking on the PSD to change its procedures which does not assist the National Mission of raising the capacity for knowledge and innovation and nurture “first class mentality”.

And yet the granting of scholarships by PSD does not appear to adopt merit as the standard criteria for selection. The interest in the first woman Vice-Chancellor for University Malaya ignores the fact that there are many qualified non-Malays who have been overlooked. DAP finds it difficult to believe that there are no qualified non-Malays to be a Vice-Chancellor of any Malaysian public universities or be Auditor-General or Accountant-General.

How can Malaysians attain first class mentality if the government is still gripped by racial considerations? Canada appointed a first ethnic Chinese, Adrienne Louise Clarkson who is a Hakka born in Hong Kong (Chinese: 伍冰枝), as the 26th Governor General from October 7, 1999 to September 27, 2005. Judge Anand Satyanand of Indian and Fiji-Indian background will be the first New Zealand Governor-General of Asian ethnicity in August this year.

A Chinese and Indian can be appointed as head of state for Canada and New Zealand despite the fact that they do not comprise one third of the population. And yet no Chinese and Indian even dream of being appointed as a Governor of a state in Malaysia when they can not get appointed as a Vice-Chancellor of a public university or uncertain of being granted scholarships by the PSD when they are top students.

Failure to grant scholarships to top students is a national shame and the failure of MCA Ministers to prevent this national shame from becoming an annual event is a failure not just of MCA leadership but of BN consultative spirit.


* Lim Guan Eng,  DAP Secretary General

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