Malaysian National News Agency

Johor Umno Says Meritocracy A Form Of Discrimination
July 09, 2005 22:11 PM
JOHOR BAHARU, July 9 (Bernama) -- The Johor Umno Liaison Committee Saturday criticised the meritocracy system introduced by the government, saying that it resulted in a fall in the achievement of Malay students and is a form of discrimination and oppression.

Its chairman, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, who is also the Johor Menteri Besar, said it had adversly affected tens of thousands of Bumiputera students in the rural areas who had been denied quality education in view of the "uneven competitive field".

He said this at the opening of the two-day Johor Umno Convention here attended by 579 delegates from 26 divisions in the state.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also the Umno president, is expected to close the convention tomorrow.

The system had resulted in a fall in the number of Malay students in medicine, engineering, pharmacy, dentistry and other competitive fields, he said.

Citing the situation at the University of Malaya (UM), he said the number of Bumiputera students who studied medicine, pharmacy, law and buisness had declined.

He said the system had prevented the entry of Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera students into public institutions of higher learning based on the 55:45 ratio as used in the quota system.

"Although there was an increase in the number of Malays in accountancy, architecture, law and other fields from 1970 to 2002, the Bumiputeras account for only 20 percent in accountancy compared to the non-Bumiputeras, medicine and dentistry (36 percent), engineering (26.5 percent) and registered lawyers (35 percent).

Hence, Malay graduates who were jobless or working below their capacity had increased in 2003.

Abdul Ghani also urged the government to make learning at national schools more attractive because Bumiputera students were mostly from these schools.


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