Wednesday, July 16, 2008

PBS and LDP eyeing our positions if vacant: SAPP

Kota Kinabalu: The people in Sabah should examine the real motivation for BN component parties from Sabah frantically calling for the ouster of SAPP from the coalition, said its Secretary-General, Datuk Richard Yong.

He said SAPP is of the view that these parties, including PBS and LDP, could not wait for SAPP to be ousted so they will have the government positions vacated by SAPP representatives and dished out to their leaders.


  1. PBS and LDP eyeing our positions if vacant: SAPP

    Kota Kinabalu: The people in Sabah should examine the real motivation for BN component parties from Sabah frantically calling for the ouster of SAPP from the coalition, said its Secretary-General, Datuk Richard Yong.

    He said SAPP is of the view that these parties, including PBS and LDP, could not wait for SAPP to be ousted so they will have the government positions vacated by SAPP representatives and dished out to their leaders.

    He said SAPP's intention to move a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister was not an isolated move to gain notoriety, but in cognizance with its struggle for the rights of Malaysians in Sabah.

    "That the Prime Minister has been ineffective and paying only lip-service to Sabah's interests is known by and acknowledged by all Malaysians, particularly those parties in Sabah," he said in a statement, Tuesday.

    According to him, BN leaders, including from Umno, LDP and PBS, have at one time or another gone on record calling on the PM to act more expediently on Sabah issues, including those related to illegal immigrants, regional development imbalances and poverty eradication.

    "SAPP expects leaders from Sabah who have been appointed to positions in the Federal Government not to lose sight of their obligations to the Sabah electorate who make their positions possible.

    "It is disappointing that leaders like Dr Maximus Ongkili and Datuk VK Liew have become 'federalised' or 'domesticated'Éthey have become apologists for Kuala Lumpur.

    "So eager are they willing to please that a learned and supposedly cultured person like Dr Maximus went on record to describe a component party as a member of the canine species," he said.

    Yong said SAPP doubted if PBS and LDP still hold to their commitment to fight for Sabah rights and Sabahan interests.

    "If indeed they still do, they should find commonality with SAPP's move which is aimed at resolving long standing and grave issues. They would have second thoughts about calling for SAPP's blood.

    "Instead, they should acknowledge the fact that (as uttered by PBS Information Chief Johnny Mositun) the parties are pursuing the same objectives through different paths," he said.

    Towards this end, he said SAPP concludes that PBS and LDP's intensity in wanting SAPP sacked from BN, or calling for SAPP to quit the coalition, is a simple act of self- preservation.

    He cited the resignation of PBS Supreme Council member and a fervent campaigner of the illegal immigrant issue, Dr Chong Eng Leong recently because he was told by the PBS leadership to stop talking.

    "PBS elected representatives and other leaders have been conspicuously quiet in recent weeks. One is inclined to conclude that a gag order has been slapped on them even on issues of Sabah rights. Is this not a reflection of the PBS wavering on its commitment? Is it not a clear indication of self preservation?"

    He said SAPP also wants to alert the people in Sabah to the fact that the recent promises to inject massive development funds into Sabah may just be "attempts to pull wool over their eyes in this climate in which a government is rapidly losing the people's trust.

    "For example, what has become of the RM1 billion promised by the Prime Minister several months ago?

    "Is there any truth that the money has mostly been disbursed through the various Umno divisions in a move to pacify these grassroots leaders and to prevent a revolt in view of the Umno elections this December?" he asked.

    Yong said the recent announcement by the Minister of Education on the RM700 million for education projects in Sabah seemed a little hard to comprehend in light of recent newspaper reports about children in Kemabong risking their lives crossing a river on bamboo rafts in order to attend school.

    "Four consecutive state administrations, including this current one, have failed to give these children the convenience of a suspension bridge costing only tens of thousands of ringgit; and here we have a promise to inject millions into rural schools," he said.

  2. LS Kong: Who was the winner? The people!

    Both sides should be applauded for having the public debate and for their performances.

    It is nothing short of an historical event and a significant milestone in Malaysian politics as we venture down the path to becoming a more matured democracy.

    We the people need to encourage more such open political debates, but with more substance on policies than personal attacks, in the future.

    While the BN government is obviously not yet comfortable with letting the greater masses see the debate on uncensored live telecast - one's level of maturity to handle such political debates is gauged by one's ability/inclination to install paid TV - but it is a major step forward nonetheless.

    Hurrah to all! Malaysia Boleh!

    Lim Teck Ghee: DSAI emerged as the clear winner in this debate. He was substantive and in command of the facts and figures - to the extent that the short period allocated to both speakers permitted.

    Just as important, he focused on the issue and made a convincing case that the oil price increase was excessive, poorly planned and badly executed. What was impressive was that he was gracious and did not seek to over-demonise the government for the policy mis-step but called for its correction.

    Information Minister Shabery Cheek, unfortunately, used much of his time casting aspersions on Anwar's past record. In contrast to Anwar who appeared gracious and courteous, Shabery came across as a hectoring politician intent on scoring political points by making personal attacks and not debating the issue.

    While he attempted to analyse the rationale behind the government’s action, he also tied himself up in knots - by claiming for example that the oil price increase would help reduce inflationary pressure in the economy - a point that Anwar was quick to pounce on.

    Towards the end of the debate, the minister pointed out that the fact that the debate was being held was testimony to the openness of the present government.

    It is hoped that the outcome of the debate - an apparent victory by the opposition over the government spokesman -will not result in the government clamping down on similar public policy debates on vital matters affecting Malaysians.

    A Star Is Born: Cringe did I when I first heard news of the Anwar vs Shabery debate. I pictured either a massive reaming for the BN speaker or a repeat Syed Hamid's fumbling buffoonery a la ‘Hard Talk’.

    In fact I didn't want to watch but was dragged in front of the telly. All day the general feeling was that Shabery was going to get creamed because Anwar is probably the best and most charismatic speaker in Malaysian politics today. Sort of like watching David vs. Goliath.

    My frown though, soon turned into a smile as Shabery began his rebuttal and by the end of the debate I was clapping enthusiastically at the TV. He wasn't as eloquent as Anwar but he was confident, calm, concise and even managed to crack a joke or two.

    Most importantly, he was never rattled and could deliver his points (though I would suggest a glass of water or a tissue for him the next time).

    Honestly, Anwar won as far as public speaking and showmanship went. That, after all, is his strong point. But on facts and actual answers to the questions put forward, Shabery came out on top.

    I'm sure by populist vote Anwar would be the winner but even in that event, his supporters have to admit that it was far from a landslide victory.

    Yeap Cheng Liang: Before we judge which side won the debate, we have to look at their original objective.

    For Shabery, the objective is to defend government's move on fuel price rise and to win over the so called independents/sceptics. On this, Shabery failed.

    Those who are sceptical remain sceptical. And I think he didn't even win over Anwar's sceptics. What he did was just repeating what you can read in the mainstream media, nothing new.

    Whereas Anwar has done a good job in recommending many measures to justify his proposal.

    And he was very forward looking compared to Shabery, who kept on looking backward into 30-40-year old stories.

    Bhavani Krishna Iyer: I am neither a great fan of the opposition nor a foe of the BN government but I was tickled pink during the recent debate between Anwar and Shabery. And watching it live made all the difference for we could see who the thinker was as opposed to the other who was grinding on redundancies.

    To begin with, Anwar emerged the nobler of the two, by strategy or otherwise and Shabery was a shame to himself and the government whom he spoke for.

    Despite Anwar repeatedly warning - or reminding, if you like - that the event at hand was not Anwar vs Shabery but more to counter or support the opposition pledge to reduce the fuel price hike if they were to be given the opportunity to lead the nation, Shabery was only a loaded machine gun, losing ammunition but mostly not hitting the target.

    Anwar had his mind and insight clear, he talked about reducing the fuel by not just any sum but by 50 sen and he came up with his reasons and justifications backed with facts and figures.

    Shabery, on the other had, was hiding behind the Barisan government and saw it fit to defend his paymasters without there being a need to do so.

    It also appears that Shabery might have worked really hard on researching the history for that seemed to be his preoccupation rather than issues at hand plaguing us every dawn and dusk.

    Never once did Anwar condemn the Barisan government or Petronas but he did criticise. How do we debate without constructive criticism?

    At the debate , Shabery made us realise that it is one thing to be a talker and another to be debater. Despite the playing field not being equal Anwar emerged a star.

    Chong: I was very happy to be able to catch the last segment of the debate on Bernama TV online. I feel the country is growing up and with that we are given more freedom to express our views in a peaceful and respectful manner.

    Thanks to our PM who has given the flexibility to allow such a forum. I could not help notice in the ending shots seeing Wan Azizah beaming with pride for Anwar.

    In her heart, I think I know who won. I hope to see more live debates, and not just with Anwar.

    Kenny Gan: What is it with Umno politicians? Can't they conduct a civilised debate without hitting below the belt?

    Shabery's debate was liberally peppered with personal attacks against Anwar going all the way back to the 1974 Baling demonstration. How low can you go? The past is over and gone, nobody can say they are the same person 30 years ago.

    Anwar was the better orator and had more substance in his points while Shabery could only keep repeating the mantra that we have to increase oil prices because world crude price is high.

    But what really lost it for Shabery was his unwarranted personal attacks. Thankfully, Anwar refused to be drawn into defending himself or the debate would degenerate into a political fight.

    Hopefully, we will see more such debates in future. With an outlet for expression, people be less prone to take to the streets.

    Primus: Kudos to DSAI for making excellent points cemented by facts and figures during the debate on the price of oil.

    And I strongly believe that many of the right-thinking viewers could decipher that our Information Minister Shabery Cheek was ill-equipped with information regarding the whole issue in contention and resorted to unethical, unprofessional behaviour by using the debate platform to make personal attacks on Anwar.

    It seemed as though Shabery Cheek was a pawn of the BN govt. to spearhead a smear campaign on Anwar. Perhaps, his post should be changed to propaganda minister!

    Analysing the entire debate, I agree with Anwar's point that the IPP agreements should be reviewed and I also believe that a ‘windfall tax’ should be imposed on the IPPs.

    It was also pretty obvious that Shabery did not answer the question on what are the steps taken by the government to improve public transportation in Malaysia, especially in the urban areas but chose to make more personal attacks on DSAI.

    Kudos again to DSAI for highlighting the problems of diesel smuggling in the country. It was also very enlightening to hear DSAI suggesting that RM1 billion be taken from the special dividend given by Petronas to the government to subsidise petrol price.

    DSAI also made an excellent point on the need for good governance, which is vital for the economy of any country. The mandate given to the government is sacrosanct and in exchange the government must govern with the welfare of the people in mind for every single move that they make.

    It is the government's responsibility to ensure that there is low corruption, low wastage and prudent management of the country's multitude of resources.

    Lenard Yangli Lim: While I salute Shabery's bravado for participating in this debate, he must also now fulfill his pledge to resign.

    Not only did he dodge questions, he also played up rhetoric and the very same populist approaches that he claimed to denounce.

    This is not to say that Anwar won the debate though - his arguments, while somewhat logical, are very much contingent to a supremely idealistic world.

    Lastly, as for Shabery's challenge to Anwar - ‘to name a country which enjoys high subsidies and does not have a high rate of inflation at the same time’, well, how about our neighbour Brunei?

    Gman: I must applaud the information minister for breaking the norm to engage in a debate with the opposition that affects the lives of all Malaysians.

    It was indeed a rare occasion to see such a debate and I hope (and I am sure countless others would agree as well) that such debates should be held more often.

    It brings together different elements, ideas and approaches to the problems facing the common people and it is indeed refreshing to see such a debate.

    I am sure it was not only an education in politics, but also finance and economics which I am sure somewhat enhanced the understanding of the average Malaysian on the matter.

    My only gripe is that it was too short and only skimmed the surface of the issue. Anyway kudos to the information minister for taking such a bold step as it is about time and I hope this would be the start of more debates to come as from now we, the rakyat are 'expecting' it

    Tattchua: I can now figure out how come the debate was cut short from the original 90 minutes to 60 minutes after having watched the debate. The information minister was definitely out of points and going on the defensive.

    On the offensive was Anwar who have been rebutted convincingly the minister’s queries.

    Should the debate be allowed to run the original 90 minutes, our minister would have most certainly been script-less whilst Anwar would certainly be applauded by the masses for his tenacity and in-depth understanding on the subject of fuel/ subsidy including the leakages.

    Whilst my ‘winner’ would be Anwar, I applaud Shabery Cheek for taking up this challenge and clearly he is of the kind of budding intellect with calibre that is willing to shoulder the responsibility the country needs.

    Having said that, Anwar displayed a high degree of calmness and quick-mindedness that others can only dream to have possess.

    CK Wong: At long last, the much awaited debate between DSAI and Sabery Cheek took place. But what a big let down it was.

    You had a feeling akin to expecting an electrifying football match between Brazil and Argentina only to realize later it was between Brazil and Myanmar.

    How on earth could our learned ruling party let Shabery take on the likes of DSAI and expect to come out of it a victor? Maybe Shabery was the best they could do because that’s all they have.

    How could the ruling party make a complete mockery of such an important event concerning the rakyat and the future of Malaysia?

    There was nothing BN could offer in this debate as all the facts points to only thing - that whatever DSAI said was true.

    What excuse or critical points could BN offer? None if facts are being taken into consideration. One only has to open half of one's eye to see that the monies being squeezed from the general rakyat through higher fuel prices have gone to the bulging pockets of BN cronies.

    Soon, Malaysia will be privatised, run by BN cronies and known as Malaysia Berhad. The land we walk on could soon be sold by greedy politicians. Let people power prevail and make sweeping changes.

    Let's make ‘Wawasan 2020' a reality before it becomes ‘Yayasan 2020', needing donations from other nations.





  4. How about a debate between Datuk Yong and Maximus? The subjects could include loyalty to Sabah, immigrantion problems, and more share of the oil money for Sabah.

    I'd like to hear Maximus' explaining why Sabah should be loyal to UMNO-BN, or why the immigrantion problem cannot be fixed, or why Sabah should not ask for a 20% share of the oil money. And above all why Badawi should continue to be the PM.

    I'd like to see how the Sabah people will respond to his nonsense.

  5. pBS and ldp are merely foot licking their way to BN$$$$.

    BTw, See the BN in Sabah, and I am wondering what the hell these West Malaysian parties like MIC, Gerakan, MCA, PPP ++ doing here in Sabah???

    They are parasites! Go back to KL together with your taiko Umno!

    We don't need you here. Sabah can be governed by new Sabah alliance e.g. comprising USNO, UPKO and SAPP.

    what do u think?

  6. The Barisan Government is totally insincere about resolving the problems of the people in Sabah.

    Isn't the problem of illegal immigrants a basic problem that can be easily tackled by the security forces???

    Why do the security forces lack such a discipline to enforce the task to get these people out??? Why is it so difficult???

    What would happen to the country if armed foreigners were to invade the country? Isn't it more troublesome and more diffucult task to handle???

    The federal Government surely have ulterior motives to close TWO EYES to this immigrant problems!!!

    The people of Sabah are no fools, they know what the UMNO people are up to !!! They are up to NO GOOD.

  7. Only UMNO Sabah can take care of Sabahan's Bumi interest(Fact or Fiction).

    Ahli UMNO Bahagian PENAMPANG.

  8. Alliance , I think u r good .

    Usno , UPKO , SAPP = Sabah Alliance .

    Sabahans will unite once again , let us send MIC , MCA , PPP , UMNO BACK TO KL .

    Alliance , what shall we do to LDP ? PBS ? PBRS ?
    Oh I forgot , since they all listen very much to their Master UMNO with BN Ringgit , let us transfer their HQ to KL as well .

    Just leave Sabah to Sabah Alliance .

  9. Alliance & Sanglu.

    Jangan kamu rang pandai cakap saja bah tapi tiada tindakan. Ayam mati!YTL & SAPP,sudah hilang taring bah.Kalau diurang betul-betul serius dan berani dalam memperjuangkan nasib rakyat Sabah,diurang mesti bertindak dan buat keputusan samada diurang masih mau jadi anjing UMNO atau menyalak dan serang UMNO Sabah habis-habisan.

    Amaran:DSAI sudah kena tangkap oleh UMNO oh.YTL,jaga-jaga oh nanti itu UMNO tangkap sama kau juga.

    Daripada,Bukan Anjing UMNO.

  10. Sikap PBS & LDP ....tidak heran....mereka adalah orang-orang yang menangguk diair yang keruh.... mencari kesempatan didalam kesempitan orang lain, bila SAPP bersuara mereka hentam Dtk YTL & SAPP dan mahu SAPP di pecat dari BN...memang itu lah agenda utama mereka sebagi pemimpin-pemimpin yang tamak dan rakus.

    Apa yang penting sekarang, adakah kita rakyat sabah sendiri patut membiarkan orang-orang macam ini jadi pemimpin di sabah ? kalau kita mahu....maka takada makna kita bercakap panjang lebar....sayang air liur.....mendabik dada....sakit saja dada....orang-orang ini akan terus-terus menjadi KERBAU pemimpin-pemimpin di Kerajaan BN. Pusat....yang sakit, yang sengsara, yang mati....kita rakyat sabah....

    Makanya sabelum orang-orang ini terus-terus memperalatkan kita untuk mencari kekayaan demi kepentingan mereka.....kita harus cari jalan untuk menghukum mereka...percaya lah kalau ada kemahuan pasti ada jalan....

    Kepada ...bukan anjing UMNO...jangan kau cakap dan jangan kau hina Dtk YTL & SAPP dengan gelaran ayam mati, dan sudah tiada taring lagi....

    Kau sadar ke apa yang dilakukan oleh Dtk YTL & SAPP itu satu pengorbanan yang amat besar....kepada kita rakyat sabah, kau ingat kerja yang mereka buat itu satu kerja yang mudah kah? kalau mudah ramai sudah parti-parti lain buat.... dan kau sendiri pun saya percaya tidak sanggup buat untuk orang kampung kau....apa lagi untuk rakyat sabah....

    Kalau Dtk YTL & SAPP ayam mati mereka tidak akan menyuarakan 8 perkara menuntut hak rakyat sabah dan undi tidak percaya kepada PM secara umum..... u mesti tahu menilai....jangan sebarangan cakap...mungkin awak ni yang mati pucuk tiada kejantanan nya lagi...

    Sebagai orang bijak dan waras....Dtk YTL & SAPP, saya percaya apa yang mereka lakukan telah difikirkan dengan waras....seperti kata pepatah "kalau mahu menarik rambut dari tepung, hati-hati lah rambut jangan putus dan tepung jangan berkecai"

    Sedara bukan anjing UMNO...saya mahu tanya kenapa kau mahu suruh SAPP keluar BN ?

    Berani kerana benar, takut kerana salah....apa yang dilakukan oleh Dtk YTL & SAPP adalah kebenaran demi keadilan untuk rakyat sabah.
    Bagi saya menghadapi kenyataan itu lebih baik daripada lari dari kenyataan.

    Keputusan adalah ditangan kerajaan BN pusat.... Dtk YTL & SAPP telah menyuarakan....dan sekarang terpulang lah pada kempimpinan kerajaan BN pusat....sama ada mereka bijak menangani akan masaalah ini.....

    Kalau kerajaan BN pusat....pecat SAPP....ini adalah satu kemenangan kepada SAPP.... kerana dapat membuktikan bahawa kepimpinan pemimpin-pemimpin kerajaan BN pusat tidak bertanggungjawab dan tidak cekap dalam mentadbir negara.... kerana adakah patut SAPP menyuarakan untuk menuntut hak rakyat sabah dipecat..bukan
    kah zalim nama nya itu ? dan sekiranya ini berlaku....perkara ini akan menjadi tumpuan umum...nah bersedia lah BN menghadapi kehancuran di pilihanraya yang ke 13.

    Sedara bukan anjing UMNO...dipecat dan keluar BN adalah 2 perkara dan tindakan yang berlainan dan berbeza.... lebih mulia dipecat atas perkara atau kesalahan yang awak tidak buat.... lebih-lebih lagi dalam kes SAPP ini, tetapi bila keluar BN....tindakan kurang bijak, kerana SAPP tahu mereka tidak melakukan kesalahan......

    Pembangkan membuat usul undi tidak percaya pada PM.... ahli-ahli UMNO minta PM letak jawatan.... itu perkara biasa....dalam politik.

    Soal tangkap menangkap ni....memang itu lah kebiasaan pemimpin-pemimpin BN Pusat...bila mereka tak dapat tutup mulut...jahanam lah kau mereka buat...tidak heran Dtk YTL ni sudah banyak kali dianianya...untuk menghalangnya dari bertanding....dari bercakap...tapi Dtk YTL tetap terus mara....membela nasib rakyat sabah.... makanya kita rakyat sabah....jangan putus asa....teruskan semangat kita...untuk memberi sokongan atas perjuangan Dtk YTL & SAPP....dan jangan gelar mereka ayam mati... gelaran itu hanya layak untuk pemimpin-pemimpin PBS dan LDP...

  11. UMNO is irrelevant in Sabah. They should be kick out from Sabah the soonest!

    UMNO only interested to play up racial and religion issue. We don't need this racist and arrogrant party in Sabah to destroy the racial-harmony that we have been enjoyed for donkey years in Sabah.

    LDP, PBRS and PBS are just a SORE LOSER and eyeing on SAPP seats but what about the UMNO seats? Semua takut minta kah? You guys worship your evil master umno but you guys forgot what Jesus preach to be righteous and be Godly. Please stay away with the satan who only bring CHAOS to Sabahans.


    Entering the Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur is still the prized aspiration of many doctor-wannabes. The medical degree conferred by UM is the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) which is the title awarded by universities in the United Kingdom and Australia. Other local public universities like University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) confer medical degrees in the acronym of MD which stands for doctor of medicine (Latin: Medicinæ Doctor).

    Contrary to the common but erroneous perception among pre-university students, there is no difference between the MBBS and MD medical degrees.

    Up till 2001, University Malaya along with other local universities practised an intake of medical students based on a quota system. Under the quota system, the ratio of medical students was in the order of 6:3:1 that is, 60% of places for bumiputeras, 30% for Chinese Malaysians and 10% for Indian Malaysian students. Bumiputera students comprised both Malays and the non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak.

    From 2002 onwards, the UMNO government introduced a system of ‘meritocracy’ whereby the intake of students into local universities was based solely on academic achievement without regards to co-curricular activities and ethnic background. Conventionally, bumiputera students took matriculation as the pre-university examinations while the non-bumiputeras took the STPM/Sixth Form examinations. There are occasional exceptions though these are rare. Some Malay students do take the STPM route and vice versa.

    As of 2004, the non-bumiputera Chinese and Indians students were allocated 10% of the total matriculation seats. This was the beginning of a new era in the local universities especially for the most competitive courses. Beginning 2004, the majority of non-bumiputera students entering courses like medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and engineering courses were from matriculation background.

    In addition, from 2001-2003, University of Malaya accepted additional students from the Royal College of Medicine Perak (RCMP) in a supposed and controversial twinning program between the two institutions. The number of RCMP students taken in between 2001-2003 numbered 13, 60 and 90 respectively. These comprised mostly bumiputera Malay students. Upon graduation, these students were conferred a medical degree indistinguishable from the degree awarded to ‘genuine’ University of Malaya medical students.

    The Motive

    This article intends to inform and reveal statistics as they really are. The numbers quoted do not include students accepted into the faculty from the Royal College of Medicine Perak.

    I have divided the intake of students into the MBBS program by ethnicity and route of entry.


    You are at liberty to draw your own conclusions by studying the charts and tables.

    In order to facilitate thinking however, I have arbitrarily chosen three different points of view.

    From a Racist Angle

    The pre-‘meritocracy’ era ensure a minimum number of students from each major ethnic group. The bumiputeras made up 60% of the total intake, from which usually about 15 were composed of non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah/Sarawak. As seen from the charts, their numbers have dwindled from a pathetic 9% to a miserable 1% under the current so-called meritocracy system.

    Indian Malaysians used to form 10% of the student population under the quota system, numbering around 15-18 depending on the total annual intake. In 2003, Indian Malaysian students were left in a quandary when they had but one solitary representative in the medical faculty of University Malaya. Since then however, their numbers have somehow reached a figure comparable to that under the quota system. Their absolute number may not have slid much, but the percentage has decreased remarkably. HINDRAF apologists should take note of this.

    The supposedly marginalized Chinese Malaysians have the least to be dissatisfied over. From a mere 30% representation under the quota system, they have increased in both absolute numbers as well as percentage, forming about 40-50% of the annual student intake. This came at a costly price though, as most of these Chinese students were from matriculation background. The Chinese students from STPM background can never compete with the matriculation students despite attaining excellent results.

    If ethnicity is the sole issue here, the non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak are the biggest losers among the races in meritocracy Malaysian style. Chinese Malaysians should zip up and continue throwing their support behind the beggar political party named MCA so that the MCA can continue their boot-licking heritage to beg and plead for the crumbs falling from UMNO’s golden platter.

    It should not be forgotten that from 2001-2003, the Ministry of Education admitted additional Malay bumiputera students into the MBBS course via a backdoor named the Royal College of Medicine Perak. The official reported figures therefore do not reflect the actual student composition seated in the lecture halls of University Malaya Medical Faculty. When these RCMP students are added to the total student intake, the non-Malays student population in both absolute number and percentage falls to a very low figure indeed.

    Do the maths yourself.

    From an Academic Perspective

    The essence of meritocracy is remarkably similar to Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’.

    The pre-2002 quota system was a very flawed one.

    Ethnicity was a very crucial criterion for acceptance into university, medical school included. Merit took second place and thus compromised the selection of students into every discipline. Universities had little or no autonomy as the selection of students was decided by the Unit Pusat Universiti (UPU), an institution under the Ministry of Education.

    Academic achievements in national exams accounted for 90% of the points for entry into university while co-curricular achievements the remaining 10%. Many a time, students are tied in terms of academic achievements. The final deciding factor therefore was one’s co-curricular achievements. However, students are not required to submit their certified documents in order to support their claims of any grandiose extra-curricular activities.

    The current system of meritocracy is no better and in fact worse. Since its introduction in 2002, the evaluation methodology has undergone such frequent changes that no one knows for sure what measures are employed to gauge students’ qualification into local universities.

    Converting one’s STPM grades into a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) as practised for matriculation students is like trying to smell the color 9. It is not possible, not intelligent and is basically an effort of make-believe only. The two pre-university examinations are different in syllabus, level of difficulty, and criteria for final assessment.

    The odds are heavily stacked against STPM candidates and therefore directly non-bumiputera students. Comparing STPM with matriculation results has resulted in the drastic drop in STPM students in competitive courses over the last five years. When the playing ground is unequal, true meritocracy and fair competition is practically impossible.

    On another note, that the Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya has noticeably increased its annual intake of medical students by almost 30% over the last eight years. This is alarming in view of the limited resources in our local institutions. Like other public universities, University Malaya has lost a great number of experienced academicians over the years. Its teaching staff now comprises mostly junior lecturers who are still climbing their career ladder or themselves undergoing training under the Skim Latihan Akademik Bumiputera (SLAB) program. A great number of these SLAB lecturers have barely one year of clinical experience before joining the academic ranks. Can they be relied upon to provide quality teaching and sound guidance?

    Infrastructures and facilities are also not unlimited. Laboratories that were designed to host 15 students are now cramming 25 students. The quality of teaching and learning is therefore significantly compromised. Small group teaching is almost non-existent.

    Indeed, the oft repeated quantity versus quality axiom never goes stale.

    More important than a student’s entry qualification is one’s performance throughout the duration of study and the quality of product upon graduation.

    The entry of non-bumiputra students into matriculation and therefore university has vastly changed the university’s landscape. Non-bumiputra matriculation students now outnumber their STPM counterparts in ratio of 10:1. In the last five years, the performance of non-bumiputra students in most local universities has deteriorated remarkable, a phenomenon not previously seen commonly. Failure and dropout rates across the races have skyrocketed to alarming levels. In 2004, the first year when non-bumiputra matriculation students first entered university, the failure rates for medical students were as high as 15%. Over the years the failure rates have decreased somewhat but still significantly higher than yesteryears. One hypothesis is the lack of competition among students. Previously, weaker students were forced to measure up to the more competent ones. In a scenario where most are equally inept, there is no drive and motivation to rise beyond mediocrity.

    We have yet to witness the graduating products of these students with predominant matriculation graduates. From their performance thus far in university, one cannot be labeled pessimistic for being less than hopeful.

    From a Sensible Viewpoint

    Malaysia doesn’t need a committee of experts and academicians to produce an expensive and much-hyped blueprint in Malaysian higher education.

    It’s not rocket science, advance trigonometry or quantum physics.

    At the heart of most pressing issues is political will. Where there is no will, there is no way our local institutions can lift itself out of the doldrums.

    UMNO controls everything and the narcissistic UMNO mindset seeps far and wide into the upper echelons of local universities.

    Selection of students may be meritocracy in rhetoric but very much race-based in practice. The ratio among the races has changed little since the inception of Malaysian meritocracy. In the background are probably unseen political forces and manipulative hands that ensure a certain distribution of races into the faculties. The non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak have not really been marginalized in terms of university intake. They have simply opted to apply to University Malaysia Sarawak and University Malaysia Sabah for reasons that are obvious.

    The university authorities are not oblivious to the radical plunge in the quality of students entering competitive courses like medicine. The apparent arrest of high failure rates beginning 2004 was not because of proactive measures taken by the universities but because the goal post has been moved and widened to allow for easier passage.

    Importantly to note, an STPM or matriculation background is no guarantee of one’s performance in and beyond university. STPM students flunk examinations even in the so-called glorious days in the distant past. Similarly, matriculation students have aced assessments without the need of crutches or leaked questions.

    Regardless, academic achievement in university is no reflection of one’s competency at work later on. It is however, a partial and reliable testimony of one’s attitude towards responsibilities and job commitments.

    The solution to our higher education woes is not difficult actually.

    The answer becomes obvious and clear when we look towards our tiny neighbour called Singapore.

    Singapore stands tall among the shoulders of giants

  13. Pbs & Ldp waiting game...when oh, Sapp leave Bn. They am waiting to fill the posts and their stomachs.

  14. LDP nak ambil kesemua kerusi Sandakan.

    dalam hal sebegini, seharusnya LDP bersifat lebih gentlemen. Tidak keterlaluan saya katakan tamak dan bongkak.

    Orang tua ada berkata, kalau nak ukur dayung dengan sampannya. LDP menganggap mereka boleh menawan Sandakan keseluruhannya, (Elopura, Tg. papat, Karamunting dan Parlimen Sandakan). Tanpa mengetahui bahawa kekuatan mereka tidak seperti disangkakan. Tanpa bantuan Au Kam Wah (Elopura dan Raymond Tan (Tg. Papat) seharusnya LDP sedar mereka tidak akan ke mana-mana. Mereka takut pada bayangan yang menimpa bekas S/U Agung mereka pada pilihanraya lepas. Lalu mengeluarkan pelbagai siaran akhbar dengan tujuan yang anda sendiri tahu.

    LDP jika terlalu angkuh bakal berkubur suatu hari kelak.

  15. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has lashed out against fellow BN component Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) for "making baseless accusations against other Barisan Nasional parties".

    LDP Sec-Gen, Tiu Chee Bet said his SAPP's counterpart Datuk Richard Yong should have looked at the mirror first before hurling such accusations against LDP.

  16. LDP Sec-Gen, Teo Chee... whatever or either PK Liew like to talk about past history.

    Ok, never mind, let's talk about BN's history. Back then 1994, I remember LDP CKK was asking YTL to lead LDP. YTL left PBS to form SAPP and was invited to join BN.

    SAPP brought the BN to victory in 1994 and they were allocated the now KK MP seat (last time SAPP holding the Tanjung Aru and Gaya seat) and the Sandakan MP seat was also SAPP's.

    Where was Teo CB???? PK Liew????

    These seats were originally SAPP's