Why did 586 Indian students turn down the matriculation college offer?
Deputy education minister Datuk Wee Ka Siong said in Dewan Negara (9/7/2012) that for the 2012/2013 intake 4512 Indian students have applied and from that 1539 or 34.11% were offered seats in the 13 matriculation colleges. 1000 students were offered in the first intake and to register on 28/5/2012 and the balance 539 students in the second intake and to register on 13 June 2012.
However from the first intake on 28/5/2012 and second intake on 13/6/2012, only 943 or 61.27% Indian students enrolled in the 13 matriculation colleges. An appeal period from 25/4/2012 to 13/5/2012 was offered to rejected students to appeal again. 34456 students appealed out of which 9527 were non Malays. Then on 2/7/2012 the DPM and education minister made a one off offer to 557 Indian students to fill the vacancy of Indian students who declined the offer. The selection for this intake is already made and offer letter will be send latest by 11/7/2012 and they will register on the 18th july 2012 in the 13 matriculation colleges in whole Malaysia.
There is one matriculation college each in Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pulau Pinang, Perlis, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Perak and Selangor. However there are 2 colleges in Johore, Kedah and Pahang. 13 matriculation colleges in Malaysia take in 26700 students to study in their science and accounting streams per year. Since inception in 1999 till 2011, 97% of 220392 students have been successfully enrolled to local universities through matriculation colleges. From the year 2003 a 10% quota was reserved for non Malays.
Politicians and Indian based NGOs must investigate why out of 1539 only 943 students or 61.27% accepted the offer and the balance 586 students rejected the offer? An in depth study will reveal the actual reasons behind the rejection. If the students rejected the matriculation offer because they have better alternative, then there is no lost to the community. But if the reasons are that they were given a different course from what they applied or that they were very small number in a particular matriculation college where they have food problem or unable to adjust due to religious ground, then these matters can be taken up with ministry of education. DPM must explain what is this one off offer? Is it a one off offer because it is election year otherwise those rejected will be offered Malays?
It can be also that Indian students are spoilt and pampered that they will only enroll in the matriculation nearby and anything else a big no. I hope there can be an open discussion on these matters in forums/media or online and the real reason behind the rejection can be identified. On one side students are waiting to go into matriculation colleges which will provide an assured path to local universities but on the other hand students reject such an offer. This indicates that the Malaysian Indian community is economically very diverse and any help for target groups must be identified and not generalized. Hope our weakness is not exploited by the UMNO led BN government.
Senator S. Ramakrishnan