In the 2012/2013 matriculation college intake only 943 Indian students or 61.27% of the 1539 students have accepted the offer. Due to a lot of political pressure, the minister of education later made a one off offer to fill up the vacant 586 seats to make up the total of 1500 seats as promised by PM. Malaysian Indians must make sure that the 1500 seats offered is filled by Indians every year. There are enough students with good results to fill up these seats as we have seen in 2012/2013 intake.
But our concern is the 586 students rejecting the offer. When asked for reasons why students rejected the offer, ministry of education gave the followings reasons:
- The students got better offer
- Waiting for better offer
- They have enrolled in form six classes.
The above could be the obvious reasons which students may say out. But when questioned intimately the truth comes out.
Many students/parents cannot effort to travel to these matriculation colleges. For example a student from Penang offered a seat in Kuantan Matriculation College. The student boy/girl must pack their bag and travel to Kuantan. The college is somewhere in the outskirt of Kuantan about 1 hours drive or have to take public transport. Parents have to take students for the first time. Of course the environment will be totally Malay and the food will only be catered for Malay students. The few Indian students will be completely overwhelmed by the new very different environment which they are not used to. Indians parents too won’t be at peace back at home worrying about their children. To avoid all these problems they prefer to keep their children near them and enroll in form six classes. They will be more peaceful sending their children overseas than sending to local matriculation colleges.
Besides they just can’t effort the extra expenses of sending their children to matriculation colleges. Many poor students who can be resourceful contributor to nation building are left out of the system due to social injustice, an uncaring bureaucracy and racially divided political system. Only parents who can make frequent regular trips and visits to these matriculation campuses will be sending their children to matriculation colleges.
A Malay parent will not have these kinds of worries. The system will bend and accommodate their needs and wants. But the few non Malay students have to move around as though they are in foreign land. Voiceless and put up with all the limitations like how the rest of us do in our daily life. We have a choice but students in the campus have no choice at all. The poor non Malay students have to take a more difficult route to arrive at the same point at the same time.
If PM Datuk Sri Najib is really concern about accommodating Non Malays in matriculation colleges, he must see that there are more non Malay staffs and hostel wardens to whom students can turn too. I doubt our PM or DPM have that kind of awareness on the needs and wants of non Malays. Our future is in our hand. We are the architect of our own future.
Senator S. Ramakrishnan