Year after year, once the SPM and STPM results are out, there is one problem that never fails to crop up. JPA or PSD scholarships. Nobody seems to know for sure how these prized scholarships are dished out. What we DO know, for a fact, is that year in, year out, deserving students with sterling examination results are left out. It is of course, no surprise that most of these students are non-Malays, a fairly large portion of them Indians. Below is a press release on behalf of Putera MIC on this matter.
The recent announcement by PSD Director General Tan Sri Ismail Adam is something that has caused a lot of uneasiness among 2008 SPM students and their respective parents. This issue is very close to the heart of the people and much thought should be given before a decision is reached. The previous year, when there was a public outcry when students with flying results were denied scholarships, the honorable Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi diffused the situation by announcing that any student who achieved 9 straight A1s would be allocated scholarships. This intervention by the prime minister was timely and very well received by the rakyat.
Tan Sri Adam has categorically stated that not all straight As students will be eligible for scholarships. This is definitely a step backward for the country's education system and overall aim of increasing and enhancing the human resource capability of the nation. Those who are have worked hard and attained excellence should be rewarded and no less then the Prime Minister has agreed to this. Putera MIC strongly objects to the PSD Director General's statement which implies this practice will be stopped. We strongly urge Tan Sri Adam to carefully rethink the decision and make a decision that is in the best interest of the students and their futures.
When the Prime Minister made the decision last year there was overwhelming support for it. Has the Prime Minister agreed to the new decision? How come he didn’t state that the scholarships were only for the year it was announced and not for the future too? What has changed so drastically that such a well received decision has to be reversed? The people are watching this issue very closely and they need to be reassured that the government has the interests of the people at heart when making a decision. Students should be confident that when they study hard and do well, the government will reward their efforts and this will encourage them to work harder.
Another point we would like to raise is the fact that by Tan Sri Adam’s own calculation there are 2000 overseas scholarships and there are 1676 student with straight A1s. This being the scenario shouldn’t all those who got straight A1s be entitled to scholarships. Even if all those who got straight A1s were given scholarships, there would be about 300 and more available for others. As for those who got straight As the local 10 000 scholarships will be available to them.
As a country striving to become more competitive and first-world in all ways, educational policies are of paramount importance. Taking this into consideration we urge all those involved to re-think their decision and do what is best for the students and the country. The people await a positive decision, for them and not against them.