Najib: Govt Has Never Restricted Non-Bumis Pursuing Higher Education In The Country. Is This True?
Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government have never restricted opportunities for non-Bumiputeras to pursue higher education in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak said Monday.***** How many of you feel that Najib is accurate in his claim that the government has provided ample opportunities for all communities, including non-Bumis? The lack of tertiary education opportunities is one of the sorest points in the long list of non-Malay grouses and dissatisfaction with Umno. The non-Bumis have been given the short end of the stick for the better part of four decades partly because the so-called Chinese and Indian parties in the BN have remained deaf and dumb all these years.
He said various changes have been made by the government over the last few years to make education in the country more liberal and open.
These more liberal and open educational policies benefited the non-Bumiputera communities, he told reporters after a visit to the BN election operations room in Sama Gagah here.
He said the picture portrayed by the Opposition on educational opportunities for Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras was incorrect altogether.
Najib said the issue of education could not be viewed from one angle but should be seen from the viewpoint of changes to the educational sector and the national education policy initiated by the BN government.
Najib said the government provided ample opportunities for all communities, including non-Bumiputeras, and the issue should not be politicised by the Opposition, especially in the Permatang Pauh by-election, polling for which is on Aug 26.
The BN deputy chairman was asked to comment on a statement by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his "ceramah" (talk) that he supported the proposal by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim for a 10 per cent intake of non-Bumiputeras into Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).
Anwar, 61, is involved in a three-corner contest with Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah, 51, of the BN and Hanafi Mamat, 61, of the Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akin) in the by-election.
The by-election has been necessitated by the resignation on July 31 of the member of parliament, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, to pave the way for her husband, Anwar, to contest and become an MP.
Najib said the government had approved legislation providing for the setting up of private colleges and universities to open up opportunities for non-Bumiputeras to pursue higher education, replaced the quota system with a meritocracy system and extended the National Higher Education Loan Fund Corporation (PTPTN) scheme to all communities.
"We have also allowed private colleges, such as Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), to upgrade and recruit more students. Gerakan also has a university and, yesterday, MIC officially opened its Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) university," he said.
As such, he called on the Opposition not to politicise the issue of education in an attempt to garner the votes of the Chinese and Indian communities.
He said the issue was used as capital to draw non-Malay support for Anwar as the support of the Malays and Muslims was divided between Umno and PAS.
But now in the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-elections, knowing that the non-Malays are extremely pissed off with Umno and its continous use of the race and religion card, Najib is making this empty claim. To be fair he has every right to claim what he likes just as the people have the right to give Umno the boot in this and other elections. Say no to racism.