Date : 11th July 2010
His Royal Highness DYMM Yang Dipertuan Agong
Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al Wathiqu Billah, Al-Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Al-Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah Al-Haj Istana Negara. Jalan Istana.
50500 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia. Tel: 03 20788311 Fax: 03 20704646 / 03 20311535
Re: 1) An estimated 2,237 top and high achieving Indian students segregated and denied JPA scholarships, PTPTN loans, Matriculation and University seats.
(2) Call for Royal Commission of Enquiry further to Article 93 of the Federal Constitution on the exclusion and segregation of especially the poor Indian students from being granted JPA Scholarships, PTPTN study loans, Matriculation and University places.
(3) Abolish STPM and One Pre-U for One Malaysia.
(4) United Nations nominated official head the Selection Committee and three (3) others for JPA scholarships, Matriculation and University places for five years.
We respectfully and humbly wish to bring to your kind attention as the guardian and custodian of the Federal Constitution for all your Royal Highness subjects irrespective of race and religion, for the compliance of Article 8 of the Federal Constitution (Equality before the law) and Article 12- rights in respect of education of the Federal Constitution. Article 12(1) reads, "without prejudice to the generality of Article 8, there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race and descent or place of birth."
Year in and year out over the past 40 years or so, thousands of especially top and high achieving poor Malaysian Indian students have been denied JPA scholarships, Matriculation & University places. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claims One Malaysia policy, but top and high achieving poor Indian students are being denied the opportunities from becoming graduates, professionals and reputable citizens who would take Malaysia into the international arena.
This denial of fair and equal educational opportunities has forced an alarming number of poor Indians into the world of crime.
In any part of the world scholarships and study loans are granted by the government to deserving students without fail but only in One Malaysia is this discrimination, exclusion and segregation against the Malaysian Indian students going on and on.
A prime example is Prahsanna who ever since her childhood days grew up with the ambition to of becoming a medical doctor. Her parents, teachers and the community leaders motivated her to pursue medicine and shine in her academic qualifications. She took up the challenge. She worked hard day and night and proved that she is capable of achieving her ambition of becoming a doctor by scoring 11As in the Science stream. However her dreams were shattered when her applications to enter Matriculation, local Universities and JPA scholarship were turned down without any reason. And when she approached the Putrajaya officials she was told to drop her ambition! How would a sober person justify this! Her father is a retiree and her mother is a housewife. Who would help this poor young high achiever’s dream to come true if not the government? And this is just one and being the latest example and the tip of the iceberg to the even the sixth generation especially poor Malaysian Indian students being segregated and excluded from the national higher education opportunities of Malaysia.
Malay Muslim students from Pasir Salak MRSM who scored 7 Ds and 8 Es managed to secure a place in Matriculation colleges whereas Menaka who scored 8As from the same college is rejected. She was like a beggar knocking every government agencies’ door to get mercy. Is this the One Malaysia concept Prime Minister Najib is advocating?
Niquesan Nair was in the PLKN National Service Training while waiting for his SPM results. At the Camp they were taught of One Malaysia, that we are all One and happily sang the song Satu (One) Malaysia. But when he got his results, he scored 10A’s but was denied JPA scholarship, Matriculation and University places while his Malay Muslim friends in PLKN who scored 2A’s and 3A’s got seats in Matriculation/University and were relieved from PLKN training. At this young and tender age Niquesan Nair for the first time felt that just because of his Indian minority ethnicity he was denied the opportunity to contribute to his country.
While Malaysian Indians are denied their constitutional rights as enshrined in Article 8 and Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, the Higher Education Minister Khalid Nordin allocates scholarships to 363 foreign Muslim students to study in local Universities and upon completion they are to be given the opportunity to work here and the option to take up Malaysian Permanent Residence status (Malaysian Nanban 6/7/2010 page 1). In University Institute Technologi Mara (UITM) out of the 200,000 places, 10% are allocated to foreign Muslim students while even the sixth generation Malaysian born Indian students are completely denied entry. This is Najib Razak’s One Malaysia policy.
About 7,600 students were identified as “Excellent Students” or “Pelajar Cemerlang" upon the SPM results being announced this year (2010). There are 40,000 Matriculation seats available (UM 2/11/08 at page 4). Surely all 7,600 students should have secured places in matriculation colleges at the very least and there should have been zero complaints. But we alone have 67 SPM, STPM and Polytechnic students in our list who have complained to us that they were denied JPA scholarships, Matriculation and University places.
The above cases are only the tip of iceberg. We estimate 2,237 top and high achieving Indian students who have been denied JPA and other Scholarships, Matriculation & University places for the 2010 academic year.
DYMM Tuanku, we request the pre University STPM to be Abolished and create a one pre-university examination in One Malaysia for all Malaysian students so that the higher education opportunities are given out fairly to all deserving students especially so as not to exclude and segregate the Indian poor.
As it is education, which is the responsibility of the federal government (and similarly by any other government in any other part of the world), it is not fair because it is race, supremacy and segregation based as opposed to what should rightly be needs based. Through one Google or Wikipedia search the whole world would know that our education system is not fair. How can it be fair when we have different pre-university programmes? Many qualified poor Malaysian Indian students have been denied their basic rights to higher education in contravention of Article 8 (Equality before the law) and Article 12 (no discrimination in higher educational institutions entry financed by the government) of the Federal Constitution. They have to go through the tougher path of STPM without any guarantee of securing a place in the Universities. They are growing up with inequality and injustices in every corner of their lives. How then do they become a part of the true meaning of One Malaysia?
Whereas almost all Malay Muslim students opt for the matriculation programmes. Almost all of the over 40,0000 places in the eleven Matriculation colleges nationwide are reserved for malay muslim students in the 10 month course as opposed to the two year STPM course (Wikipedia). This has become a source of contention because matriculation students, who will enter university one over year earlier compared with their STPM peers, are considered on equal standing with STPM only in Malaysia for the purposes of University admission though it is significantly easier than STPM with a streamed down Form 6 syllabus.
Not all applicants for matriculation are admitted and the selection criteria have never been made public which has led to the perception that the entry has not been fair. The matriculation programme is not as rigorous as the STPM. The matriculation programme has come under some criticism as it is the general consensus that this programme is much easier than the sixth form programme leading to the STPM and serves to help malay muslim students enter the public university easily. Having been introduced after the supposed abolishment of racial quota based admission into local public Universities, the matriculation programme continues the role of its predecessor, albeit in a modified form. It is considered easier because in the matriculation programme the teachers set and mark the final exams that their students sit for whereas in the STPM the final exam is standardised and exam papers are exchanged between schools in different states to ensure unbiased marking. Also, the matriculation programme adopts a semester basis examination (2 semesters in the programme) whilst STPM involves only one final examination, covering all 2 years’ syllabus in one go. The scope and depth of the syllabus in matriculation is also lesser to that of STPM. The disparity between the programmes does not end there, for it is a known fact that in critical courses offered by local public universities (such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Engineering, Accountant, Law, Bio Science etc), almost 70% of the students comprise matriculation students. On the contrary, STPM students form the majority in courses which are less in demand, such as a Bachelor in Science. Defenders of the matriculation programme have described the two programmes as distinct and different, drawing the analogy of an apple and an orange. However, having served the same purpose (i.e. as an entrance requirement to Universities), we criticize the matriculation programme as a blatant practice of double standards.
The following is a fact – bright Indian students are systematically denied their entitlements for Government Scholarships, for admission to Public Universities especially in critical courses and for the Matriculation programme and this is becoming a more serious problem as more Indian students begin to excel academically as has been highlighted by HRP in the past few weeks.
Our sincere question is why does the UMNO led Government not become transparent about the selection process? Why do we need double standards in 1 Malaysia? Why hasn’t the public Universities and scholarship list and it’s selection criteria not been made transparent and public?
DYMM Tuanku, 70% of the Indians are from the poor and hardcore poor, category and the only way for them to break out of poverty is through education and they are denied even this very basic right.
DYMM Tuanku, we request that the JPA Scholarships, Matriculation, University seats and PTPTN loans selection committee should be headed by United Nation nominated official so that no Malaysian is denied their constitutional rights as per our Federal Constitution.
We humbly request for Your Royal Highness to constitute a Royal Commission of Enquiry further to Article 93 of the Federal Constitution to address the exclusion and segregation of especially the poor even the sixth generation Malaysian born ethnic minority Indian students from JPA, Mara, Petronas, 13 Yayasan Negeri, Yayasan TNB, Telekom Malaysia, Bank Negara, Sime Bank and other Scholarships, PTPTN study loans, Matriculation and University places.
We hereby enclose herewith:-
1) Our list containing a total of 69 SPM, STPM and Polytechnic top and high achieving students who have been denied of their constitutional rights to education.
2) A total of 31 Nationwide Police reports lodged by concerned citizens against the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister (Education Minister) and Higher Education Minister on the exclusion and segregation of especially the poor Malaysian Indian students of JPA scholarships, PTPTN loans, Matriculation and University places.
3) A total of 14,207 signatures from Malaysian citizens supporting this, our proposal to constitute a Royal Commission of Enquiry.
We hereby look forward to a Royal Commission to be constituted within two weeks as this is a matter of urgency and in the general public interest and long outstanding. We look forward to your favorable reply on this critical Indian problem at your earliest convenience.
Human Rights Party Malaysia HRP (pro tem) and HINDRAF
Note Relevant Article in the Federal Constitution:
93) Inquiries, surveys and statistics.
(1) The Federal Government may conduct such inquiries by Commission, authorize such surveys and collect and publish such statistic.
Article 93 read together with the Commission of Enquiry Act, 1950 (Act 119) – An Act to make provision for the holding of commissions of enquiry.
Act 119(2) Issue of Commissions.
(1) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, where it appears to him to be expedient so to do, issue a Commission appointing one of more Commissioners and authorizing the Commission to enquire into:-
(a) The conduct of any federal officer:
(b) The conduct or management of any department of the public service of the Federation:
(c) The conduct or management of any public institutions
(d) Any other matter in which an enquiry would, in the opinion of the Yang di- Pertuan Agong, be for the public welfare