As an alumnus of ITM (Pusat Pendidikan Persediaan/ITM, 1995-97), I am greatly saddened by the irrational response of UiTM students to the mere suggestion by the current Selangor Chief Minister to open-up a meagre 10 percent of its students admission to non-Bumiputera and foreign students. Below are views which echo exactly my thoughts on the issue.
Har Wai Mun: The MB's reasoning for his suggestion is to allow UiTM students to gain more exposure and be friendlier to people of other races. If anyone thinks his reason is not correct, the logical counter-point would be along the lines of either ‘the suggestion would not allow students to gain more exposure and be friendlier to other races,' or ‘allowing students to gain more exposure and be friendlier to people of other races is not beneficial'. Hopefully, the MB's suggestion will be viewed constructively and is not obscured by communal sentiment. Non-bumis will be an asset to UiTM. Quoting a declaration on various placards on parade at the demonstration, the MB's suggestion might not only ‘Selamatkan UiTM' (Save UiTM), but might propel UiTM to be a world-class university that makes all Malaysians very proud!
Anti Double-Standard: It is unfortunate that the MB of Selangor's view about UiTM made him become a racial and political scapegoat when all he was trying to do was foster greater racial harmony in the country and encourage better quality bumiputeras to go through an open university system. After all, he was only proposing a 10% allocation for non-bumiputeras and foreign students. In fact, allocating a small percentage of places for non-bumiputera students has already been practised by the present BN government in fully residential schools (sekolah berasrama penuh). (may I also add; at the International Islamic University Malaysia where almost 10 percent of its current students are Malaysian non-Muslim students) This has happened even though these schools were originally meant for bumiputera students coming from low-income families. Thus, Khalid Ibrahim's proposal concurs with the present government's line of practice - only that he is trying to extend it into the universities. If UiTM remains die-hard on its decision to keep the university as an all-bumiputera institution of learning, then why does it have a programme of study known as 'UiTM International' and why is it scouting for foreign students from abroad to study there? I know that UiTM has even participated in an international exhibition on higher education in China as late as last year in order to enroll students from China to study at UiTM. What has UiTM to say on this matter? We would like to hear from the vice-chancellor on this question.
A final note, just to add a quick respond to this spectacular statement made by a student who took part in the demonstration: “Mula-mula diminta kemasukan 10 peratus tetapi lama-kelamaan kadar itu dipertingkatkan. Akhirnya golongan bumiputera lenyap dan tertindas di universiti sendiri.” (Initially they will ask for 10 percent of the students intake, and later the rate will be increased. In the end, the bumiputera will disappear and be oppressed in their own university). I have studied and worked in local universities. Empirical evidence will show that students 'disappear' because of their own truancies and when they are dismissed for either extremely poor academic performance or serious behavioural misconduct. Disappearance because of the emergence of minority students? That I need Fox Mulder to explain!
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