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LETTER | Merit over race for matriculation placement right move

LETTER | Pusat Komas lauds Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim for his bold announcement to dismantle racial barriers in the education sector and guarantee all SPM scorers with 10As and above a spot in government matriculation programmes.

It is the first step towards recognising our top talents by giving them guarantees to pre-university education based on merits rather than race.

In the past, the matriculation programme selected students based on a quota system that reserved 90 percent spots for bumiputera and only 10 percent for non-bumiputera, leaving some top scorers of non-bumiputera descent vying for limited spots, and feeling inadequate when they were not selected despite their grades.

While affirmative action is guaranteed, it should not disadvantage other Malaysians as per our Federal Constitution.

Those who deserve the help should get all the support they need, but we must also not forget those who also deserve it based on merit.

Monitoring mechanism

At the same time, we are closely monitoring the implementation.

We would like to see a transparent and just mechanism put in place so that well-deserving students do not feel like they're being discriminated against.

We also would like clarification if this announcement applies to only those scoring 10As and above, as many straight-A students do not necessarily take 10 or more SPM subjects.

Nevertheless, we believe this is one progressive step to bring forward more merit-based policies that can benefit all Malaysians.

Let us strive for a society that provides equal opportunities in every sector.

All youth deserve to feel that the Malaysian sun shines on all of them.

PUSAT KOMAS is an NGO advocating for democracy and non-discrimination.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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