The Borneo Post
Bintulu MP questions about-turn in racial quota for pre-varsity matriculation
KUCHING: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has questioned Sibu MP Oscar Ling’s about-turn to defend the 90:10 racial quota for admission into the pre-university matriculation programme.
Tiong, who is also Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president, says the Democratic Action Party (DAP) lawmaker Ling’s statement rationalising the system’s continued implementation ‘to take into account the feelings of specific ethnic groups’ amounts to ‘an attempt to gain political mileage’.
Pointing out that Ling’s statement ‘is confusing’, Tiong has asked: “What role does the DAP play now in the new government? Has it become a ‘yes man’ party?”
In a statement yesterday, Tiong said the DAP, which previously opposed the quota system and protested against alleged discriminatory policies by Barisan Nasional (BN) when it (DAP) was in the opposition, ‘is now giving reasons to defend them (quota system)’.
Tiong added that 16 members of the national DAP and DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) leaders had spoken out in the past to abolish the quota system and allow students from low-income families to enter the university preparatory programme.
“But Ling alone continues to believe it to be reasonable to retain the current system.”
Tiong said he had recommended that the allocation system be based on ethnic population proportions.
What he did not anticipate was that Ling would support the direct distribution in 90:10 ratio.
Tiong said by making such a reversal, the DAP owed the Chinese community an apology for turning away from its previous statements of fair treatment for all races once they had been elected into government.
“Even with 41 MPs, they (DAP) cannot alter the decision of the Education Ministry to maintain 90 per cent of the matriculation spots for Bumiputera instead of abolishing the quota system in place of a fairer system. In this instance, DAP is merely a tool with no power.”
Tiong also accused Pakatan Harapan ( PH) of misleading the voters by rationalising unfair policies now as the present government, after portraying itself for years as a four-party coalition based on equal representation and consensus building by negotiation.
“This decision is obviously unfair to many students. Clearly, the DAP has no ability to provide checks and balances to the government,” said Tiong.