Malaysians want all top students to bag scholarships, says Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — Malaysians want the government’s assurance that all top students will be awarded Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships, Lim Guan Eng said today.
The Penang Chief Minister said that the public was “not interested” with the ongoing spat between Umno and MCA concerning the scholarships, and that it did not solve the problem at hand.
Lim charged that the differing accounts given by Umno and MCA have been confusing, even though both parties have ministers in the same Cabinet.
“If MCA is correct, why is it that no action has been taken against those errant government officials who fail to award scholarships to top students and immediately correct the error by awarding them the scholarships?
“However, if Umno is correct, then MCA should then apologise to the top students and press Umno to change the policy to grant PSD scholarships to all top students regardless of race or religion,” said Lim in a statement.
According to Lim, the “annual problem” makes a “complete mockery” of the country’s education system.
“Malaysian students who have worked diligently in order to achieve their dreams now face the prospect of having their dreams crushed by a bureaucracy that is inept and unappreciative,” he added.
Umno’s Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz has been engaged in a verbal tug of war with MCA over the scholarship controversy.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong revealed last week that 363 straight A+ students failed to secure the scholarships this year although Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had agreed that all students scoring 8A+ and above will receive PSD scholarships after a similar brouhaha last year.
The MCA Youth chief said government officers who disobeyed Cabinet directives were one of the main reasons why deserving students failed to get scholarships.
But Nazri Aziz has defended the PSD against MCA’s accusations of power abuse, saying its officers are “excellent” and have not been negligent in their duties.
This, in turn, led Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek to attack Nazri, who said that it was “unfortunate” the minister did not know MCA’s role in the government.