Menteri Besar Selangor, YAB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid’s proposal to allow non-Bumiputra admission into UiTM was met with severe criticism from may quarters; in particular from the PM himself, and the Vice Chancellor UiTM, Prof Dato Seri Ibrahim Abu Shah.
Tan Sri Khalid, in response said that his statement ‘was blown out of proportion and taken out of context’. He went on to say that he made it ‘in the context of raising the standards of institutions of higher learning, so that Malays and other bumiputras could improve their career prospects’
I believe, Tan Sri Khalid was merely making a proposal, and if at all the government is in total disagreement with the proposal, the Ministry of Higher Learning could have issued a simple statement to say that ‘the government is not yet ready to accept the proposal’, or something to that effect. There was no need for the PM to say that ‘he (Tan Sri Khalid) has no power to do that’ i.e. to propose changes to admission into UiTM, or the Vice Chancellor making hard hitting statements on TV, to counter the proposal. I wonder what the Malaysian viewers, particularly non-bumiputras have to say to the remarks made by the Vice Chancellor. I think, it smacks on racism, and I am disgusted to hear such unwarranted statements made by a person deemed knowledgeable, and is of reputable character.
For how long will some of our schools and institutions of higher learning remain racially polarized? When are we to be called truly Malaysian, if we continue to have, and segregate our children into Malay, Chinese and Indian schools? Fifty years of independence have not changed our society the least, that is still being identified by its racial entity.
I have been schooled in a totally racially integrated government school from the moment I entered school, and that was in the beginning of the early 50’s. I enjoyed the friends that I had, and we never identified ourselves by race or the colour of our skin.
Because of this upbringing, I had little problem in associating myself with my Chinese and Indian friends, who would readily come to my house to play, and to have meals together. My parents would welcome them as being part of the family. This are my school friends, all of whom have now pass their sixties, and when we meet, it is not about race, but about friendship.