UiTM controversy: Prioritise needs of entire nation

We must look for solutions that prioritise the needs of the entire country


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UiTM’s refusal to accept ethnic minorities into its specialists programme has sparked public concern and controversy.

This is because education has always been valued by most people in Malaysia, especially parents, who consider it as the pathway to a better future for themselves and the nation.

Any attempt that is seen as discriminating against certain groups in favour of another would obviously invite criticism and condemnation.

Andrew Sia’s controversial article in Malaysiakini should be seen in this light, regardless of how such discrimination is described or labelled.

The university’s refusal to allow ethnic minority postgraduate students into its cardiothoracic surgery programme โ€“ the only one of its kind in the country – not only affects these minority students.

It also has a critical impact on the nation’s public healthcare system, which is saddled with long queues of patients of all ethnicities who desperately need surgery.

Instead of raising a ruckus, the likes of Umno youth wing leader Akmal Saleh should compose himself and write a lucid article to counter Sia’s arguments on why he feels such discrimination is needed in this day and age. Such a civilised discourse would be instructive for everyone else in the country.

Incidentally, if UiTM should remain solely in the hands of the ethnic Malays because there are still so many Malays who need education at a cheaper rate, Akmal and his friends should explain why there is so much poverty after six decades of independence.

Instead of entrenching the ethnic divide and protecting one’s own turf, we must look for solutions that prioritise the needs of the entire country, including those of the students and of the patients who badly need surgery.

READ MORE:  Kontroversi UiTM: Utamakan keperluan seluruh negara

Aliran executive committee
25 May 2024

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
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25 May 2024 11.37am

In any other country in the world, a university that does not allow people in based on ethnicity would be abhorrent – like pre-civil rights United States or pre-apartheid South Africa. But here in Malaysia, we have normalized blatant racism.

Angeline Lesslar
Angeline Lesslar
25 May 2024 10.11am

Well said! We r at a stage in our development where we cannot remain exclusive but must work for d good of d whole or b left behind. As a multi cultural n racial nation d way forward is for us to forsake individual interest but work for d good of d whole. Only then can we compete in d world market or forever be trailing behind others! ๐Ÿ˜”

Angeline Lesslar
Angeline Lesslar
25 May 2024 9.41am

Well said๐Ÿ‘ At this stage in our growth we shd be past individual turfs but what is best for the entire population. A time to be inclusive. Enough spoon feeding. One must learn to survive in d real world…or be left behind while other countries once more backward than us are at d finishing line.๐Ÿ˜”