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Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang Siang in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 17th May 2009: 

I will be fair to PSD director-general, who is invited to DAP forum on JPA scholarships in KL on Tuesday to explain another year of JPA scholarship injustices to aggrieved students, parents and public

I have replied to the email from the Public Services Department director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam asking that I be fair to him, inviting him to the DAP forum on JPA scholarships in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to explain another year of JPA scholarship injustices to aggrieved students, parents and the public.

This is Ismail’s email which I received yesterday:

“When I have the permission and opportunity, I'll explain the whole story. Until then please be fair to me.

“Perception without having an understanding and perspective of the issue can bring about conclusion that may not be right or fair. I understand the unfortunate ones can be emotional. But be fair in your comments.

“Just ponder. Over 8000 students are qualified to be considered for 2000 scholarships which are allocated for medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, bio tech and other sciences, social sciences, law, acturial science and other subjects critical for the country.

“We want well rounded students to go overseas. So co-curriculum and interviews are also important. Interviews are done by professionals in the govt service not by JPA officers.

“Then we have to provide for students from Sabah, Sarawak and from poor families. Some schools do not allow students to take more than 10 subjects. Are they inferior to students who could take 15 subjects? Then there is the appeal period. take all these into perspective first.

“Have a nice day.


In my email reply to Ismail today, I said that I am always prepared to be fair to him, but why is the PSD under his charge not prepared to fair to the students, their parents and the Malaysian public in again putting them through the agony of another “annual begging season” when Malaysians have to beg for scholarships from the PSD although they are entitled to them because of their excellent academic results and meritocracy.

This is followed by the annual rigmarole of Barisan Nasional component parties trying to champion aggrieved students who had been by-passed in the PSD scholarships despite having brilliant academic results, when all these injustices and power abuses would have been prevented if there is in place a fair and transparent PSD scholarship system which is not prey to discriminatory regulations or the whims and fancies of individual bureaucrats.

Furthermore, I asked Ismail why he was not fair to the new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak who had come out with the slogan “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” and the pledge to be the People’s Prime Minister, which constitute implicit but unmistakable promise to Malaysians that they would be spared this humiliating “annual begging season” for PSD scholarships this year!

I also explained to Ismail that the problem is not too many students are chasing a limited number of government scholarships, but the great and legitimate sense of injustice felt not only by the disappointed students and their parents but also by the Malaysian public at a system which is blatantly unfair and discriminatory which does not fulfil the definition of “meritocracy”!

Is the PSD director-general aware that the failure of the PSD and the Ministers and Deputy Ministers to end such a longstanding, unfair and unjust system which cause the unsuccessful applicants for PSD scholarships to nurse a life-long burning sense of injustice and grievance is one of the major causes of national disunity and racial polarisation in the country?

The DAP public forum on “JPA Scholarships – seeking a fair and equitable policy” is meant to obtain feedback from aggrieved students, current and former local and overseas scholars, academics and the general public, will be held at the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 19th May 2009 at 8 pm.

Panellists are

  • Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader,

  • Anthony Loke Siew Fook, MP for Rasah and DAPSY Chief,

  • Tony Pua, MP for Petaling Jaya Utara,

  • Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad, PAS Research Centre Director and MP for Kuala Selangor

  • Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Selangor ADUN for Seri Setia

Dr Goh Cheng Teik, eminent academic, former deputy minister and interviewer for Harvard University admission programme in Malaysia will also be a special guest for the evening.

hope Ismail will come to the forum to address the public outrage and explain another year of JPA scholarship injustices, and I will withhold all criticisms of Ismail and JPA until after his appearance at the Tuesday forum.

In my email, I also informed Ismail that together with other Pakatan Rakyat MPs, I will be visiting him at the JPA office in Putrajaya at noon tomorrow as it is the final day for appeal by aggrieved JPA applicants – and more time must be given for the appeal so that a new start can be made this year on the fair and just award of JPA scholarships.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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