Was the whole matriculation issue a mere political stunt?

Image from The Straits Times

By YC Reader

Recently, like many other Malaysians, I read with great interest all the commotion regarding the allocation of matriculation seats to the non Muslims in the country.

As usual, the ones making the most noise were the politicians ... for what reason, we do not really know.

Suddenly, I realised MIC has risen from the ashes and began harping on the allocation for Indians.

They began hitting out at the Indian ministers in Pakatan Harapan and I believe the one who got the brunt of it was Human Resources Minister, M. Kulasegaran.

For me, the rationale for this is simple. In the PH coalition, there is no specific race based party as there was in the Barisan Nasional at that time.

During the BN days, it was simple. The Chinese go after the MCA, Indians after the MIC and of course Umno for the Malays.

However, as for PH, ministers like Kulasegaran and Dr Xavier Jayakumar found themselves on the receiving end simply because they were the only Indian targets.

However, both their portfolios have nothing to do with the matriculation issue as the entire issue came solely under the purview of the Education Ministry.

As an Indian myself and with two college going children, I wonder, just how important matriculation actually is to us?

I am a middle income earner and for most of my siblings and friends, none of our kids even considered matriculation.

After Form Five, most of them applied for scholarships and some even got funding from their respective private colleges to pursue the courses they wanted.

My eldest son got a very good deal from SEGi where he completed his higher education, while my second son got a full scholarship from a private organisation.

I may be wrong, but to me, it just appears that this entire matriculation issue was manipulated by the MIC and others with a political interest to make PH look bad.

I am not taking sides here, but my question is why now?

After all, the MIC was in power for decades, so why didn't they fight for it then? Why after 60 over years?

Today, the Cabinet approved an increase from 25,000 to 40,000 seats, 10 per cent of which is reserved for non-Bumis. From this, 2,200 seats are for the Indians.

Based on the population breakdown in the country, this appears pretty fair, considering  the number of Chinese students who actually opt for matriculation.

As a senior citizen and someone who closely follows the political development in the country, we, as Malaysians need to be wiser and not simply bark at the moon.

We need to closely examine the actual motive of why certain political groups begin harping on an issue, especially since such issues have existed for years.

Like I mentioned earlier, this all seems more like an agenda to gain political mileage, not something being done sincerely for the people.

As an Indian, ask yourself, what did the MIC do for us in the past 60 over years?

My father lost his hard earned money investing in Maika shares, while another one of my relatives tried so hard to get some help from a certain MIC Exco member in Seremban at the time, but never did.

To me, and to most of my relatives and friends who are Indians, we have fought our battles alone and to be frank, some of my friends had actually got help from the MCA and DAP at the time - never from the MIC.

So, in conclusion, I can safely say that the matriculation fiasco is nothing more than an initiative, probably mooted by the MIC to create unnecessary problems.