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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

SPM top scorers take grouses to Parliament

KUALA LUMPUR: Four students from Selangor and Johor, who scored 11 or 12 As in the SPM, brought their grouses to Parliament yesterday about not getting the Public Services Department (PSD) scholarship, joining an annual list of people who bring up the same complaint. The students were accompanied by Pulau Jerejak assemblyman Sim Tze Tzin to Parliament and were received by Yusmadi Yusof (PKR-Balik Pulau).

They were Chew Kin Cheng, who scored eight 1As and four 2As, Tan Kian Hin (nine 1As and two 2As), Tiow Zyn Ann (eight 1As and three 2As) and Lim Soon Seng (10 1As and two 2As). At a press conference at the Parliament lobby, Yusmadi said: “Our brightest students often do not get the opportunity to go for higher education to bring out the best in them. Eventually, we would only encourage mediocrity and our nation would lose competitiveness in the process.”

He said there was a rot in the selection system as no one seemed to know the details of the selection. “The selection has failed us year after year. Often, the officials explained the system in general terms. However, we demand to know more. It should be transparent and fair,” he said. Yusmadi said the social background of an applicant should also be taken into account as those in need should be given the priority.

He said the students have other alternatives because foreign countries are providing scholarships to them but those who take up the offers will not come back and this is a loss to the country. Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong, who also met the students, told reporters such cases occur every year because the PSD only has 2,000 allocations for scholarships each year while there are more than 15,000 applicants.

To stop speculation on why students are rejected, Wee suggested that the PSD give all applicants who fail an explanation. If the students know why they are rejected, they would accept rejection better. Wee said some students might have received the scholarship even if they had fewer As in their SPM because they had chosen courses that are not popular. “Students are confident with their SPM results but they must bear in mind that there are more of them who got better results and it is impossible to give everyone the scholarship even if the allocation is increased by another 3,000 or 5,000 allocations,” he said.

Wee also advised the students not to use their family background to create a sense of sympathy.

In Ipoh, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Planning Unit) S.K. Devamany told theSun there are four avenues for SPM high-achievers to get the PSD scholarship to further their higher studies in the country or overseas.

They are:

» PSD scholarships for overseas degree programme. This is very competitive as the criteria is 70 points for academic excellence. The remaining 30 points are for interviews, family economic background and co-curricular activities. There are only 2,000 places for this overseas degree programme.

» 10,000 local scholarships for which applications open in June. » Getting into a local foreign university, which has an offshore campus in Malaysia like Nottingham University and Monash University. Students apply when they get a place.

» By first enrolling in Malaysianrecognised foreign universities in the United States, Britain and Australia. The same procedure applies. “A student must not be disheartened when he or she fails to get the overseas programme as there are three other alternative avenues to get the PSD scholarship,” Devaman said.

Alternatively, high-achievers can approach companies like Petronas, Tenaga Nasional and Mara to sponsor their scholarships. He said the PSD must explain clearly the method of selection. “We want parents to understand what the system is all about. “You must give everybody a chance, otherwise people will run away to other countries,” he said.


I don't agree if the scholarship does not based on the family background at all. If this happen, rich peoples who are able to pay for the college and university fee does not matter whether it's in the country or abroad will also get the scholarship. Then how about the needy who got kids but no money? This is about toss your luck, if you are lucky then you get the scholarship. If you are not, then stay home for the poor.

The result is the first thing to be filtered for scholarship of course, but the family background still play a role whether they are qualify or not.

By the way, who will run away sir?


  1. 11 and 12 As? That's not human lah! Hehehe How on earth do they do.. if only I knew their secret!

  2. Some of them just brilliant but most of them forcing themselves. :)

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  5. i just can say...the mr yusmadi try to use my friends and I to make some news for himself...we really dont want to spread the news in this way (i mean go through media)

  6. Hmm so you are involved?


Thank you for the comment.

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