KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that the government's move to retain the Bumiputera quota for matriculation programmes, while increasing the total student intake to 40,000, is just a temporary measure.
Malaysiakini reported the PKR president as saying the move was needed to fulfill the government's promise to Indians, while also assuaging the fears of Malays.
“We agreed with the Indian community to increase the intake of Indian students for matriculation, at the same time there were concerns that increasing the number of Indian students would affect the allocation for Malay students.
“I believe the decision to increase the overall intake is just a temporary measure after there were tensions.
“We don't want them to think we are taking from the Malays. So we made the cake bigger,” Anwar told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.
Yesterday, Education Minister Maszlee Malik had announced that the number of places for students enrolling for the Education Ministry's matriculation programme has been increased to 40,000 from 25,000 previously.
He said the issue was brought up a Cabinet meeting, with the additional intake implemented to ensure the best-performing students have a higher chance to further their studies.
He said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government sees a need to boost the number of students in the sciences field, hence the increased student intake.
Maszlee said the ministry will also discuss with the Finance Ministry on the additional cost of taking in more students.
PH allies have been engaged in a verbal war with each other over the past several days on whether the 90 per cent Bumiputera quota should be retained.
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