Several opposition figures have cried foul after the imposition of a new entry requirement for Mara Junior Science College (MRSM).
According to the MRSM website, entry for the first and fourth form for the 2022 term is limited only to applications currently enrolled in a Sekolah Kebangsaan (national schools).
This excludes Sekolah Rendah/Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (national-type schools), Sekolah Agama Bantuan Kerajaan (government-aided religious schools) and Sekolah Menengah Agama Kebangsaan (national religious secondary schools).
Previously, MRSM enrolment only required that the applicant be a Malaysian national.
In a joint statement, Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching and Sungai Buloh MP R Sivarasa urged the government to reconsider this policy as there is an under subscription from non-bumiputera students in MRSM despite a 10 percent quota imposed in 2002.
“It is important that the public knows that although the quota exists, as of 2018, only (about a fifth) of the places for non-bumiputera students were taken up.
“We should not victimise students with potential. They should be given a chance. The 10 percent quota will not negatively affect the bumiputera students because the quota usually cannot be filled.
“So what is wrong in opening up MRSM to other types of schools (other than national schools),” said the duo.
The duo said that new Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s “Keluarga Malaysia” (Malaysian family) catchphrase will ring hollow if the new policy was not annulled.
Meanwhile, PKR women’s wing leadership council member G Sivamalar said the new rules were discriminatory and will deny an opportunity to less fortunate non-bumiputera students.
Sivamalar said if the policy was meant to encourage non-bumiputera parents to enrol their children in national schools, it was not a valid solution as there are other problems in national schools that remain unresolved.
“I urge the rural development minister and Mara’s top management to withdraw the new entry requirement to ensure inclusivity... This is in line with the ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ concept by the prime minister,” she said.