Friday, May 20, 2011

Scholarship Brouhaha

Did you know that in Malaysia, the merry month of May is the time of the year when JPA (the Malay acronym for the Public Service Department) releases the results of scholarship applications, following which there will be an avalanche of public complaints of unfair decisions? So it wasn’t surprising to see yesterday’s Star with the headline on page N4: “Cabinet directive not followed” and the accompanying story of academically brilliant students (“academically brilliant” by Malaysian standards, that is) who were disappointed, despondent and dejected because they did not receive scholarships to further their studies. That government officers failed to adhere to Cabinet directives, is what MCA Youth Chief Wee Ka Siong (above photo) admitted as much at a press conference on Wednesday. To add insult to injury, he mentioned that many students who deserved the scholarships did not get the grants, but those who did not deserve them had successfully obtained the financial assistance.

This issue about financial support for smart students is an annual affair. We don’t seem to see the end of it because year after year, it repeats. In fact, Wee even claimed that this year was the worst in all the years when he handled these scholarship appeals.

Anyway, when I read about it in the said newspaper, I shook my head. Only two thoughts crossed my mind. Either government officers don’t give a shit about any directive(s) from the cabinet – maybe they are opposition supporters? – and so, they will not obey the honorable ministers. (You can’t blame them if they don’t know fear – have you heard of anybody in the civil service being given the sack for insubordination?) Or this fella Wee is orchestrating it for the benefit of the public, so that MCA is seen to champion the students’ cause – the students are non-Malays, by the way – and thereby earning brownie points for the political party that is already at death’s door. (Look at it in another way! Why does this news report identify him as the MCA Youth Chief, and not the Deputy Education Minister? I make sense, right?)

And how does Wee intend to resolve the students’ predicament? He said MCA (Note: Not the Education Ministry, but the political party) would meet with JPA officials to discuss the problem. Given the high regard, most people have for the MCA, the best Wee and the MCA can do is to beseech, plead and beg. Only when they bootlick, grovel and eat dirt will they receive the handouts. A sad state of affairs for the country! No wonder the other issue that is plaguing the country and persistently keeps cropping up is the brain drain?!?!

Oh yeah, as mentioned above, Wee Ka Siong is also the Deputy Education Minister – and from his statements above, he has ably demonstrated his wonderful incompetence! He has zilch foresight and zero influence and a goose egg of intelligence. Imagine that as a minister, he can be so hard-boiled that he doesn’t know how to feel ashamed at his ineptitude. I can safely assume that the twin concepts of responsibility and accountability are alien to this MCA lowlife.

1 comment:

Frankie said...

I totally agree with your article. However not only is Wee incompetent but the Education Minister himself is far more incompetent. The entire Education Ministry is incompetent and impotent. PSD officials are the little Napoleons deciding who gets scholarships and it is obvious the scholarships are race biased.

The Education Minister should come down from his high horse (or donkey) and direct the PSD to publish the annual list of students awarded scholarships listing the students academic results. This is simply to walk the talk of being honest and transparent. Of course the Education Minister would not do such thing as this would mean exposing the discriminatory practices of the PSD and perhaps his own Ministry. Cakap serupa bikin!!