Posts Tagged ‘discrimination’

Discrimination. What is it?

August 2nd, 2012
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Discrimination can exist in many forms. US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lists age, disability, equal pay/compensation, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race/color,  religion, retaliation, sex and sexual harassment as types of discrimination at workplaces. (source)

Discrimination is defined as:  prejudicial treatment of an individual based on his or her membership – or perceived membership – in a certain group or category. It involves the group’s initial reaction or interaction, influencing the individual’s actual behavior towards the group or the group leader, restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to a group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making. (wikipedia source).

The same source above says UN’s stance is that “discriminatory behaviors take many forms, but they all involve some form of exclusion or rejection”.

Can discrimination be good? For example, if KTMB offers discount cards to students and the senior citizens, isn’t it discrimination to the the other commuters who are not students or senior citizens? Can an individual complain or sue KTMB?

How about denying entry into an educational institution based on race or ethnicity? Is that discrimination? Perhaps no, if the educational institution is funded by groups with their own funds.

If a education institution selects students based on “status”, is that discrimination? If there’s quota, is that discrimination? Can it be justified by using economic status or lack of opportunities for some? If there are more females than males in universities, would a quota for female students be discrimination?

Have you seen vacancies asking for “Mandarin speaking” applicants? Isn’t that discrimination based on language? Or can the employer justify it by saying the position requires the knowledge of that particular language? Is Mandarin restricted to any one group only? Is it a workaround to hire Chinese candidate? Possible.

If we were to post “BM speaking applicants only”, would be discriminatory towards foreign workers who may not be fluent or certified in BM?

How about saying that only Muslims can be Syariah court lawyers? Is that discrimination based on religion? Or is it a requirement by the religion?

Can you choose not to hire a disabled person? Perhaps can, if the work involves physical activities that is hindered by the disability of the applicant. You can hire a visually challenged person to be a telephone operator, right?

Can you deny a disabled person the right to drive a vehicle? Possible, if it can be proven that providing the license may endanger the person or others due to the incapability of the disabled person to drive correctly.

By not having disabled friendly facilities in buildings, are the building operators/management being discriminatory?

When the salesperson chooses to ignore you, and approaches a “more realistic” potential customer, is that discrimination? (happens to me often, which can be a good thing after all!).

When Tamil drama is shown at 3.30am in national TVs, is that discrimination? When no programs for other communities are shown, is that discrimination? Can lack of budget be an acceptable excuse?

When provision for places of worships for some groups are not provided, is that discrimination?

When your colleagues seems to be drawing higher salary even though you are equally or more qualified, is that discrimination? Maybe yes, maybe no. Perhaps they negotiated well?

Not hiring married women because “they may get pregnant” is discrimination? How about penalising pregnant ladies by pressuring them, so that they will resign? Is that discrimination?

If the bus seat is not big enough, is the bus company discriminatory towards large-sized persons?  If the large size is due to genetics, then would it be discriminatory?

Wonder how its related to racism. Is racism a subset of discrimination? Seems to me its part of discrimination. Is discrimination same as marginalisation? Can discrimination be unintentional? It certainly can be institutionalised, made into laws.

3000 Indian students applied for matriculation

June 18th, 2012
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According to MI President, about 3000 students applied for matriculation (contrary to popular belief that not many Indian students apply) and 750 places have been taken up.  So, it won’t be difficult to pick 1500 students, right? I mean if you can pick students with 4As from the other race, there’s no excuse to do the same here, right? Have a quota la – 20% top students (300 seats), 60% average students (900 seats), and 20% weak students (300 seats) like you do for the other race.  So easy maa, I’ve even calculated the number of seats for you. I can even volunteer to help pick students 🙂

BTW, those that didn’t get a place can make an appeal and don’t forget to send a copy to MIC (and also MIETA – Arivu Ananthan – 012-3993710 or Elangovan Annamalai – 017-7081946)

More than 3,000 Indian students have applied for matriculation courses in government colleges, said MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

Palanivel, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the 1,500 seats allocated for Indians would be filled by the end of the month.

“Generally, only 500 seats are allocated for Indians, but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has acceded to MIC’s request for an additional 1,000 seats,” he said yesterday.

Palanivel said Indian students with excellent results but failed to obtain places in colleges could appeal to the Education Ministry and forward a copy to MIC.


According to MIC President as well, the full list of students will be released by MOE by end of June. Refer video below:

I strongly suggest that the list contains name, school, location (to identify rural/urban) and the student’s qualifications.  If not, MIC will get another round of bashing for not being transparent, practising nepotism, or unable to get MOE cooperation etc. Either way it looks bad on MIC if they not able to deliver what the PM pledged because community expectation is high now. We want to know details and not just be told off with some token answers.  And MIC being self-appointed guardian of Indian community have a hard time living up to the new expectations.

Which brings me to another issue – should we have a Indian deputy Education Minister?

 Footnote: MIC says will ask for more place next year. My question: why not ask to streamline STPM/Matriculation first. Saves lots of headache and cost, and provide a level/just/fair platform for all.

The MIC will request that the quota of Indian students in government matriculation colleges be increased next year, its president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said today.

He said the number of Indian students in matriculation colleges nationwide has increased from 500 to 1,500 for the 2012/2013 session.

“This year we will ask for additional (quota) for next year,”


MIC President clarifies 1000 extra matric seats will be in govt centres

May 31st, 2012
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We can breathe easier now as MIC President issued press statement clarifying the allocation of the extra 1000 seats will be in government matriculation centres, and not in any IPTS. This is in response to earlier questions and uncertainties after video emerged on the allocation.  I’ve blogged about it about 3 weeks ago.

With that issue considered settled, the next is about how to fulfill the extra 1000 seats. According to the statement below, about 700 seats has been filled, leaving another 800 or so vacant. The problem is how to get these places filled up.


Previously I’ve commented on a post by Mahaganapathy Dass (MIC Higher Education Bureau) on his FB wall:

i think the 1000 extra places should not be limited to those with all As. as you very well know, the 90% places is given to those with even 4/5/6As. with that in mind, we should be firm in our stand that applicants with minimum 5As to be allowed under the 1000 extra seats. in this way, you’ll have a much bigger pool of students.

instead of waiting for matriculation dept to settle the application procedure, why not start a separate “registration process” to fill the 1000 seats (assuming we don’t have enough applicants in the first place). You can collect the applicants and pass to matric dept to process – save their time.

and i think the 1500 matrics place should not include the bursary recipients. that’s unfair and unethical. let bursary be bursary and extra 1000 place to be EXTRA 1000 place. i hope the PM, JPA and MOE understands this. [note: Bursary refers to JPA Bursary for SPM top scorers]

if matric dept says got enough indian applicants to fill the 1500 seats, then just fill it up la. can relax the entry requirements if not able to get 1500 students. those rules are manmade, not law of God. if you can relax for the “others”, why not for us. We must be firm in our stand. this year MUST have 1500 seats filled (excluding bursary recipients). no excuse from matrics dept will be accepted.

and another comment:

 it will be good if matric dept reopen their registration if not enough candidates. maybe for 2 week period. and we can get our promotion machinery to inform as much students as possible – facebook, THR, MIC branches, MP/ADUN office, Astro Vanavil, Minnal FM, RTM news, newspapers etc.

I’m sure the 800 places can be easily filled up if the requirements are not purposely stringent. We should allow those with 4/5/6/7As to enter matriculation as well. A short 2 or 3 weeks exercise would be sufficient to get the SPM leavers to apply, provided we are able to make use of the promotion and publicity channels mentioned above.

However, a rather disturbing email reached me this morning. Its about a parent of a matric student that is unhappy (distressed actually) over the treatment of her daughter.  I think if such negative news is spread, parents will be angry and scoff the offer to study at matriculation. OK, more on that later once I get more info.



KUALA LUMPUR, 28 May (MIC) — All the 1,500 matriculation seats allocated to Indian students this year will be conducted at government colleges and no private institutions are involved.

There should be no confusion on the matter. Some people are saying that the 1,000 extra seats allocated for Indian students will be conducted at private colleges.

That is not true. All the students who have been successful will be placed in government colleges

In the MIC assembly last year I had asked for extra 1,000 seats to add to the existing 500 seats.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had agreed to the request and said the courses will be conducted in government institutions.

I had raised the issues with Tan Sri Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, that to date only 700 places have been offered.

I also raised the issue that some Indian students with 11A+ were also not offered matriculation places.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin assured me that all deserving cases would be offered a place and that all 1,500 places for Indian students will be filled.



1000 extra matriculation places for Indian students at Binary University College?

May 7th, 2012
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I’m sure you still remember our PM’s announcement that an additional 1000 places will be provided for Indian students to pursue matriculation. It was well received, although I expected a more concrete policy-level and high impact announcement (like opening matriculation for all or abolishing it). At the moment, about 500 places are allocated. There’s no mention if this is a one-off gesture or will be implemented annually.

(Interesting fact: the 1000 places were agreed in September (refer video below) but announced in February, during Ponggal celebration in Kapar.)

Now, news is coming out that the 1000 places will be in Binary University College (located in Puchong), and not actually at the government matriculation centers.

MIC President, Senator G Palanivel and also Deputy Minister SK Devamany themselves mentioned that “some” students will be placed in IPTS, including Binary. So another permutation is provided. ( from MIC TV Online):

The announcement is was made on 19th September 2011 (refer the photos on Binary’s website – ) and compare to the video above.

This was also highlighted on a youtube video below with some valid questions:

And also in an article in The Kuala Lumpur Post:

They are many unanswered question about the 1000 places given to Indian students to pursue matriculation this year. Those representing the community at the higher level show their gratitude by praising the Government for providing this opportunity. We are also happy because at last the Indians are given the opportunity to compete on the even field. Now many are claiming that they have fought tirelessly for this opportunity but are not given due recognition. However, we shouldn’t be clouded or blinded with all these elation and celebration. We need to know clearly that this promise is being implemented effectively due to claims that a particular private higher learning institution has been appointed carry out this initiative.

The questions are:-

  1. Who is monitoring this process? Is it MIC
  2. If MIC is monitoring the implementation of this initiative, can they assure that all the students will be placed in public matriculation colleges rather than private institutions?
  3. If at all the students are placed in a private institution, will they be accepted into Public Universities (IPTA) after completing their matriculation?
  4. If no, why other professional private institutions such AIMST, TAFE, Penang Medical College, Perdana University, International Medical College and other professional institutions are not included in this initiative?
  5. How about the fee – if the students are placed in private universities – do they have to follow the fee structure in private universities or public universities – we are talking about cream of the society who deserve places in public universities – finally they will end pay back more than what they supposed to payback.
  6. Can the admission of the students offered places in matriculation be made public to ensure transparency?


The comment on the article above is also useful to gauge the possible impact of placing 1000 students in an IPTS.

But if you refer to the NST article below (on the announcements during Ponggal), the PM specifically said that the places will be in public institution and that MOHE will arrange for it.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday announced that the government would offer 1,000 more places annually for Indian Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia holders to pursue matriculation courses at public institutions.

MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel welcoming Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at a Ponggal celebration at the Kelab Kilat Padang, TNB, in Kapar yesterday.

With this, the prime minister fulfilled the promise made during the recent Thaipusam celebrations.

Najib said this to applause from some 20,000 people during the Ponggal celebration at Kelab Kilat Padang TNB, here, last night.

He said with the increased intake of deserving Indian students, it would encourage them to strive for excellence in public institutions.

“This means the number of Indian students in matriculation now will increase from 559 students to more than 1,500 students for the 2012/2013 session.

“The Higher Education Ministry will be arranging the 1,000 seats after last year’s SPM results are announced,” he said, adding that priority will be given to high achievers.

Obviously, we consider the latter events had superseded the earlier ones, and thus hold PM onto his word that the places will be in government public institutions and not some IPTS which got  1 Star for MyQuest under Science Maths and Computing cluster (although overall it was given 5 Star, and for Social Science Business given 6 Star),  Tier 3 for SETARA 2009, never run a matriculation program and is not a proper campus. (refer MyQuest document in MOHE website).

Anyway, I seriously doubt anyone would be dumb enough to place all 1000 students in one place as that will be a PR disaster.

When these kind of half-baked announcements are made, without proper details and transparency, and later you have to read the fine print to find that all is not so rosy, makes it look like 1 step forward and 2 step backwards for them.

My question: aren’t you supposed to study matriculation at pusat matrikulasi, instead of some IPTS? And when would you learn to provide accurate and detailed information to the citizens?

JPA scholarship 2012 Bursary, Program Khas, PILN, PIDN

April 18th, 2012
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It is indeed a positive move to award bursaries to the SPM 9A+ achievers. Obviously, those in the 7,8 and 9As range will be disappointed with the decision. For the bumiputra/Malay students, they are lucky as MARA’s convertible loan’s minimum requirements are 5A- (diploma at Mara institutions), minimum 6A- to 8A- for local degree (including pre-u) and 7A- to 9A- for overseas degree  (including pre-u). So where does it leave the others? STPM would an option (being revamped into modular semester based examination would make it more attractive).  For Indians, the PM pledged extra 100o places in matriculation (of which some will be taken by the Bursary recipients).  Others will opt for foundation or diploma programs in IPTS, or if lucky, chosen to enter foundation (selected IPTA), diploma (IPTA) and politeknik. The less than average results will take the skills-based training route, and others will enter the workforce. That’s about it.

Interesting thing about the Bursary is that it is awarded on merit. So if the student scores 3.50 CGPA and above, and able to secure place in the listed universities, his/her education will be funded.

PIDN (Program Ijazah Dalam Negara – local degree scholarship) which offers 10,300 places is based on merit (so far), however, what many seem to miss is that PILN (Program Ijazah Luar Negara – overseas degree scholarship) is not based on merit alone.  Even though the stipulated requirements are minimum CGPA 3.50 at pre-u level for PILN, there’s four category if award – scholastic achievement (academic) (20%), racial composition (60%), East Malaysia bumiputera (10%), and socially disadvantaged (10%). Of the 60% based on race, Indian students allocated 7%. Interestingly, the number of PILN scholarship to be awarded in 2014 is not mentioned.  Also not clear if the requirement of CGPA 3.50 will be relaxed under the related categories, or the student must get CGPA 3.50 regardless of which category he/she is applying under. The other catch is that, even though you manage to wriggle your way into getting a JPA overseas degree scholarship, you still need to secure a place in the listed universities.

There’s also a special program for engineering courses in Germany, Korea, Japan and France for 200 SPM leavers. Similar to PILN, it is also not based purely on merit but the four categories mentioned about, and with the same percentage – scholastic achievement (academic) (20%), racial composition (60%), East Malaysia bumiputera (10%), and socially disadvantaged (10%). The minimum requirement is either 7A- and 2B+ or 9A-. Again question arises if the requirement will be relaxed to accommodate the categories.

Whatever it is, we hope for a day where quotas are given on a more rational, needs basis such as socially disadvantaged  or economic status instead of artificial requirements.

If you want to know more about the scholarship, refer the following websites:

reference: JPA document at