Friday, June 11, 2010

Agar kita tahu bersyukur...

Government urged to review scholarship allocations

KUALA LUMPUR: An Indian group has urged the Government to be fair to minorities and marginalised groups in the awarding of Public Services Department (PSD) scholarships.

Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisations president A. Rajaretinam said he was saddened that of the 1,500 scholarships given out recently, 1,200 went to bumiputras and the rest to non-Malays.
Disappointed: Rajaretinam hopes that the same number of scholarships as in 2009 can be given out this year.

“We are not against Umno or bumiputras. We just want non-Malays to be given the same number of scholarships that was given out last year and the year before in line with the democratisation of education,” he said yesterday.

On Wednesday, Rajaretinam was among those present at a meeting between Pakatan Rakyat MPs and NGOs over the controversial allocation of scholarships.

The meeting, held at Parliament lobby, erupted into a quarrel when Umno MPs apparently gate-crashed the gathering.

Rajaretinam said he was told that the PSD would conduct a review following the public outcry.

“If they are going to reinstate the number of scholarships to 2,100, which was the total number given out previously, the remaining 600 scholarships should be given to non-Malays,” he said.

Rajaretinam said he was surprised over PSD’s decision to give 80% of the scholarships to bumiputras this time when the formula for the past two years was 55% Malays and 45% non-Malays.

The Kota Baru-born Rajaretinam, who wears a turban, clarified that he was not a Sikh as assumed by many people.

“It’s part of Hindu culture to wear turbans although it is compulsory among Sikhs.

“I have been wearing a turban for the past 25 years in following the footsteps of great Indian poets and freedom fighters like Swami Vivekananda and Subramanya Bharathi, who also wore turbans,” he said.

Source: The Star, 11 June 2010

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