Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin deserves our applause for having the courage to admit that the quota system does nothing for the Malays and instead insults them by painting them as incapable and too dependent on the government for their well-being.
During a dialogue session organised by MIC Youth recently, Khairy claimed that Malays in the country should feel “insulted” about the quota system that favoured them.
“You should work hard to be where you want to be,” he said at a recent dialogue session on the National Transformation Plan 2050. He added that he had often advised Malay youths to pursue an education in universities which did not have a quota system in place.
Perhaps, instead of advising the youths, it would make a world of difference if he could advise and convince the policy makers instead.
Now back to KJ’s statement about the quota system being an insult to the Malays. I did a bit of digging and found some interesting information.
Back in 2014, KJ proposed the management of PR1MA (1 Malaysia People’s Housing Scheme) allocate a 30% quota for Bumiputeras and youths to ensure they could enjoy affordable and medium-cost housing.
I wonder how a quota system imposed on an affordable housing scheme could not be viewed as an insult to the Malays and Bumiputeras. Shouldn’t the Malays and Bumiputeras also take pride in working hard towards purchasing their own homes like their non-Bumiputera friends?
In the Umno general assembly of 2009, KJ, urged the Malays to get rid of their “siege mentality”, claiming that “the confidence to accept more open competition already exists in the Malays’ DNA.”
In the same speech, he referred to the Malays as “majestic people – intelligent and multi-talented.”
But three months before the assembly, when asked in a press interview to comment on issues of governance, he had this to say:
“The most difficult problems are education, racial, economic, New Economic Policy and university quota issues. Other problems are very easy. Take scholarships, as an example. How are we going to solve the problem? We must find a new solution to ensure that those with outstanding results and poor students can get the scholarships and, at the same time, to ensure an adequate amount for the Bumiputeras.”
Hang on a second. Why would any majestic group of people who have in their DNA the confidence to accept open competition need “an adequate amount” put aside in the form of a quota for scholarships?
Does KJ support the quota system for the Malays or does he not?
The quota system was introduced to aid the Malays, and not as a lifeline for them. After all these years of having enjoyed the special quota, just when would the Malays be capable of standing on their own two feet without the aid of the quota system? 2050? 2020? How about now?
Unlike KJ, I do not think of the quota system as being an insult to the Malays. Instead, I believe the quota system which favours the Malays is very insulting to the non-Malays because it is biased and promotes favouritism and discrimination.
Having said that, I would also like to point out that special privileges do not differ much from a quota system. Perhaps KJ can explain how the quota system insults the Malays while the bestowal of special privileges on them honours them.
Fa Abdul is an FMT columnist.