MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Monday, November 20, 2023

Royal Education Award winner calls for meritocracy in education

A recipient of the Royal Education Award has called for meritocracy in education and the protection of minorities as part of his award acceptance speech.

M Nahvin began his speech by recalling how he was accepted into a matriculation course while his equally qualified friend was not.

"He felt defeated as if it was the end of his life. He became lonely and depressed because he felt he was not good enough.

"When I entered matriculation, I felt surprised because there were students who had grades that were similar (as my friend) but even lower than him.

"Ladies and gentlemen, my friend is no more. I can assure you that if he was given the same opportunity as I, he would be the one giving this speech and not me," said Nahvin.

Nahvin said that his speech was not about him but the plight of minorities and how education should be available to all who qualify, regardless of race and religion.

"We need to give priority to meritocracy in our education system instead of quotas introduced by political parties to divide and separate us.

"Meritocracy is the only way to see a united and fair future for Malaysia. I have worked so hard to be here (and) to represent the voice of minorities that are often silenced," he said.

He ended his speech by expressing hope that his message will reach those in power.

Nahvin graduated from Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) with a bachelor’s in computer science (artificial intelligence) earlier this month. His speech was streamed online by UTeM and excerpts have been spreading online.

Royal Education Awards are handed out annually to two students in each of the 20 public universities. The award itself is based on race - one award for a bumiputera student and another for a non-bumiputera.

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