Hindraf calls for merit-based education

By Athi Shankar, Free Malaysia Today

GEORGE TOWN: The government should scrap its racist-based education system and replace it with one based on meritocracy, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) said today.

Hindraf London-based chairman P Waythamoorthy said it was time the Umno-led federal government overhauled the education system to keep pace with the global educational standards.

He said a meritocracy-based system was the only way forward for the country to attain excellence in education in the highly competitive world.

However, he said the objective can never be achieved if the Umno-led federal government is not sincere and serious.

“The government should revamp the education system to focus on meritocracy regardless of ethnic and religious origins to enhance the country’s human capital,” he added.

He was commenting on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s announcement at last weekend MIC general assembly that Indian students who score 9A+ in the SPM would be given public scholarships to pursue tertiary education.

Waythamoorthy said Najib’s promise was nothing more than a gimmick to raise false hopes.

“Why only 9A+? What about plain 9As and 9A-?” he asked.

He said Najib was trying to assuage the feelings of the Indian community when he announced the scholarship award to Indian students with 9A+.

“Predictably, MIC members gave the premier a standing ovation without understanding the dynamics of Umno political manipulation.

“They failed to comprehend that the 9A+ move was detrimental to the Indian community and the country at large,” he told FMT.

Stop gloating

Last month, Waythamoorthy brought up to the United Nations the BN government’s perceived systematic discrimination of Indian students for over half a century.

He addressed the issue to Geneva-based Githu Muigai, the UN special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

He also sent a copy of his complaint to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Asia and Pacific regional bureau for education office) in Bangkok, seeking Unesco’s intervention to end the perceived marginalisation of Malaysian Indians.

In May, he updated and provided evidence to the UN Human Rights Council on the continued discrimination and marginalisation of minority Malaysians, especially Indians, and natives from Sabah and Sarawak.