KUALA LUMPUR, 16 June 2009: The number of non-bumiputera students offered the Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships has increased significantly compared with 2000, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Statistics by PSD showed that 924 non-bumiputera students were among the 2,100 students offered the scholarship to pursue overseas studies this year, compared with only 150 from 748 students in 2000.
Last year, 900 non-bumiputera students were offered the scholarships out of the total 2,000 students.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, in response to a question by Tan Ah Eng (Barisan Nasional-Gelang Patah), said the government introduced a policy this year to address the imbalance in the award of scholarships between bumiputera and non-bumiputera students.
From 14 Jan this year, the awarding criteria for the Overseas Degree Programme are divided into four categories: academic excellence, racial population ratio, Sabah and Sarawakian bumiputera and the socially disadvantaged students from rural areas with limited facilities and from low-income families.
He also said that the academic excellence considered for PSD scholarships was based on nine subjects chosen by the students which were relevant to the degree of their choice.
“This limit is set to ensure all students are on an equal playing field because not all schools have the same facilities and teaching [staff] and allow their students to sit for more than nine subjects,” he added.
He slammed Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) for claiming that there was victimisation in the award of PSD scholarships and told the house that the scholarships were offered to students based on merit, instead of the race, religion or language of the applicants. — Bernama