Malaysia is definitely facing a new era of social engineering!
After fifty years of post Merdeka development which focused on the eradication of poverty, rural development, building of infrastructure, growth of business and industry, equitable distribution of wealth etc etc the country is seeing the results of these policies.
There’s no doubt the country has prospered! Once known for being the small peninsula north of diminutive Singapore, Malaysia has carved a name for itself and is now standing on its many feet. Malaysians have a lot to be proud of because we have made our nation what it is – warts and all!
And warts there are many indeed! Because let’s face it – social engineering has its products and bye products! Development as a whole especially if it is rapid begets results which are both positive and negative.
Ironically, a much lamented bye product of its equity/equality building policies is the inequalities that have been created. In providing support to the bumiputras to correct their economically and educationally disadvantaged positions, the nation is facing the grouses of non-bumiputras who feel their interests have been largely ignored.
This, despite the government’s continued support of Chinese and Tamil vernacular education and mother-tongue schools. And aid to the underprivileged Chinese and Indian communities! It’s never enough!
The overwhelming grouse over the years is that non-bumiputra students who achieve academic excellence are not given financial support in the form of government scholarships for tertiary education.
ABSOLUTELY! There should never have been discrimination on this in the first place! Why was it impossible for our leaders to see that helping deserving bumiputras should not negate the responsibility of helping deserving non-bumiputras!
So now we see the introduction of the meritocracy scholarship a.k.a. national scholarship opening the window for a more just and equitable affirmative action in education. And calling it “national” is neutral and unbiased!
To engineer another failing in Malaysian society viz the relative shortage of non- bumiputras in the civil service and in the teaching profession, I believe more scholarships should be aligned towards these sectors. In other words there must be more teaching and MCS scholarships for non-bumiputra students to attract the best minds to serve in these professions.
The BN government is thinking wisely thanks to Dato’ Seri Najib’s think tanks! And the PM’s rhetoric seems right and right to the point. But whether these new policies and pronouncements will be smart enough and quick enough to regain lost ground is a moot question!
Perhaps I won’t see an outstandingly better Malaysia in my lifetime but there is hope for my children and grandchildren! That is, if they and their friends are sincere and honest about building up ONE MALAYSIA!