Free Education in Malaysia: Not a Fantasy

The Minister of the Malaysian Higher Education once said[1], “The Ministry will anchor on, and promote, internalization higher education. The Ministry is talking about internationalizing the students’ experience, developing the international dimension of the curriculum, increasing global competitiveness through various types of collaboration and partnerships, and of course, also to raise the attractiveness of the Malaysian higher education provision to a much wider global audience.

When the preliminary National Education Blueprint was launched, it was toted to produce students with ‘HOT’ (Higher Order Thinking) skills. It is also toted to produce knowledgeable students with strong leadership qualities and better bilingual proficiency.[2] However, what it does not address is the possibility of creating a higher education that is free, fair and accessible to all walks to students notwithstanding the diversity of their backgrounds, and abilities.

According to Higher Education Minister, Khaled Nordin, it was impossible to provide free tertiary education as the cost was too huge and at the same time, it was essentially an individual investment.[3] The Ministry talks of internalizing the changes of a student’s education and implanting HOT skills. What are missing though are holistic changes that must be made towards the general landscape of the Malaysian education experience. The Minister is wrong on one thing; higher education is not an individual investment. It is the investment of the community. Education and knowledge can only lead to one thing, a better future for the community as a whole. Listing higher institution as an individual investment is bankers talk, not an educator’s philosophy.

The Minister insists in the continuation of PTPTN on the basis it is an individual investment. Yet, he does not discuss solutions on how to make higher education more accessible without the need to rely on the PTPTN to gain entrance in higher education institutions. He talks of internalization of students’ education but higher education according to the Ministry is an elite institution available only to those with money.

Sweden, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Norway, Finland, Chile, Venezuela, Denmark. All of these nine countries have one thing in common. The governments in these nine countries offer free education to it’s’ citizens. Could Malaysia be in line in the same category as these nine countries? The right to access to education is written in Article 13 (2)(c) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in which the covenant speaks;

The State Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, with a view to achieving the full realization of this right: Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education.

The Malaysian government may not be a signatory to this covenant but 70 other countries are. Those above stated nine countries that offered free higher education also have another thing in common with each other. All nine countries stated above are signatories to the Covenant.

Yet, in Malaysia, tertiary education is not free. The Malaysian government only spends 4.1 percent of Malaysia’s GDP in education. This is counter-intuitive as countries such the likes of Namibia, Vietnam and Bolivia spend more on education than the Malaysian government. Even Cuba spends 12.9 percent of its GDP on their country’s education.[4] Also to be noted is that the Malaysian government has slashed the total national education budget as much 20 percent; from RM50 billion in 2012 to RM37 billion in 2013. Notably, as Najib decreases national spending on education, his administration has also allocated RM200 million to retrain undergraduates that have spent four years in higher education.

Sweden, one of the world’s proponents for free education in its 2013 Budget allocated SEK 46.2 billion for defence (RM22.3 billion), SEK 10.2 billion (RM4.9 billion) for taxes, customs and enforcements and at the same time, allocated a whopping SEK 57.1 billion (RM27.6 billion) for education and academic research, SEK 22.0 billion (RM10.6 billion) for financial support for students and SEK 10.5 billion (RM5.1 billion) for integration and gender equality.[5]

The possibility of providing free education to Malaysians is not a mere myth. Amongst the idealistic solutions is the Malaysian government ending wastage. Wastage such as failure of the Ministry of Higher Education to monitor Ministry sponsored students to ensure they have met the target of the Ministry of at least 60 percent of IPTA academic staff be equipped with PhD qualification or its equivalent by 2010.[6] Wastage worth RM1.02 billion was spent from 2006 to 2011 for this cause. However, the program was met with failure. According to the Ministry, the factors affecting the results were family problems, exceeding the age limit and that the candidates were not ready for it.[7]

The end result is the failure to reach the target of highly-skilled employee but rather a glut of low-skilled employees under the current governmental regime. The wealth felt by the developed nation of highly-skilled citizens can never be felt under the current regime, unless the entire system is overhauled revealing a democratic education system, free from political influences and wholly inclusive catering to all students even the poor and the marginalized.


The Malaysian Experience

Education under the current Malaysian regime was not meant to be free. When the PTPTN Act was passed in 1997, it was to allow more students to have access to study loans. Although in a way, it did help the poor Malaysians to gain access to education formerly impossible, it did however, lead to a mushrooming of private universities and branch campuses of foreign universities that offered full degree courses for a high price. The steep reliance of the government on PTPTN holds not only the public universities at ransom but also Malaysian students. With the failure to gain entrance into public universities, PTPTN is a sure way to gain access to education in private universities. It forced poor Malaysian students rejected from public universities to bury themselves in student debt for the rest of their lives.

According to Local Housing and Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, he said RM44.62 billion have been disbursed, of which RM23.78 billion was given to 1,371,754 public university students (IPTA) and RM20.84 billion for students in private universities (IPTS).[8]  However, the only sure way for free education to truly come true, is that Malaysia moves away from the racial based quota in universities entrances.

When the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act (PHEIA), National Council of Higher Education Act, and National Accreditation Board Act (NABA) were enacted, it was to open the doors to expand places at higher education institutions and to produce qualified labour force to match industrial demands while cutting Malaysia’s overseas education bill worth billions.[9] Yet this situation caused two paradoxes of the Malaysian higher education system.

It caused the ethnic segregation between Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras in which Bumiputeras would normally attend public institutions of higher learning and non-Bumiputeras would normally attend private institutions of higher learning. This would in turn cause a second paradox in which private higher education tend to benefit from the developed areas more than those from rural areas.[10] Leaving the poor and marginalized to fall between the cracks from both public and private domains.

This paradox has in turn churned a segregated community both in ethnic and also financial segregation. The inequality between both private and public institution of higher learning has also caused not only segregation in the community, it has also been a source of approximately 40,000 unemployed graduates in which, 21 percent were from public institutions, 27 percent were from private institutions, 28 percent were from polytechnics and 35 percent were from community colleges.[11] Meanwhile, the oversupply and competition has resulted in the opening of 37 private universities, 30 private college universities, 7 international branch campuses and 414 private colleges.[12]

To counter the overdependence on the PTPTN, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak launched the Skim Prihatin Pendidikan 1Malaysia (SPP1M) with the noble intention to assist students at the tertiary level to obtain additional study loans.[13] If being buried by debts from PTPTN was not enough, it can be expected that Malaysian students to buried under more study loans.

The question is whether study loans such as the PTPTN and the SPP1M would free higher education from freeloaders or would it constrain the system even further? Malaysia is suffering from a case of oversupplied graduates with no or lack of vital soft skills that have not only saturated the unemployable of the job market but at the same time, reduced the quality of employees in the Malaysian job market.

Pakatan Rakyat in its GE-13 Manifesto pledged that the PTPTN will be abolished as well the fees of public institutions will be borne from the government and private institutions will be subsidised. The pledge to release the higher education from the shackles of student loans is there but what is yet to be seen are the mechanisms that will ensure the free higher education in Malaysia post PAKATAN’s pledge is the assurance of quality graduates as opposed to quantity.

The challenge falls onto the Ministry of Higher Education. Without reforming the Ministry, none of the aspirations or ideas of which this article provides will ever come to life. The Ministry needs to listen to the students, parents and graduates rather than political backbenchers. Changing its’ policies in revitalizing the higher education to a more democratic and independent sector should be its’ priority instead of placing the students in courses they do not choose and forcing the students to conform to political and also administrative whims.


Community’s Initiative with Private Backing

The Malaysian spending on education may dwarf its’ spending on military defence but quantity does not ensure quality. In other countries, the community have stepped up to ensure their children would receive the education they so deserve without the intervention of neither the government nor politics. In an American town, Kalamazoo, Michigan, the city once rife with school dropouts and poverty, a scholarship was spawned in 2005 to give every single student in Kalamazoo a chance to further their tertiary education free in any Michigan universities.

The scholarship is blind to family income levels, students’ grades and even to disciplinary and criminal records. From 2005 until 2012, the program, Kalamazoo Promise[14] has paid out USD$35 million to 2,500 Kalamazoo students. The scholarship also allowed a timeframe of 10 years for each student to complete their studies. The other objective of the scholarship was to enhance the broken economy of Kalamazoo in which a better educated community will equate to a more innovative work force, which in turn will increase the tax base of the community and create a more attractive business environment.

Post Promise scholarship, more students have stayed in school, thus, causing the school district to hire new teachers and better school facilities for the district. As a whole, 90 percent of Kalamazoo high school students have opted to go college and test scores of Kalamazoo students have steadily improved for the past several years.

As the rate of continuing higher education gets more expansive with each passing year, yet the door to education for the lower middle class and the poor is slowly closing leaving the opportunity to learn only to the brightest and richest. Hence education is losing its’ objective as a gateway of knowledge to a mere representation of one’s’ position in society.

Rising costs of higher education is not a situation isolated to one country. In Malaysia, the costs of higher education are either borne by the PTPTN, government scholarships and for the affluent, by their own parents. It’s severity has caused the PTPTN to turn into a cash cow for all higher institutions and at the time, the quality of education received by the students are deteriorating to a worrying level.

This also means the commoditisation of education must end by replacing the legislators and also heads of universities with educators and not a market advocators. If one wants’ their child to learn, they will hire a teacher to educate. If they want their sundry shops to earn profits, they hire an entrepreneur to make money. Just as Kalamazoo launched a program to make education an accessible necessity, Malaysia needs to take a similar stand.

To date, there are at least 60 universities nationwide (public and private). 24 percent of 184,581 graduates are employed.[15] That being said, there are only 1.65 million taxpayers out of the 12.8 million Malaysian workforces. This is because there is only 29 percent of skilled labour in Malaysia[16] .

Projects such as the 100 storey tower should not be on the forefront of development. Instead, the funds for the 100 storey tower by PNB should be channelled into a trust fund for public universities to be used by students to fund their research and broaden their knowledge. PNB, Najib’s administration and also the Malaysian public should take cue from the secret donors of the Promise program that acts in the interest of providing a hope for poor students to further their studies without having to worry about family finances. Or maybe the possibility of a free higher education seems too impossible for the stomach to digest?


Paid Courses versus Free Online Ivy League Courses

On the other hand, free online college classes or MOOC (massive open online courses) are exploding in America and across the globe. MOOC differs from the ordinary paid online classes in the sense they feature well-known professors in courses in which those courses are free. All that is needed is a computer and an internet connection. These professors commit to these classes while not being paid with the intention of teaching students who are eager to learn. Most people especially the marginalized and the poor do not have access to quality education, are educated by  MOOC courses offered online such as the artificial intelligence course conducted by a Stanford professor that educated approximately 23,000 students worldwide.[17]

With the invention of the internet, classes of students connect with the professor and the students interact with the professors and other students online at the same time they are educated with quality education on their own time. While most free online courses are not credit transferable but a university in America has already made MOOC credit courses transferable to its college[18]. Sites such as Coursera are already in partnership with 33 universities that include Berkeley, Princeton, Duke, Caltech, Stanford, John Hopkins and many more prestigious universities to provide online courses.

MOOC’s could be a good case study to provide an alternative to the Malaysian education experience in which it allows student who are in search of education but because of financial constraints are not able to do so. The possibility of free higher education is limitless. Players such as Coursera, Udacity may have rolled on the wagon of free higher education but its’ idea have garnered over USD$100 million of private venture capital investment in 2012 alone as well as support from Google and Pearson to make the idea successful.[19]

Malaysia needs to take note of MOOC primarily because they offer higher quality of education to all students minus the boundaries related to the current financially burdensome education system. A good quality education leads to a brighter future.

The National Education Blueprint (NEB) launched in 2012 was launched to ensure only the top 30 percent of graduates will be recruited for teaching. The questions remains are how different would this be from previous policy of least 60 percent of IPTA academic staff is equipped with PhD qualification or its equivalent by 2010? The government failed to ensure the success of that policy. New policies would not change the situation if the legislators and ministers implementing have not learned their lesson from former failed policies. This would only remedy a bleeding wound with an ointment.

The NEB may be completed and whilst Malaysians awaits the announcement of the official launching of the blueprint, Malaysians should take the time to ponder, would it be worth leaving the current regime in office at the sake of our children’s future? If yes, then there is nothing to stop that change.


Closing Words

Is free higher education a modern legend? As proven by several countries as well as by several private initiatives, it is not. It is proven that if one has the will to create and welcome change, sidelining personal interests for the better future of coming generations, it is possible. Is it cheap? No. Is the current education regime any cheaper? Also, it is no. Is it a viable concept? Probably yes if given a chance. Is it any better than the current education regime? It is debatable. But is it a lost cause, not worthy of our time and attention? No. Education is not only for students. Teachers and also legislators from time to time also need to be re-educated, not just for themselves but for the ones they teach.

Sometimes the best things are not free. They are expensive and risky. But how can society move forward, break new boundaries if those risks are not taken? The Malaysian government and education ministry is already known for its’ flip flopping education policies and yet the concept of providing free higher education seems completely lost to them. Free higher education is as taboo as liberal thinking and thinking outside the box in the current education regime. The current Ministry wants students to reach for the stars but students must take the provided rocket to reach. Any other vehicular options are off the table. The mistake committed by the current Ministry is prioritizing profits and monetary losses over investing in quality education.

The higher education in Malaysia must be stripped of its market value and replaced with an educator’s perspective or a parent’s perspective. Both these groups have the natural instinct to want what is best for their students and children. What is best for children is good education and good education is good education when it does not discriminate any sections of a community.

But how do a community and government compensate the market value of education with free education? As shown as examples in countries such as Sweden, Chile, Argentina and other countries that provide free education; it lies on the shoulders of the government. As such as can be seen the Promise program of which; more graduates equals to more skilled employees that in turn will open more businesses, as such in turn, increase tax rates in that community and that will help to flourish the community as a whole.

To retain the market ideology currently in place, Najib’s administration has to increase the taxpayers’ rate to justify the PTPTN spending or take from other coffers within his reach. And in order to increase the tax rate without incurring the wrath of Malaysians, Najib’s administration needs to increase the number is taxpayers in the country. In order to increase taxpayers in the country, Malaysia needs to increase skilled workers as opposed to importing foreign labour workers. But the current education system does not churn out highly- skilled workers. The current higher education system, does however churn out unemployable graduates from the result of unqualified education that is smeared with politics, regulatory crisis, as well as legitimation crisis. All this is because Najib’s administration is afraid of students with opinions (Bawani’s case at point).

Hence, free higher education is possible through the independence of the education system, regulatory players and a reformation of Malaysia’s education system.

The only losses in a free education are that some parties would not gain any monetary gain from providing free education to aspiring students. Students’ not having to worry about money is a focused student. He/she is a student in search of knowledge that can benefit not only themselves but also the community that gave them the opportunity to learn.

A fair good education means not only elevating one sections of the society to higher plateaus, but elevating all sections of society for the greater good of the society as a whole. It is the duty of not only the parents, educators but also the legislative and the executive to ensure that no child gets left behind particularly those in the remote rural areas, unreachable by your typical Perodua Kancil. A just administration is an administration that takes that into consideration a community’s investment instead of a Minister who lists higher education as an individual investment.





[1] MOHE, Speech Minister Of Higher Education Malaysia Y.B. Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin At ‘Malaysia In My Heart’ Dinner Reception With International Students In Malaysia, 30 Oktober 2012,

[2] Bernama, Education System Overhaul To Produce Students With ‘HOT’ Skills, 9 September 2012,

[3] NST, Opposition Plan ‘Irresponsible’. 9 April 2012,

[5] Swedish Government, Central government budget revenue and expenditure 2013,

[6] The Star, A-G’s Report: Higher Education Ministry Fails To Monitor Progress Of Sponsored Students, 16 Oktober 2012,

[7] ibid

[8] The Star, 1.99mil Students Received PTPTN Loans Worth RM44.62bil, 12 Ogos 2012,

[9] IJAPS USM, Paradoxes Of Higher Education Reforms: Implications On The Malaysian Middle Class#, Januari 2009,

[10] ibid

[11] The Star, 40,000 graduates still unemployed, says study, 22 September 2012,

[12] Bangkok Post, Higher Education In Malaysia: Quantity Over Quality, 11 Februari 2013,

[13] MI, Tertiary Education: PM Launches SPP1M Loan, 6 Februari 2013,

[15] MI, Young, Jobless Malaysian Grads A RM500m Strain On Taxpayers, 9 Oktober 2012,

[16] MI, Government Needs More Taxpayers, Says Finance Ministry, 20 September 2011,

[17] PBS News Hour, How Free Online Courses Are Changing the Traditional Liberal Arts Education, 8 Januari 2013,

[18] KansasCity, Online Classes Raise Questions About Future Of Higher Education, 5 Januari 2013,

[19] Guardian UK, MOOCs: A Massive Opportunity For Higher Education, Or Digital Hype?, 8 Ogos 2012,


Pendidikan Percuma di Malaysia: Bukan Sebuah Fantasi

Menteri Pengajian Tinggi pernah mengatakan, “Kementerian akan meneruskan, dan mempromosikan dan internalisasikan pendidikan tinggi. Apa yang dimaksudkan oleh Kementerian adalah internalisasi pengalaman para mahasiswa, di samping membina sebuah kokurikulum yang bersifat antarabangsa, meningkatkan persaingan bersifat antarabangsa melalui pelbagai jenis kerjasama dan perkongsian, dan terutamanya meningkatkan daya tarikan pengajian tinggi di Malaysia kepada kepada penonton global yang lebih luas.

Apabila pelan awal Pelan Induk Pembangunan Pendidikan (PPP) dilancarkan, ianya dikatakan akan menghasilkan para mahasiswa yang mempunyai Kemahiran ‘HOT’ (Aturan Pemikiran Tinggi). Ianya juga dikatakan akan menghasilkan para mahasiswa yang berpengetahuan tinggi di samping mahasiswa yang mempunyai sifat-sifat kempimpinan tinggi serta kecekapan dwibahasa yang lebih baik. Akan tetapi, pelan tersebut tersebut tidak memberitahu cara untuk menangani kemungkinan untuk menghasilkan sebuah pendidikan percuma, adil dan mudah diakses kepada semua jenis pelajar tidak kira perbezaan dalam latat belakang dan keupayaan mereka.

Menurut Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Khaled Nordin, ianya adalah mustahil untuk menyediakan pendidikan peringkat pengajian tinggi yang percuma kerana kosnya terlalu tinggi dan pada masa yang sama, ianya merupakan pelaburan secara individu. Kementerian membincangkan usaha untuk internalisasi perubahan dalam pendidikan seorang pelajar dan melaksanakan kemahiran-kemahiran HOT. Namun, apa yang tidak dibincangkan adalah ketiadaan perubahan holistik yang perlu dilakukan kepada landskap awam pengalaman pendidikan di Malaysia. Menteri Khalied Nordin silap mengenai suatu perkara, pendidikan pengajian tinggi bukan suatu pelaburan individu, ianya merupakan pelaburan komuniti. Pendidikan dan pengetahuan akan membawa kepada satu perkara sahaja, iaitu sebuah masa hadapan yang cerah kepada komuniti secara keseluruhannya. Menyenaraikan institusi pengajian tinggi sebagai pelaburan individu merupakan perbualan seorang pegawai bank dan bukannya falsafah seorang pendidik.

Menteri tersebut menegaskan dalam penerusan pinjamanan PTPTN atas dasar ianya merupakan pelaburan individu. Namun, beliau tidak membincangkan cara-cara penyelesaian kepada cara untuk menjadikan pendidikan pengajian tinggi lebih mudah untuk diakses tanpa keperluan untuk bergantung kepada pinjaman PTPTN untuk memasuki institusi-institusi pengajian tinggi. Beliau bercakap mengenai internalisasi para mahasiswa, akan tetapi, menurut pemahamam Kementerian, pendidikan pengajian tinggi merupakan sebuah institusi terbuka kepada hanya golongan yang mempunyai wang.

Sweden, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Norway, Finland, Chile, Venezuela, Denmark. Negeri-negeri tersebut mempunyai satu persamaan. Kerajaan di sembilan negara tersebut menyediakan pendidikan percuma kepada rakyatnya. Adakah Malaysia akan menyertai kumpulan sembilan negara ini? Hak akses kepada pendidikan termaktub dalam Perkara 13 (2)(c) Perjanjian Antarabangsa mengenai Hak Ekonomi, Sosial dan Kebudayaan yang menyatakan;

“Negara-negara kepada Perjanjian Antarabangsa mengiktiraf dalam usaha untuk mencapai hasrat hak ini: pendidikan pengajian tinggi akan dijadikan mudah diakses secara sama rata kepada semua, atas dasar kapasiti, melalui apa-apa cara yang sesuai, dan dimulakan dengan pengenalan kepada pendidikan percuma secara progresif.”

Kerajaan Malaysia mungkin tidak menandatangani perjanjian antarabangsa ini akan tetapi, 70 buah negara lain menandatanganinya. Sembilan negara yang disebut di atas telah menawarkan pendidikan percuma akan tetapi, mereka juga mempunyai persamaan yang lain, iaitu sembian negara tersebut telah menandatangani Perjanjian Antarabangsa tersebut.

Namun, di Malaysia pendidikan pengajian tinggi tidak percuma. Kerajaan Malaysia hanya membelanjakan sebanyak 4.1 peratus dari KDNK negara dalam pendidikan. Ini bertentangan dengan intuisi kerana negara-negara seperti Namibia, Vietnam dan Bolivia membelanjakan lebih dari Malaysia ke atas pendidikan. Malah, negara Cuba pun membelanjakan sebanyak 12.9 peratus dari KDNK-nya ke atas pendidikan dalam negara mereka. Juga dalam perhatian adalah kerajaan Malaysia telah memotong peruntukan ke atas pendidikan dari 20 peratus, dari RM50 bilion pada tahun 2012 kepada RM37 bilion pada tahun 2013. Di samping Najib mengurangkan peruntukan ke atas sektor pendidikan negara, pada masa yang sama, beliau memperuntukkan sebanyak RM200 juta untuk melatih semula para graduan yang telah menghabiskan masa sebanyak empat tahun di institusi pengajian tinggi.

Negara Sweden merupakan penyokong utama pendidikan percuma di mana dalam Belanjawan 2013 negara tersebut, kerajaan Sweden memperuntukan sebanyak SEK46.2 bilion untuk sektor pertahanan (RM22.3 bilion), SEK10.2 bilion (RM4.9 bilion) bagi cukai, kastam dan penguatkuasaan, dan pada masa yang sama memperuntukan sebanyak SEK57.1 bilion (RM27.6 bilion) bagi sektor pendidikan dan penyelidikan, SEK22.0 bilion (RM10.6 bilion) bagi sokongan kewangan para pelajar dan SEK10.5 bilion (RM5.1 bilion) untuk integrasi dan kesamarataan jantina.

Kebarangkalian untuk menyediakan pendidikan percuma di Malaysia bukanlah suatu mitos. Antara penyelesaian idealistik adalah kerajaan malaysia menghentikan pembaziran. Pembaziran seperti dasar Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi untuk memantau para mahasiswa yang ditaja Kementerian untuk memastikan mereka telah memenuhi syarat kelayakan Kementerian untuk sekurang-kurangnya 60 peratus staf akademik IPTA dilengkapi dengan sijil PhD atau setaranya pada tahun 2010. Pembaziran sebanyak RM1.02 bilion telah dibelanjakan pada tahun 2006 sehingga tahun 2011 bagi tujuan ini. Akan tetapi, program tersebut menemui kegagalan. Menurut Kementerian, faktor-faktor yang menjejaskan keputusan dasar ini adalah masalah keluarga, melepasi had umur dan para calon tidak bersedia untuk menghadapi dasar ini.

Keputusan di akhir dasar ini mencerminkan kegagalan Kementerian untuk mencapai sasaran para pekerja yang mahir dan sebaliknya, membanjiri lagi pasaran pekerja dengan para pekerja kurang mahir di bawah regim kerajaan kini. Kekayaan yang dirasai oleh negara-negara yang mempunyai para pekerja mahir tidak akan dirasai di bawah rejim kerajaan Malaysia kini, melainkan sistem keseluruhan diubah untuk mengemukakan sebuah sistem pendidikan demokratik, bebas dari pengaruh politik dan akan melibatkan semua pelajar, terutamanya yang miskin dan terpinggir.


Pengalaman Malaysia

Pendidikan dibawah rejim kini tidak berniat untuk menjadi sebuah sistem yang bebas. Ketika Akta PTPTN diluluskan pada tahun 1997, ianya bertujuan untuk memberi akses kepada para pelajar untuk pinjaman pendidikan. Walaupun, ianya telah membantu dalam memberi bantuan kepada golongan miskin untuk mengakses pendidikan di mana sebelum itu tidak mungkin berlaku, ianya juga telah membawa kepada penubuhan institusi pengajian tinggi secara besar-besaran serta penubuhan kampus antarabangsa universiti-univesiti dari luar negara yang menawarkan kursus ijazah pada harga yang tinggi. Kebergantungan tinggi pihak kerajaan ke atas PTPTN bukan sahaja pihak institut pengajian tinggi awam sebagai tebusan, para pelajar Malaysia turut menjadi tebusan. Pasca kegagalan untuk memasuki institut pengajian tinggi awam, PTPTN merupakan salah satu jalan mudah untuk memasuki institut pengajian tinggi swasta. Ianya memaksa pelajar miskin yang ditolak oleh institut pengajian tinggi awam untuk menanam diri mereka di bawah hutang sepanjang umur mereka.

Menurut kepada Menteri Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan, Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, sebanyak RM44.62 bilion telah diagihkan, di mana sebanyak RM23.7 bilion telah diberikan kepada 1,371,754 para pelajar dari institusi pengajian tinggi awam and RM20.84 bilion kepada para pelajar di institusi pengajian tinggi swasta. Namun, satu-satunya cara untuk pendidikan percuma untuk menjadi realiti, adalah jika Malaysia melangkah keluar dari kuota bersifat perkauman dalam syarat-syarat kemasukan institusi pengajian tinggi awam.

Apabila Akta Institusi Pendidikan Tinggi Swasta (PHEIA), Majlis Penasihat Pendidikan Kebangsaan dan Akta Lembaga Akreditasi Negara (NABA) diluluskan, ianya adalah untuk membuka pintu bagi meluaskan lagi tempat-tempat di institut-institut pengajian tinggi dan menghasilkan tenaga kerja yang berkelayakan untuk dipadankan dengan keperluan industri semasa dan pada masa yang sama, mengurangkan kos perbelanjaan pendidikan di luar negara yang bernilai berbilion-bilion. Namun, situasi ini telah menghasilkan dua keadaan bercanggahan di bawah sistem pengajian tinggi Malaysia.

Ianya telah menghasilkan jurang pemisahan antara kaum bumiputera dan bukan bumiputera di mana kebanyakan bumiputera akan menghadiri institusi pengajian tinggi awam dan bukan bumiputera akan kebiasaanya menghadiri institusi pengajian tinggi swasta. Ini pula akan menghasilkan keadaan bercanggah yang kedua iaitu institusi pengajian tinggi swasta kebiasaannya meraih manfaat dari kawasan bandar lebih dari kawasan luar bandar. Ini pula membawa kesan kepada golongan miskin dan terpinggir selalu ketinggalan di belakang dari kedua-dua institusi pengajian tinggi awam dan swasta.

Keadaan bercanggah ini pula membawa kepada jurang pemisahan dala komuniti dari segi etnik dan juga jurang perbezaan kewangan. Ketidaksamaan antara institusi pengajian tinggi awam dan swasta bukan sahaja membawa kepada jurang pemisahan antara komuniti, ianya juga telah membawa kepada 40,000 graduan menganggur, di mana 21 peratus adalah dari institusi pengajian tingg awam, 27 peratus dari institusi pengajian tinggi swasta, 28 peratus dari politeknik dan 35 peratus adalah dari kolej komuniti. Manakala, lebihan bekalan dan persaingan telah mengakibatkan dalam penubuhan kepada 37 buah institusi pengajian tinggi swasta, 30 buah universiti kolej swasta, 7 kampus cawangan antarabangsa dan 414 kolej swasta.

Untuk mengatasi pergantungan kepada PTPTN, Perdana Menteri Najib Tun Razak melancarkan Skim Prihatin Pendidikan 1Malaysia (SPP1M) dengan niat murni membantu para pelajar di peringkat tertiari mendapat pinjaman pelajaran tambahan. Bukan sahaja ini menambah bebanan dari pinjaman PTPTN, ianya turut menanam para pelajar Malaysia dengan hutang-hutang tambahan.

Persoalan yang timbul adalah sama ada pinjaman pelajaran seperti PTPTN dan SPP1M akan membebaskan pengajian tinggi dari tukang bonceng atau membebankan lagi sistem tersebut? Malaysia kini merasai sengsaraan dari sumber bekalan lebihan para graduan yang tidak mempunyai atau kekurangan kemahiran lembut yang bukan sahaja membanjiri golongan penganggur di pasaran pekerja, tetapi pada masa yang sama mengurangkan jumlah para pekerja berkualiti dalam pasaran pekerja.

Pakatan Rakyat dalam manifesto PRU13-nya telah berjanji untuk menghapuskan PTPTN dan yuran-yuran di institusi pengajian tinggi awam akan dibiayai oleh pihak kerajaan serta sektor swasta pula akan disubsidikan.

Janji untuk membebaskan pengajian tinggi awam dari belenggu hutang pelajar telah ada, namun apa masih tidak kelihatan adalah mekanisme untuk memastikan pendidikan pengajian tinggi percuma selepas janji PAKATAN adalah kepastian kepada peningkatan dalam graduan yang berkualiti dan bukannya kuantiti.

Cabaran ini jatuh kepada Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi. Tanpa pembaharuan dalam Kementerian, tiada aspirasi atau idea dari artikel ini akan direalisasikan. Kementerian perlu mendengari keluhan para mahasiswa, kaum ibu bapa dan para pelajar dan bukannya para penyokong parti politik. Mengubah polisi-polisi dalam usaha menggiatkan semula pendidikan pengajian tinggi kepada suatu sektor yang lebih berdikari dan demokratik sepatutnya menjadi keutamaan Kementerian dan bukannya meletakkan para pelajar ke dalam kursus yang tidak dipilih dan memaksa para pelajar untuk tunduk kepada kehendak politik dan pentadbiran institusi pengajian tinggi.


Inisiatif Komuniti dengan Sokongan Swasta

Perbelanjaan kerajaan Malaysia ke atas pendidikan mungkin melebihi perbelanjaan ke atas sektor pertahanan akan tetapi kuantiti tidak semestinya menjamin kualiti. Di negara lain, pihak komuniti telah memilih untuk memastikan anak-anak mereka akan menerima pendidikan yang mereka layak untuk memperolehi tanpa campurtangan kerajaan mahupun politik. Di sebuah bandar di negara Amerika Syarikat (AS), Kalamazoo, Michigan, bandar yang terdahulunya berleluasa dengan masalah pelajar berhenti sekolah dan gejala kemiskinan, sebuah usaha biasiswa dilancarkan pada tahun 2006 kepada setiap pelajar dalam bandar Kalamazoo merupakan usaha untuk membantu mereka meneruskan pelajaran mereka di institusi-institusi pengajian tinggi Michigan.

Biasiswa tersebut tidak membezakan perbezaan pendapatan keluarga, markah pelajar, malah ianya juga tidak membezakan rekod jenayah dan rekod disiplin para pelajar. Dari tahun 2007 sehingga tahun 2012, program tersebut, iaitu Janji Kalamazoo telah membiayai sebanyak USD$35 juta kepada 2,500 pelajar Kalamazoo. Biasiswa tersebut memberikan jangka masa selama 10 tahun kepada para pelajar untuk menghabiskan pengajian mereka. Satu lagi objektif biasiswa tersebut adalah untuk memperbaiki ekonomi Kalamazoo di mana sebuah komuniti yang berpendidikan akan membawa kepada sebuah tenaga kerja yang lebih inovatif dan ini pula akan membawa kepada peningkatan dalam dasar percukaian komuniti tersebut dan akhirnya membawa kepada mewujudkan persekitaran perniagaan yang lebih menarik.

Pasca biasiswa tersebut, ianya didapati terdapat peningkatan dalam jumlah pelajar yang tidak berhenti dari sekolah dan ini membawa kepada peningkatan dalam pengupahan guru-guru baru dan pembangunan dalam kemudahan sekolah di kawasan tersebut. Secara keseluruhannya, 90 peratus dari pelajar sekolah menengah di bandar Kalamazoo telah berjaya memasuki kolej dan markah ujian pelajar Kalamazoo semakin bertambah baik sejak beberapa tahun yang lalu.

Oleh kerana kadar untuk meneruskan pengajian kian meningkat saban tahun, pintu kepada pendidikan bagi kelas sederhana miskin dan miskin semakin menutup, meninggalkan peluang untuk meneruskan pengajian hanya kepada yang paling kaya dan paling bijak. Lantas, pendidikan kian tersimpang jauh dari sebuah pintu gerbang kepada ilmu pengetahuan kepada hanya kepada representasi semata-mata kedudukan seseorang dalam masyarakat.

Peningkatan dalam kos pendidikan dalam sesebuah negara bukanlah suatu perkara yang terpencil. Di Malaysia, kos pengajian tinggi sama ada dibiayai oleh PTPTN, biasiswa kerajaan dan bagi yang mampu, ibu bapa mereka. Keadaan ini telah menyebabkan PTPTN menjadi sumber kewangan kepada semua institut pengajian tinggi dan pada masa yang sama, kualiti pendidikan yang diterima oleh para pelajar semakin menurun hingga kepada suatu tahap yang merisaukan.

Ini bermakna terdapat keperluan untuk mengakhiri komodifikasi pendidikan dengan menukar para legislatif dan ketua-ketua di institut pengajian tinggi dengan golongan pendidik dan bukannya penyokong pasaran. Jika seseorang mahu anaknya belajar, mereka akan mengupah seorang guru untuk mengajar anak mereka. Begitu juga seseorang mahu kedai runcitnya meraih keuntungan, mereka akan mengupah seorang usahawan untuk membantu menjana keuntungan. Sepertimana bandar Kalamazoo melancarkan sebuah program untuk menjadikan pendidikan sebagai sebuah keperluan, Malaysia juga perlu menjelaskan pendirian yang sama.

Sehingga kini terdapat sekurang-kurangnya sebanyak 60 buah universiti di seluruh negara (awam dan swasta). 24 peratus dari 184,581 graduan berjaya untuk mencari pekerjaan. Dengan itu, hanya terdapat 1.65 juta pembayar cukai dari 12.8 juta tenaga kerja dalam negara. Ini adalah kerana hanya terdapat 29 peratus pekerja yang kemahiran tinggi.

Projek-projek seperti pembinaan menara 100 tingkat bukanlah pemacu pembangunan negara. Sebaliknya, peruntukan untuk membina menara 100 tingkat tersebut sepatutnya disalurkan kepada sebuah tabung amanah untuk digunakan oleh para pelajar untuk membiayai penyelidikan mereka dan meluaskan lagi ilmu pengetahuan mereka. PNB, pentadbiran Najib dan juga orang awam sepatutnya mengambil contoh dari para pendera rahsian program Janji di Kalamazoo sebagai usaha kolektif untuk menyediakan harapan kepada para pelajar yang miskin untuk meneruskan pengajian mereka tanpa merisau keadaan kewangan keluarga. Atau adakah kemungkinan untuk pendidikan tinggi yang percuma terlalu mustahil untuk diterima?


Kursus Berbayar berbanding Kursus Percuma Dalam Talian Ivy League

Pada hujung spektrum yang lain, kursus percuma dalam talian atau MOOC (kursus terbuka besar-besaran dalam talian) kini kian tersebar di Amerika Syarikat dan seluruh dunia. MOOC berbeza dengan kursus dalam talian berbayar kerana mereka menggunakan para profesor yang terkenal untuk mengajar secara percuma. Apa yang diperlukan hanyalah sebuah komputer dan sambungan kepada dunia internet. Profesor-profesor ini mengajar kelas-kelas ini tanpa dibayar dengan niat untuk mengajar para pelajar yang bersemangat untuk belajar. Kebanyakan orang terutamanya golongan terpinggir dan miskin tidak mempunyai akses kepada pendidikan yang berkualiti, akan tetapi kursus-kursus MOOC yang ditawarkan secara dalam talian seperti kursus kecerdasan buatan yang dijalankan oleh seorang profesor Stanford telah mendidik kira-kira 23,000 pelajar di seluruh dunia.

Dengan terciptanya dunia internet, para pelajar tidak kira di mana berhubung dengan profesor dan berinteraksi dengan profesor-profesor berkenaan dan para pelajar yang lain. Pada masa yang sama, mereka dididik dengan pendidikan berkualiti dalam cara masing-masing. Walaupun kebanyakan MOOCS tidak mempunyai kredit yang boleh dipindahkan, tetapi sebuah universiti di Amerika Syarikat telah mengambil keputusan untuk menjadikan kredit-kredit MOOCs sebagai kredit yang boleh dipindahkan ke kolej tersebut. Laman sesawang seperti Coursera telah  memasuki ke dalam perkongsian bersama 33 buah universiti termasuklah Berkeley, Princeton, Dukem Caltech, Stanford, John Hopkins dan institut-institut pengajian tinggi yang berprestij untuk menyediakan kelas dalam talian.

MOOC merupakan contoh yang bagus dalam usaha mencapai penyelesaian alternatif kepada pengalaman pendidikan Malaysia di mana ianya memberi peluang kepada para pelajar yang mencari peluang ilmu pengetahuan akan tetapi, akibat kekangan-kekangan yang tertentu, tidak dibenarkan untuk mencari ilmu pengetahuan. Kemungkinan untuk pengajian tinggi yang percuma tiada batas. Syarikat-syarikat seperti Coursera dan Udacity mungkin telah memulakan peluang pendidikan dalam talian percuma, akan tetapi, oleh kerana idea tersebut berjaya meraih pelaburan sebanyak USD$100 juta dari sektor swasta pada tahun 2012 serta sokongan dari syarikat besar seperti Google dan Pearson untuk menjayakan idea tersebut.

Malaysia perlu mengambil perhatian dari MOOC, kerana ianya menyediakan pendidikan yang berkualiti kepada semua pelajar tanpa sekatan-sekatan seperti bebanan hutang pengajian. Sebuah pendidikan yang bagus membawa kepada masa hadapan yang lebih cerah.

Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan (PPP) dilancarkan pada tahun 2012 untuk memastikan hanya graduan 30 peratus terbaik yang akan diambil untuk mengajar. Persoalan yang timbul adalah apakah perbezaan dasar ini dengan dasar sebelum ini yang memastikan 60 peratus kakitangan akademik akan disenjatakan dengan kelayakan PhD atau apa-apa yang setarafnya sebelum tahun 2010? Pihak kerajaan telah gagal untuk memastikan kejayaan polisi tersebut. Polisi baru tidak akan mengubah sesebuah situasi jika pihak legislatif dan para menteri yang melaksanakannya tidak mempelajari dari kesilapan masa dasar-dasar terdahulu. Usaha terbaru kerajaan ini hanya akan memulihkan luka pendarahan dengan penyapuan salap.

PPP mungkin telah siap dan sementara rakyat Malaysia menunggu akan pelancaran rasmi PPP, warga Malaysia sepatutnya mengambil masa untuk berfikir sama ada ianya adalah suatu perkara yang berbaloi untuk menukar rejim kini demi masa hadapan anak-anak kita? Jika ya, maka tiada apa-apa yang menghalang negara ini untuk menukar rejim pendidikan kini.


Penutup Kata

Adakah pengajian tinggi percuma sebuah mitos? Seperti yang telah dibuktikan oleh beberapa negara dan juga beberapa inisiatif swasta, ianya tidak. Ianya telah dibuktikan bahawa jika seseorang itu mempunyai kemahuan untuk mencipta dan mengalu-alukan perubahan, sambil mengetepikan kepentingan tersendiri demi masa hadapan generasi masa hadapan. Adakah ianya murah? Tidak. Adakah rejim pendidikan yang sedia ada lebih murah? Tidak. Adakah ianya satu konsep yang berdaya maju? Kemungkinan ya jika ianya diberikan peluang. Adakah ianya lebih elok dari rejim sedia ada? Ianya terbuka untuk perdebatan. Akan tetapi, adakah ianya sebuah tujuan yang rugi, tidak layak masa dan perhatian kita? Tidak. Pendidikan bukan sahaja untuk para pelajar. Para guru dan juga legislatif dari semasa ke semasa juga perlu dididik semula, bukan sahaja untuk diri sendiri tetapi untuk orang-orang yang mereka mengajar.

Kadangkala perkara yang terbaik tidak percuma. Mereka adalah mahal dan berisiko. Bagaimanakah masyarakat akan maju ke hadapan jika risiko-risiko tersebut tidak diambil? Kerajaan Malaysia dan kementerian pelajararan telahpun dikenali untuk dasar-dasar flip-flop   mereka, namun, konsep pendidikan percuma seakan-akan tidak pernah didengari oleh mereka. Pendidikan percuma seakan-akan topik tabu kepada rejim pendidikan kini. Kementerian kini mahukan para graduan yang berjaya akan tetapi para pelajar dipaksa hanya menggunakan mekanisma yang disediakan oleh kerajaan jika mereka mahu berjaya. Pilihan lain tidak akan dilayani. Kesilapan yang telah dilakukan oleh Kementerian kini adalah mereka mengutamakan keuntungan dan kerugian yang disebabkan oleh pendidikan.

Pengajian tinggi di Malaysia seharusnya dibebaskan dari nilai pasarannya dan digantikan dengan perspektif seorang pendidik atau perspektif seorang ibu bapa. Kedua-dua golongan ini mempunyai naluri semula jadi untuk mahukan yang terbaik untuk anak-anak mereka. Apa yang terbaik untuk anak-anak mereka adalah sebuah pendidikan yang berkualiti yang tidak mendiskriminasi mana-mana kumpulan dalam masyarakat.

Bagaimanakah sebuah masyarakat dan kerajaan hendak menyaingi nilai pasaran sebuah pendidikan dengan pendidikan percuma? Seperti yang ditunjukkan oleh negara-negara seperti Sweden, Chile, Argetina dan lain-lain, ianya terletak di bahu kerajaan. Sepertimana yang ditunjukkan program Janji di Kalamazoo; lebih banyak graduan berkualiti akan membawa kepada lebih banyak tenaga kerja berkemahiran yang akan membuka lebih banyak perniagaan, dan ini pula akan meningkatkan kadar cukai dalam komuniti tersebut dan itu akan membantu masyarakat tersebut secara keseluruhannya.

Untuk mengekalkan ideologi pasaran yang kini sedia ada, pentadbiran Najib terpaksa meningkatkan kadar cukai untuk menjustifikasikan perbelanjaan PTPTN atau mengambil dari sumber lain. Dan untuk meningkatkan kadar cukai tanpa mengungkit kemarahan rakyat Malaysia, pentadbiran Najib perlu meningkatkan jumlah tenaga kerja dalam negara. Untuk mencapai objektif ini, Malaysia perlu meningkatkan jumlah tenaga kerja yang berkemahiran dan bukannya membawa masuk tenaga kerja asing. Akan tetapi, sistem pendidikan yang sudah ada tidak menghasilkan tenaga kerja yang berkemahiran. Sistem pendidikan yang sedia ada sebaliknya menghasilkan para graduan yang tidak berkelayakan kerana pendidikan tidak berkualiti yang tercemar dengan politik, krisis ketetapan, disamping krisis pengesahan. Semua ini adalah kerana pentadbiran Najib takut akan para graduan yang mempunyai pendapat tersendiri (contohnya kes pelajar Bawani).

Lantas, pendidikan percuma mempunyai kemungkinan yang positif melalui mengasingkan sistem pendidikan, badan ketetapan dan perubahan sistem pendidikan Malaysia.

Kerugian yang akan dirasai adalah pada pihak-pihak berkenaan yang tidak akan meraih sebarang keuntungan kewangan dari menyediakan pendidikan percuma kepada para pelajar. Para pelajar yang tidak perlu risau mengenai masalah kewangan hanya akan menumpukan perhatian kepada pelajaran mereka. Pelajar tersebut yang mencari ilmu pengetahuan akan membawa manfaat kepada bukan sahaja mereka sendiri, mereka juga akan membawa manfaat kepada komuniti yang memberikan peluang tersebut kepada mereka.

Sebuah pendidikan yang adil dan berkualiti bererti bukan sahaja menaikkan suatu kumpulan dalam masyarakat, ianya juga bererti semua kumpulan dalam masyarakat akan dinaikkan demi kebaikan sejagat. Ianya merupakan tanggungjawab kepada bukan sahaja para ibu bapa, dan pendidik, akan tetapi, ianya merupakan tanggungjawab para legislatif dan eksekutif untuk memastikan tiada anak-anak yang akan tertinggal dari peluang ini, terutamanya para pelajar dari kawasan luar bandar yang tidak boleh dimasuki oleh sebuah kereta Perodua Kancil. Sebuah pentadbiran yang adil adalah sebuah pentadbiran yang mengambil perhatian kepada pelaburan komuniti dan bukannya seorang Menteri yang menyenaraikan pendidikan pengajian tinggi sebagai sebuah pelaburan intividu.




Ending the Race-Based Politics The Legacy from Tun M to Najib

The political situation in Malaysia under the BN government is like an oil spill and the racial politics is the match the sparks the fire to the oil spil and it burns with no control. It burns and contaminates the air, water and earth untill all living forms drown from its toxic fumes.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir himself acknowledged that Malaysians have racial tendencies. According to Mahathir, those who accuse him of being racist are in fact racist themselves.

Post the bloody riots of 1969, the Malaysian government under the administration of Mahathir had two choices. It was to either continue the divide and conquer policy of the British or unite Malaysian under one agreement: to develop Malaysia together. Yet, Mahathir chose a road that would lead Malaysia into a road of full of twists and turns and a society separated from each other.

The racial politics such as the cowhead incident and call for the death of Pulau Pinang’s Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng have futher separated the ravine between races in Malaysia. The New Economic Policy (NEP) was launched to close that gap amongst the three main ethnic groups in Malaysia; which are the Chinese, Malays and the Indians as well as pulling Malaysians out of the vicious poverty cycle. However, what was achieved by the NEP is the start to the critical separation gap between the races in Malaysia.

As a former Prime Minister that still has major influences over the Malay community, Mahathir utilizes a lot of racial issues to ignite dissatisfaction between the three main ethnic groups in Malaysia. One of the racial issues raised by Dr Mahathir is accusing PAKATAN of using racial politics for their own interests.

So is the statement by him that calls on Malaysians to surrender themselves to accept that Malaysia is a more racist country now than it was back in the day. And the last the last example of the racial issue raised by Mahathir is the statement that some Malays are ever ready to gamble away anything just to gain power and divide the Malays till it makes the Malays weak.

Until today, the racial politics by Mahathir is being continued by the members of UMNO, as can be seen by the statement of the Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin who accused DAP of being a racist and chauvinistic political party for claiming that the public sector is ruined for being monopolized by the Malays. This follows the statement by the DAP Deputy President, Ariffin SM Omar that claimed the issue of corruption will be effectively fought if the public sector is not monopolized by a single ethnic group.

Malaysians will always be reminded of the bloody tragedy of 1969. Shahrizat stated the 1969 tragedy will most probably re-occur if Umno becomes weak and fails to overcome the challenges faced. The Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin raised the 1969 tragedy to say that Malaysians live in peace and wish these peaceful times to continue. Muhyiddin Yassin also said that the opposition has decided to raise dissatisfaction for Malaysians to hate and want to topple the BN government. Najib on the other hand, ordered the controversial film, Tanda Putera to be screened to Felda settlers. Muhyiddin also concurred that the showing of Tanda Putera is appropriate for selected private screenings and not for open screenings.

This is although in 2009, Malaysia with other 141 countries signed the Durban Declaration in which the main objective of the declaration was to put an end to racial tendencies, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. Yet, what is occurring is the direct opposite. Individuals such as Ambiga Sreenevasan have become victims of racial politics by being openly mocked, her personal life invaded and threatened just because she called for a just, free and fair election. Ambiga was also threatened by Member of Parliament (MP) of Sri Gading, Datuk Mohammad Aziz to be hanged till she died, as according to the Sri Gading MP, Ambiga wanted to topple the government.

The BN government used the slogan of “Malay Supremacy” and religion to fish for votes. Former Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi used the concept of Isam Hadhari to fish for non-Muslim vote to convince the non-Bumiputeras that the Bumiputeras and the Islam is moderate and non extremist. On the other hand, Najib used the slogan “1Malaysia” as an effort to convince the non-Bumiputeras that they are not forgotten in developing the nation. In the Malay language media, PAS is always pictured as a slave to DAP. Meanwhile, DAP is pictured as an anti-Malay party. Najib on the other hand described the support to the DAP will be the cause of Islam being oppressed and the votes to PAS will lead to discord.

To list every single statement made by the BN government that is racist will take up more words and paper than what can be written in this writing. The change from a racial political arena is not an easy feat. Even though the Americans have been independent for more than 200 years, it can be seen that the divide between the races particularly post President Obama elected as President shows the worst in American racism. Barack Obama has been accused a Kenyan, an Indonesian, an African Tribal chief, a foreign Muslim, in every sense a man not worthy of being an American President simply because he is not white. This inadvertently    triggered the hidden racial undercurrent of America.

UMNO always picture themselves as the only political party that bring forth any change in this country. But the two strategies applied by the BN government of fear tactics and the mentality of being attacked is no longer effective post 2008. These two strategies have been used by the Bush administration in 2001 to launch the war on Iraq against Saddam and the so called “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. However, as history shown, the use of these two strategies will usually backfire on its master.

Reform and change coveted by Najib are no longer the reform and change wanted by Malaysians. Instead, post 2008, Malaysians see the drive for reform and change through ideas and policies based on justice, equality and transparency. Reform and change that is coveted by Malaysians is the reduction on the emphasis on race and religious extremism and place that focus on merit and effort.


Consequences of Political Games

In America, the choice of Americans to elect an African-American President has brought forth allegations of him neither being a true President nor a true American. And just as in America, race is about power and it is through power that resources are distributed. The use of race is fades out when it is no longer use as fuel to burn the fuel of racism but if used in a certain context, such as the “War on Terror”, it can be used as leverage for revenge.

In South Africa, post apartheid policy, the South Africans whom were oppressed during that period chose to not act on revenge against the former apartheid government. Their decision was seen as a miracle. However, in recent years, South Africa seems to be falling back into its racial tendencies. This follows the South African political party, African National Congress (ANC) just as in the BN government chose to blame everyone else and defend the acts of the party members without any regards to limitations.

If the BN government wishes to continue the police of separation race and religion, hence, Malaysia will fall into the footsteps of South Africa. The South Africa Airline, or SAA, had a problem with the ratio of equal race of aircraft carrier pilots. 85 percent of pilots are white and only 15 percent of pilots are black or other minorities. 19 years after independence, South Africa is still reeling from issues of race, representation and equality. However, in 56 years of Independence, BN in Malaysia is guilty of practicing institutionalized racism.

According to statistics, the income of black South Africans is still lower than the income of white South Africans. ANC just as the BN government is the majority political party and holds the administrative power in South Africa, they too have failed to forward any solutions to the high divide of income between the races in that country. This is clearer in post independence of South Africa where the whites earn manifold while the blacks are still stuck in poverty.

Long term racial politics equate to negative side effects to not only the social aspects, but also the political arena. It brings forth the negative side affects to the economy, particularly the local economy. Until 2011, one third of the one million Malaysians graduates have migrated to overseas in which 88 percent of Malaysians in Singapore are Chinese. Just as the main reason for migration given by migrated Malaysians is the absence of social justice.

Talentcorp was given the mandate to bring home Malaysians from overseas is clear sign of rhetoric’s by Najib’s administration. It is chaired by a Bumiputera and the members of its Board of Trustees are only Bumiputeras. For a body that was given a mandate to bring home Malaysia from oversees that are mainly Chinese, Talentcorp under Najib’s administration is the most significant rhetoric of racial politics in his administration.

The lesson to be taken by the racial politics of Najib’s administration is when the BN government implements policies that are supposedly intended to fix problems of racial politics through invasive policies such as NEP and Talentcorp, it actually encourages racism and not end it. Meanwhile, racism in developed nations such as United States of America displays the failure of the American government to medicate the side effects of racism to the future generation and the children of their children’s future. In the Malaysian context, the BN government has been given a mandate for more than 50 years and the problem of racism has instead spread pervasively everywhere branch of Malaysian society.

Similarly is the political situation in South Africa in which the political party of the Democratic Alliance consists of whites and those with mixed backgrounds and the biggest South African political party consists mainly of blacks South Africans. Just as the political parties in South Africa are based in race, so is the Malaysian political landscape. Old political parties such as the MIC, MCA and UMNO consist of Indians, Chinese and Malays, respectively. The political parties of DAP; PAS and PKR meanwhile, took the decision to expand the membership of their parties to all Malaysians, notwithstanding race and religion.

The race sentiments repetitively played by UMNO in which in 2009, the Minister of Home Affairs, Hishammuddin Hussein defended the cow head demonstrators. And politicians such as Zulkifli Noordin are given the free reign to spew racist statements run parallel to the South African politician that sang “Shoot the Boer”, an anti-white song from the apartheid years.


The Legacy of Dato Onn Jaafar

The yearning to end racial politics is not something new. In 1949, Dato Onn Jaafar suggested this question to the Malays, “It is absolutely vital for the Malays to seek closer ties with others in this country. It is time that we took a wider view than the view of a village. I ask you, which will you choose? Peace or chaos, friendship or hostility?

Then, in June 1951, Dato Onn Jaafar suggested the UMNO membership to be expanded to non Malaysia and be given a new name, “United Malayan National Organisation” to mirror this change. His suggestion was shot down and Dato Onn Jaafar finally could not agree with the racial politics practised by UMNO and chose to leave the party.

Dato Onn Jaafar was a visionary leader. He attempted to encourage the participation of all Malaysians and not just a small group of Malaysians into the development of the country. However, his vision was bulldozed and his dream, denied.

Najib tried the best that he could to be like Dato Onn Jaafar. Various ‘transformations’ were launched. Yet, he could never come close to what Dato Onn Jaafar was as the transformation that was launched by Najib is not a wholesome transformation. The only pride gained from Najib’s transformation is the widely paraded 1Malaysia concept that instead of bridging the divide, it actually expanded the divide between Malaysians.

The call to end the era of racial politics have reverberated throughout the country since the time of Dato Onn Jaafar, however, under the BN administration, this call under the 1Malaysia slogan was reduced to a rhetoric of Najib’s. The practice of racial politics has not only increased the divide between the races in this country, it also became the source of the plummeting quality of education in Malaysia. For example, the quality of education at the University of Malaya has dropped following the entry quotas based on race and political interference in the university management.

Bersih rally gave the impression that the gap between the races may be brought closer if there is a common interest; of free and fair elections. At the other end of the spectrum, post-implementation 1Malaysia slogan, BN chief Teng Chang Yeow acknowledge racial politics have further increased the racial gap in Malaysia.



Malaysia is at a crossroad. Similarly Malaysia is a country with conflicting identity. That is not to forget the clash of the elite world and the general public. The 1Malaysia slogan in its irony that was supposed to bridge the different ethnics in Malaysia, was instead manipulated by the BN government to widen the divide between the races for their own political and power interests. So are the BN government leadership that vociferates the 1Malaysia slogan but introduces themselves according to race first and nationality second.

The NEP legacy is not that it succeeded to reduce the poverty rate and in a way raised the Malaysian economy. However, its’ true legacy is that NEP succeeded to increase the divide between races just as it increased the gap between the rich and the poor. It created a landscape of segregation and separation between class, religion and race.

The unity and transformation under the 1Malaysia slogan is a form of rhetoric that actually hides the ulterior motives. It protects the political interests and the power behind the soul of the people. While the people struggle with the identity forced upon by the BN government under the 1Malaysia slogan with the people’s own identity, racial politics have been forced onto the people to ensure the survival of a political party.

It now lies in the people to end this dirty political game. Racial politics is the fire that destroys everything in its path. Just as water extinguishes fire, unity of the people without any political slogans, with good intent can extinguish the fire of racism. Malaysians have shown their ability to unite without the rhetorical slogan of 1Malaysia.

If Najib is honest in his efforts as a Prime Minister that would also potentially become a former Prime Minister, hence, he should take this opportunity to put a stop to the dirty political games of UMNO that was committed through racial politics. However, that is only a dream that can never happen considering Najib’s past record as Malaysia’s Prime Minister.



Mengakhiri Politik Berasaskan Perkauman Legasi Tun M hingga ke Najib

Keadaan politik Malaysia di bawah kerajaan BN bagaikan tumpahan minyak dan politik perkauman merupakan mancis yang menjadi pencucuh kepada kebakaran yang membara tanpa kawalan tumpahan minyak tersebut. Ianya membakar dan meracuni udara, air dan bumi sehingga semua kehidupan berhampiran lemas dalam asap kebakaran tersebut.

Bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Mahathir sendiri mengakui bahawa rakyat Malaysia bersifat perkauman. Menurut beliau, mereka yang menuduh beliau sebagai bersifat perkauman sendiri bersifat perkauman kerana menuduh beliau sebagai bersifat perkauman.[1]

Pasca rusuhan berdarah tahun 1969, kerajaan Malaysia pada ketika itu di bawah pentadbiran Mahathir mempunyai dua pilihan. Sama ada terus meneruskan dasar memecah belah Britsh atau menyatu padukan rakyat di bawah satu persetujuan: iaitu memajukan Malaysia bersama-sama. Namun, Mahathir memilih jalan yang akan membawa Malaysia ke jalan yang penuh liku dan masyarakat yang terpisah dari satu sama lain.

Politik perkauman seperti insiden kepala lembu dan seruan bagi kematian Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng melebarkan lagi jurang antara kaum-kaum di Malaysia. Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) dilancarkan untuk mengurangkan jurang pendapatan antara tiga kaum utama Malaysia; iaitu Cina, India dan Melayu di samping untuk mengeluarkan rakyat Malaysia dari kitaran kemiskinan. Namun, apa yang telah dicapai oleh DEB adalah permulaan kepada jurang pemisahan kritikal antara kaum-kaum di Malaysia.

Sebagai seorang bekas Perdana Menteri yang masih mempunyai pengaruh besar ke atas masyarakat Melayu, Mahathir banyak menggunakan isu perkauman bagi memulakan perasaan tidak puas hati antara tiga kaum utama di Malaysia. Antara isu perkauman yang dikemukakan oleh Mahathir adalah menuduh Pakatan Pembangkang menggunakan politik perkauman bagi kepentingan mereka.[2]

Begitu juga kenyataan beliau yang menyeru rakyat Malaysia merelakan diri untuk menerima bahawa Malaysia merupakan negara yang lebih bersifat perkauman dari masa dahulu[3]. Dan contoh terakhir isu perkauman yang diutarakan oleh Mahathir adalah kenyataan bahawa sesetengah Melayu bersedia untuk memperjudikan apa sahaja untuk memperoleh kuasa dan memecahbelahkan kaum Melayu sehingga ianya menjadikan mereka lemah.[4]

Sehingga kini, pendirian politik perkauman Mahathir diteruskan oleh ahli-ahli parti UMNO, contohnya kenyataan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Muhyiddin Yassin yang menuduh DAP sebagai sebuah parti politik bersifat perkauman dan cauvinis kerana mendakwa sektor awam sebagai rosak kerana dimonopoli oleh kaum Melayu sahaja. Ini juga berikutan kenyataan Timbalan Presiden DAP, Ariffin SM Omar yang menyatakan masalah rasuah akan dibanteras dengan efektif dari sektor awam jika ianya tidak dimonopoli oleh satu kaum sahaja.[5]

Rakyat Malaysia sentiasa diingatkan mengenai insiden berdarah pada tahun 1969. Shahrizat mengutarakan kenyataan tragedi 1969 mempunyai kemungkinan untuk berulang jika Umno menjadi lemah dan gagal mengatasi cabaran-cabaran yang dihadapi.[6] Timbalan Perdana Menteri mengungkit tragedi 1969 dengan menyatakan rakyat hidup dalam aman dan mahukan keadaan itu berterusan. Akan tetapi, pembangkang mengambil pendekatan untuk mencetuskan keadaan tidak puas hati supaya rakyat membenci dan menumbangkan kerajaan BN.[7] Najib pula mengarahkan penunjukan filem kontroversi Tanda Putera kepada warga Felda. Muhyiddin pula menyetujui bahawa penunjukkan filem Tanda Putera hanyalah bersesuaian untuk tayangan persendirian dan bukannya tayangan awam.[8]

Ini adalah walapun pada tahun 2009, Malaysia bersama-sama 141 negara lain menghadiri Deklarasi Durban di mana tujuan utama deklarasi tersebut adalah untuk menamatkan perkauman, diskriminasi perkauman, xenofobia dan sikap tidak bertoleransi. Namun apa yang berlaku kini adalah sealiknya. Individu seperti Ambiga Sreenevasan menjadi mangsa politik perkauman dengan dicaci, kehidupan peribadi dicerobohi serta diugut hanya kerana memanggil untuk pilihanraya adil adil dan saksama. Ambiga juga telah diugut oleh Ahli Parlimen Sri Gading, Datuk Mohammad Aziz supaya digantung sampai mati kerana menurut Ahli Parlimen Sri Gading, Ambiga mahu menggulingkan kerajaan.[9]

Kerajaan BN menggunakan dasar “Ketuanan Melayu” dan agama bagi memancing undian. Bekas Perdana Menteri Abdullah Badawi menggunakan konsep Islam Hadhari bagi memancing undi bukan Islam untuk meyakini bukan Bumiputera bahawa Bumiputera dan agama Islam adalah bersederhana dan tidak bersifat melampau. Manakala Najib pula menggunakan slogan “1Malaysia” sebagai usaha meyakinkan bukan Bumiputera bahawa mereka tidak ketinggalan dalam pembangunan negara. Di akhbar Melayu, PAS sering digambarkan sebagai hamba DAP.  Manakala DAP sering digambarkan sebagai parti yang anti-Melayu. Najib pula menyifatkan sokongan kepada DAP akan menjadi punca Islam ditindas dan undian terhadap PAS akan membawa kepada perpecahan.[10]

Untuk menyenaraikan setiap kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh kerajaan BN  yang bersifat perkauman akan mengambil jumlah perkataan dan kertas yang lebih banyak dari apa yang ditulis dalam penulisan ini. Perubahan arus dari arena politik bersifat perkauman bukanlah suatu perkara yang mudah. Walaupun Amerika Syarikat telah merdeka lebih dari 200 tahun, jurang perkauman terutamanya pasca Presiden Obama dilantik sebagai Presiden negara tersebut telah menunjukkan terburuk dalam perkauman Amerika. Barack Obama telah dituduh Kenya, seorang Indonesia, seorang ketua puak Afrika, Islam asing, dalam erti seorang lelaki yang tidak layak menjadi Presiden Amerika Syarikat semata-mata kerana dia tidak putih. Ini secara tidak sengaja mencetuskan arus perkauman yang tersembunyi Amerika.

UMNO sering menggambarkan dirinya sebagai satu-satunya parti politk yang boleh membawa sebarang perubahan dalam negara ini. Namun dua strategi[11] yang digunakan oleh kerajaan BN iaitu menakut-nakutkan rakyat dan mentaliti “diserang” tidak lagi berkesan pasca tahun 2008. Dua strategi ini telah digunakan oleh kerajaan Bush pada tahun 2001 untuk melancarkan peperangan di negara Iraq dan apa yang dikatakan sebagai membanteras “Senjata Pemusnah Besar-besaran”. Namun, akhirnya seperti yang dapat dilihat oleh sejarah, penggunaan dua strategi ini akhirnya memakan diri si pengguna.

Pembaharuan dan perubahan yang begitu didambakan oleh Najib bukan lagi pembaharuan dan perubahan yang diingini oleh rakyat Malaysia. Sebaliknya, rakyat Malaysia pasca tahun 2008 melihatkan keinginan rakyat untuk pembaharuan dan perubahan melalui idea dan dasar yang berteraskan keadilan, kesaksamaan dan ketelusan. Pembaharuan dan perubahan yang didambakan oleh rakyat Malaysia adalah pengurangan penekanan dalam bangsa dan agama[12] dan meletakkan fokus kepada merit dan usaha.


Permainan Politik Membawa Padah

Di Amerika Syarikat, pemilihan rakyat Amerika untuk melantik seorang Presiden yang berbangsa Afrika-Amerika telah membawa kepada dakwaan beliau bukanlah seorang presiden sebenar dan dakwaan beliau juga bukan seorang warga Amerika.[13] Seperti di Amerika juga, perkauman adalah mengenai kuasa, dan ia adalah melalui kuasa bahawa sumber-sumber yang diedarkan. Penggunaan bangsa akan pudar apabila ia tidak lagi digunakan sebagai bahan api untuk membakar api perkauman tetapi jika digunakan dalam konteks tertentu, seperti “Perang di Keganasan”, ia boleh digunakan sebagai pengaruh untuk membalas dendam.[14]

Di Afrika Selatan, pasca perubahan dari dasar aparteid melihatkan rakyat yang ditindas mengambil keputusan untuk tidak membalas dendam kepada bekas kerajaan yang menindas mereka merupakan suatu keputusan yang dikatakan sebagai keajaiban. Namun, beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini, Afrika Selatan kembali jatuh kepada dasar perkauman. Ini berikutan parti politik Afrika Selatan (African National Congress atau ANC) seperti kerajaan BN mengambil langkah untuk menyalahkan orang lain dan mempertahankan tindakan ahli parti tersebut tanpa batas.[15]

Jika kerajaan BN ingin meneruskan usaha pemisahan bangsa dan agama, maka Malaysia akan terus menjejaki langkah negara Afrika Selatan. Syarikat penerbangan Afrika Selatan[16], iaitu South Africa Airlines mengalami masalah nisbah antara kaum pilot kapal terbang yang tidak stabil. 85 peratus pilot penerbangan berkulit putih manakala hanya 15 peratus pilot penerbangan berkulit hitam atau berbangsa lain. Sembilan belas tahun selepas merdeka, Afrika Selatan masih merasai tekanan dari isu-isu kaum, perwakilan dan kesaksamaan.

Menurut kajian, hasil pendapatan kaum kulit hitam masih jauh lebih rendah dari hasil pendapatan yang diraih oleh kaum putih di Afrika Selatan. ANC seperti kerajaan BN merupakan parti poltik majoriti dan memegang kuasa pentadbiran di Afrika Selatan telah gagal untuk mengutarakan sebarang penyelesaian kepada jurang pendapatan yang tinggi antara kaum di negara tersebut. Ini kelihatan lebih jelas pasca kemerdekaan Afrika Selatan di mana hasil pendapatan kaum putih berlipat ganda sementara kaum hitam masih berada dalam kemiskinan.[17]

Poltik perkauman berpanjangan memberi kesan negatif kepada bukan sahaja sosial dan arena politik. Ianya juga memberi kesan negatif kepada ekonomi, terutamanya ekonomi tempatan. Sehingga tahun 2011, satu pertiga dari satu juta rakyat Malaysia yang mempunyai pendidikan tertiari telah berpindah ke luar negara di mana 88 peratus rakyat Malaysia yang berada di Singapura adalah dari kaum Cina.[18] Begitu juga sebab utama yang diberikan oleh rakyat Malaysia yang memilih untuk pindah ke luar negara adalah kerana ketiadaan keadilan sosial.

Talentcorp yang telah diberi tanggungjawab untuk membawa pulang rakyat Malaysia dari luar negara merupakan retorik jelas pentadbiran Najib. Ianya dipengerusikan oleh seorang bumiputera dan Lembaga Pemegang Amanahnya dianggotai oleh kaum bumiputera sahaja. Bagi sebuah badan yang diberi mandat untuk membawa pulang rakyat Malaysia dari luar negara di mana kebanyakannya terdiri dari kaum Cina, Talentcorp di bawah pentadbiran Najib merupakan suatu retorik paling nyata dalam politik perkauman pentadbiran beliau.

Pengajaran yang boleh diambil oleh dasar-dasar politik perkauman pentadbiran Najib adalah apabila kerajaan BN melaksanakan dasar yang kononnya bertujuan untuk memperbaiki masalah politik perkauman melalui perundangan invasif seperti NEP dan Talentcorp, ianya sebenarnya menggalakkan sifat perkauman dan bukannya mengakhirinya.[19] Manakala masalah perkauman di negara maju seperti Amerika Syarikat memaparkan bahawa walaupun negara tersebut telah merdeka lebih dari 200 tahun, akan tetapi kegagalan kerajaan untuk mengubati kesan-kesan perkauman membawa kesan negatif kepada generasi masa depan dan masa depan anak-anak generasi depan.[20] Dalam konteks Malaysia, kerajaan BN telah diberi mandat lebih dari 50 tahun, akan tetapi, masalah perkauman kian menular di bawah kerajaan BN.

Begitu juga keadaan politik di Afrika Selatan. Parti politic Democratic Alliance terdiri dari kaum kulit putih dan mereka yang mempunyai latar belakang bercampur manakala parti politik terbesar Afrika Selatan, ANC pula terdiri dari kaum kulit hitam. Sepertimana parti politik di Afrika Selatan adalah berteraskan perkauman, begitu juga di Malaysia. Parti politik lama seperti MIC, MCA dan UMNO sehingga kini hanya dianggotai oleh kaum India, Cina dan Melayu masing-masing. Parti politik DAP, PAS dan PKR pula mengambil keputusan untuk meluaskan lagi keahlian kepada semua bangsa dan agama untuk menyertai parti-parti tersebut.

Sentimen perkauman sentiasa dimainkan oleh UMNO di mana pada tahun 2009,[21] Menteri Dalam Negeri, Hishammuddin Hussein mempertahankan tindakan sekumpulan pembantah yang membantah menggunakan kepada lembu. Manakala ahli politik seperti Zulkifli Noordin yang diberikan kebebasan untuk mengeluarkan kenyataan bersifat perkauman juga didapati selari dengan ahli politik Afrika Selatan yang menyanyikan lagi :”Shoot the Boer” sebuah lagu yang anti-kulit putih dari zaman aparteid[22] .


Legasi Dato Onn Jaafar

Hasrat untuk mengakhiri politk perkauman bukanlah suatu perkara yang baru. Pada tahun 1949, Dato Onn Jaafar mengutarakan persoalan ini kepada kaum Melayu, “Ia adalah benar-benar penting bagi orang Melayu untuk mendapatkan hubungan lebih erat bersama orang lain di negara ini. Ia adalah masanya untuk kita mengambil pandangan yang lebih luas daripada pandangan kampung. Saya meminta anda, manakah anda akan memilih? Keamanan atau huru-hara, persahabatan atau perseteruan”?[23]

Kemudian pada Jun 1951, Dato Onn Jaafar mencadangkan untuk keahlian UMNO diperluaskan kepada bukan Melayu dan diberi nama baru iaitu “United Malayan National Organisation” bagi mencerminkan perubahan ini. Cadangannya telah ditolak dan akhirnya Dato Onn Jaafar kerana tidak lagi dapat bersetuju dengan politik perkauman UMNO memilih untuk meninggalkan parti tersebut.

Dato Onn Jaafar merupakan seorang yang berwawasan jauh. Beliau cuba sedaya upaya untuk menggalakkan penyertaan semua rakyat Malaysia dan bukannya sebahagian saja rakyat Malaysia ke dalam pembangunan negara. Namun, wawasan beliau ditolak dan akhirnya impian beliau gagal dikecapi.

Najib cuba sedaya yang mungkin untuk menjadi seperti Dato Onn Jaafar. Pelbagai ‘transformasi’ yang telah dilancarkannya. Namun, Najib tidak akan sekali-kali menjadi seperti Dato Onn Jaafar kerana transforamsi yang kononnya dilaksanakan oleh Najib bukanlah sebuah transformasi menyeluruh. Satu-satunya kebanggan dari transformasi Najib adalah konsep 1Malaysia yang dibangga-banggakan oleh Najib disebalik ianya merapatkan jurang antara kaum dalam Malaysia, sebaliknya ia mengembangkan lagi jarak jurang tersebut.

Panggilan untuk mengakhiri politik perkauman bergema ke seluruh negara sejak zaman Dato Onn Jaafar, namun, di bawah kerajaan BN yang mengamalkannya, slogan 1Malaysia hanyalah sebuah retorik Najib. Amalan politik perkauman bukan sahaja menjarakkan lagi jurang antara kaum dalam negara, ianya juga punca kepada kejatuhan kualiti pendidikan dalam negara. Misalnya, kualiti penidikan di Univerisiti Malaya telah jatuh berikutan kuota kemasukan berdasarkan kaum dan campurtangan politik ke dalam pengurusan univerisiti tersebut.[24]

Perhimpunan Bersih telah memberi gambaran bahawa jurang antara kaum boleh didekatkan jika ada suatu kepentingan yang sama; iaitu pilihan raya bebas dan adil. Pada satu hujung spektrum, pasca pelaksanaan slogan 1Malaysia, Ketua BN Pulau Pinang, Teng Chang Yeow mengakui politik perkauman menjarakkan lagi jurang perkauman di Malaysia.[25]


Penutup Kata

Malaysia berada di persimpangan. Begitu juga, Malaysia suatu negara yang mempunyai identiti bercanggah. Tidak melupakan pertembungan antara dunia elit dan dunia awam. Slogan 1Malaysia secara ironinya sepatutnya melambangkan perpaduan antara kaum, akan tetapi ianya sebenarnya digunakan oleh kerajaan BN untuk meluaskan jurang akan kaum demi kepentingan politik dan kuasa mereka. Begitu juga pucuk pimpinan kerajaan BN yang melaung-laungkan slogan 1Malaysia akan tetapi mereka menperkenalkan diri mereka kepada dunia sebagai kaum pertama dan kewarganegaraan kedua.

Legasi NEP adalah bukanlah ianya berjaya mengurangkan kadar kemiskinan dalam negara dan menaikkan taraf ekonomi negara. Akan tetapi, legasi sebenar NEP adalah ianya menjarakkan jurang antara kaum sepertimana ianya menjarakkan jurang antara kaya dan miskin. Ianya telah mewujudkan sebuah landskap pengasingan dan pemisahan antara kelas, agama dan kaum.

Perpaduan atau transformasi di bawah slogan 1Malaysia merupakan suatu bentuk retorik yang sebenarnya menyembunyikan udang di sebalik batu. Ianya melindungi kepentingan politik dan kuasa di sebalik jiwa rakyat. Sementara rakyat sedang bergelut dengan identiti yang dipaksa oleh kerajaan BN di bawah slogan 1Malaysia dengan identiti sendiri yang mahu dicapai, politik perkauman pula sedang ditikam menusuk ke dalam rakyat demi menjamin kemandirian parti politik.

Kini ianya terpulang kepada rakyat untuk mengakhiri permainan politik kotor ini. Politik perkauman merupakan kebakaran yang menghancur setiap perkara yang berada dalam laluannya. Sepertimana air merupakan pemadam api, perpaduan rakyat tanpa slogan politik, secara murni merupakan pemadam api perkauman. Rakyat Malaysia telah menunjukkan kebolehan untuk bersatu padu tanpa slogan retorik 1Malaysia.

Jika Najib jujur dalam usahanya sebagai Perdana Menteri yang mungkin bakal bekas Perdana Menteri maka, beliau seharusnya mengambil peluang ini untuk memberhentikan permainan politik kotor UMNO melalui permainan politik perkauman. Namun, itu hanyalah sebuah impian yang tidak mungkin berlaku memandangkan rekod Najib sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia.


[1] MI, Dr M Calls All Malaysians ‘Racists’, 22 Februari 2012,

[2] Asia Sentinel,  Mahathir Fans Fear of Racial Politics, 12 Mei 2010,

[3] Malaysian Reserve, Malaysian Politics Is Based On Race, Says Mahathir, 29 Jun 2012,

[4] MI, Mahathir: Malays In Dilemma Over Defence Of Own Race,  12 Februari 2011,

[5] The Star, Muhyiddin: DAP A Racist Party, 19 Disember 2012,

[6] Mkini, Muhyiddin Dismisses May 13 Remark, But Warns Of Chaos, 29 November 2012,

[7] BHarian, Pembangkang guna pendekatan supaya rakyat benci BN: Muhyiddin, 24 November 2011,

[8] Mkini, DPM: Okay To Show Tanda Putera Behind Closed Doors, 15 Mac 2013,

[9] Keadilan Daily, Bersih: Penarikan tanpa mohon maaf hina Ambiga dan rakyat, 28 Jun 2012,

[10] The Star, Najib: Vote Barisan For A Far Better Future, 24 Februari 2013,

[11] MI, Ending Race-Based Politics ― Ooi Kok Hin, 24 Oktober 2012,

[12] ibid

[13] The Nation, What Race Has to Do With It, 22 Oktober 2012,

[14] ibid

[15] Al Jazeera, Re-Racialising South Africa’s Politics. 23 September 2011,

[16] BBC, Does Race Still Matter In South Africa?, 29 Ogos 2012,

[17] BBC, Does Race Still Matter In South Africa?, 29 Ogos 2012,

[18] MI, Malaysia’s brain drain getting worse, says World Bank, 28 Ogos 2011,

[19] DM, The Expectations Gap: Race Relations And Naïvete In South Africa, 20 November 2012,

[20] ibid

[21] Sin Chew, Hisham Defends Cow-Head Protestors, 2 September 2009,

[22] World News, Killings Of White Farmers Highlight Toxic Apartheid Legacy In South Africa, 30 November 2012,

[23] MalaysianBar, The Rebel In Onn Jaafar, 18 Jun 2007,

[25] MI, Malaysians more racial after 2008 polls, says Penang BN chief, 3 Jun 2012,

KPRU predicts PAKATAN will retain as Selangor Government

Think tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) foresees that Pakatan Rakyat (PAKATAN) will remain as the Selangor state government post 13th General Election (GE13) and win more seats as compared to GE12. 35 state assembly (DUN) seats were won by PAKATAN in GE12. There are 56 DUN seats in Selangor and Barisan Nasional (BN) holds 21 of those seats. The gap between PAKATAN and BN are only 14 seats. If BN won an additional 8 seats, they will retake Selangor. The other nine seats held by PAKATAN are won by a difference of a mere 1000 votes.

KPRU believes that BN will face difficulties in winning even though BN has launched a series of election campaigns and gave multiple election promises during the GE13 in order to win back votes in Selangor. Yet, in a survey conducted by Universiti Selangor (Unisel), it can be seen that 61.4 percent of the respondants believe PAKATAN will remain as the Selangor government as opposed to the other 38.6 percent of respondents that believe that BN will retake back the Selangor government

On the other hand,KPRU also believes that the only one factor that will lead to the loss of PAKATAN in remaining as the Selangor state government is the suspicious increase in registered voters. There is an increase of Selangor voters between 2008 and 2012 of 441,375 voters or a 28.2 percent increase. This increase is enough for BN to retake back the Selangor government. Hence, eligible voters and observers of the voting process are pertinent in ensuring PAKATAN will retain its seat as the PAKATAN lead Selangor government.

KPRU also weighs in several other factors before coming to such a conclusion. These other factors include the reputation of the KEADILAN Menteri Besar candidate, excellent financial management, and the abolishment of water privatisation in proving that the voters’ choice is PAKATAN. This is of course apart from the unusual increase in registered voters. Meanwhile, BN has still failed in its attempts to regain the support from the Malaysian voters. Hence, it is with these considerations, KPRU comes to the conclusion that PAKATAN, will remain as the administrative authority in Selangor.

Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is known as an honest and clean man. This is contradictory to the infamous former Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo whom is known for his “Khir Toyo Palace” worth RM24 million. Khalid Ibrahim’s image is of a pragmatic, clean, honest and people-centric person. Under the guidance of Khalid Ibrahim, the Selangor government has allocated RM600 million to launch the Localising the Selangor Economy (MES) policy in order to protect the welfare of the Selangor citizens. This includes the Free Water Supply, Selangor Microcredit Schem (SkimSel), Children’s University Entrance Gift,  Selangor Child Heritage Fund (Tawas), the Golden Age Friendly Scheme, People’s Tuition Centre, Urban Microcredit Scheme (MiMBAR), Selangor Kindergarten Assistance Scheme (TUNAS) and the People’s Care Assistance Scheme (SiKembar) in which it was done not to affect the State Consolidated Fund. In fact, the funds in the State Consolidated Fund have actually increased.

According to the Unisel survey, the Selangor Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim is well respected by 63.1 percent from the 1,015 respondants in Selangor. During his tenure as a Menteri Besar, he used his knowledge from his experience in the corporate world by using the cash and assets to repay the Talam Corporation’s debt of RM392 million through Menteri Besar Incorporated in order to save the money of the people from being spent  in vain by corporations and the BN government.

On the end of the spectrum, in BN’s corner, we have Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, whom as a Prime Minister is accused of being involved in the infamous submarine scandal. A tainted leader reflects a tainted party.

Excellent financial management

Post PAKATAN taking over as the Selangor state government, the Selangor state have adopted the concept of “Value For Money” or “the value is worth the money spent”. This includes setting the tender based on the size of the project as well as the lowest bidder available for each project to ensure that public money is used is worth every single cent. This means  that for each project, notwithstanding the size, including the projects worth less than RM20,000, the tenders will awarded through open tender. Under this policy, Local Authorities (PBT) will call upon three to five contractors, to allow then to offer their tenders and in the end the PBT will appoint the lowest bidder.

Not only have that, an oversight system for Government Link Companies (GLC) has also been established. The Selangor state prescribes that each GLCs must present five financial reports each month for audit and evaluation. This is to ensure that there are no fraud occurring.

As opposed to the BN administration which is based on secrecy, PAKATAN deploys a transparent management. It has been the practice of BN to directly award projects to contractors minus the open tender. Thus, under this BN business culture, companies have to go through rigorous obstacles to build relationships with relevant officers to reach an agreement to be awarded governmental contracts.

Instead, PAKATAN prioritizes the open tender practice in which all qualified contractors can compete fairly to be awarded a governmental contract. PAKATAN’s method has curtailed the culture of corruption and brings back faith of investors in Selangor.

Under this transparent business culture, the state of Selangor have attracted investments as much as RM48 billion within the five years of administration and also recorded the highest investment worth in Malaysia.

Other than that, according to the 2011 Auditor General’s Report, the financial state of the Selangor state government was classified as “favourable”. At the end of 31st December 2011, it has been recorded that the Selangor state government have experienced an increase in the the balances of the Consolidated Fund worth RM1.944 billion. The amount is an increase of RM357.13 million as opposed to RM1.58 billion in 2010.

In 2012, the Selangor state also recorded the highest potential for employment opportunities of 18,975 employment opportunities. From the percentage aspect, Selangor state recorded an increase of 31 percent of the employment opportunities in the entire country.

Fair and just allocations to all types of schools

The PAKATAN lead Selangor state government are very concerned about the education of the people in which they provide a fair and equitable allocation to schools of multiple streams. From 2009 to 2013, the Selangor state government have allocated as much as RM105 million and this has benefited schools of all types, included the Chinese schools (SJKC), the Tamil schools (SJKT) as well as the religious schools (SRA).

The allocation under the Selangor state government for education is carried out systematically. The average allocated received by the SJKC, SJKT and the SRA are worth RM160 million a year. The SJKCs and the SRAs each receive the allocation of RM60 million a year and the SJKTs receive an allocation of RM40 million a year. Not only that, private Chinese schools each also receive RM500, 000 a year.

As opposed to the BN policies in defending the single school stream, PAKATAN has shown that it respects the concept of multiple school streams. Under the 55 year rule of the BN administration, the BN government has created a single systematic system to fund schools of different streams, causing the SJKCs and the SJKTs to always face issues with the facilities provided as well as incomplete and old equipment, lack of teachers and etcetera. This have in turn caused the decrease of 55 SJKCs as well as 134 SJKTS in the past 55 years.

In the absence of a systematic allocation system, the allocations of the SJKCs and the SJKTs have long become the toy to fish votes for BN in the GE. In the 15th April, the Interim Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin asserted that schools of different streams will not be left behind under the BN administration, in which according to him, if the BN wins the GE13, allocations for the SJKCs and the SJKTs will be put in the 2013 Budget. Muhyiddins’ speech has been criticized as a tactic to fish for votes for the GE. It has also proved that BN has never prioritized the status of different streams of schools in this country’s education. Also to be noted is that the recent BN manifesto offered the SJKTs to become fully fledged government-aided schools. However, the offers in the BN manifesto sidelines the problems of the insufficient number of SJKTs schools to accommodate the ever increasing number of students.

Apart of the aid given to the primary schools, the Selangor state government does not forget to prioritize the education in the higher education sector. According to the 2011 Auditor General’s report, the academic performance of the students of Universiti Selangor (Unisel) owned by the Selangor state government finds that the academic performance from the years of 2009 to 2010 as satisfying.

The statistic shows that the number of students obtaining the First Class Degree has risen to 154 students in 2010 from 75 students in 2009.

Also the number of students obtaining the Second Upper Class Degree in 2010 has also risen to 2,121 students from 1,020 students in 2009.

Meanwhile, the number of registered students has also increased as much as 1.5 percent in 2011 from 2010.

Although the Selangor state is only one state in entire Malaysia, but the policies implemented are closely related to the offers in the PAKATAN’s manifesto. As one judges the performance of the Selangor state government, one can picture the state of the country post PAKATAN taking over the administration of the federal government.

Abolishing the Privatisation Policy of Water Resources

Policy of privatization of natural resources such as electricity, roads, telecommunications, transportation and water resources began with former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad. Mahathir used the excuse of helping Bumiputeras as rationalization for the privatization policy, because according to him, privatisation will develop the trade industry of the Bumiputeras. The result is the natural resources are monopolized by elite Bumiputeras and enriching certain quarters. This forces the people to shoulder the payments to use natural resources such as water which is actually free.

The PAKATAN lead Selangor state government have launched the 20 cubic meter of free water policy three months after taking control of the Selangor state administration. For the Selangor people using individual meters, the cost of 20 cubic meters free water will be automatically subtracted. For low cost flats, they will enjoy free water through the Free Water Rebate Scheme (Safwa). According to the survey conducted by Unisel, 91 percent of the respondents support the free water initiative.

Post implementation of this policy, the water usage rate of Selangor has in fact experienced a decrease. According to the Selangor Water Monitoring Committee Report, it is found that for each usage of 35 cube meters of each connection in 2007, the water usage have decrease as much as 32.8 cubic meters for the same connection in 2011. This proves that the free water initiative has educated the people in planning their water usage to avoid indirect wastage.

The Selangor BN realizes the success of the 20 cubic meter free water initiative has added to the growing changing perception towards privatization. The people also realized that water is a natual source which can be freely shared. Hence, Selangor BN is taking claimed that the PAKATAN lead Selangor government stole the idea from the Selangor BN’s manifesto.

However, the free water initiative is only the first step to break the privatization policy. The main objective of the Selangor state government is to end the privatisation of water sources in Selangor. Hence, the Selangor state government have made offers worth RM9.65 billion to begin the take over of the water concession companies that provide water to Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.

These water concession companies include Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Abass Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor Holding (Splash).

Implementation of the restructuring of the water services industry means that 5 million people in Selangor will be paying RM2000 respectively. Thus, the state government has decided to divide the profits after taking over water concession companies.

This is the main objective of PAKATAN, in which it differs from the privatization logic implemented by BN.  After five years of PAKATAN administering the Selangor state, the people have begun to believe that the policies of ending the privatization can be realised and it will benefit the welfare of the Selangor state people.

According to the Unisel survey, 62.6 percent of respondents favour the decision of the Selangor state government to take over Syabas.

Closing Words

The PAKATAN lead Selangor government is a state government, it does not enjoy huge resources provided by the federal government. In the past several years, it has played a role as a successful state government. All the initiatives and policies are designated for the welfare and benefit of the people. It differs from BN’s attitude of usually toying with their responsibilities. The controversial installation of high power cable that has been haunting the residents Rawang for 8 years, was finally settled under the administration PAKATAN and efforts of the Rawang residents has forced the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to propose an alternative route is also a good example to highlight weaknesses in the ability of BN.

In the event that PAKATAN does lose in the GE13 directly after the prediction by KPRU, the only logical reason for that situation is that it is caused by the unusual rise in registered voters. New registered voters in the state between 2008 and 2012 has increased by 441.375 people or 28.2 per cent, thus, it is a threat to the PAKATAN lead Selangor state government. For BN that thrives in dirty politics, the unusual rise in registered voters can be seen as another chess play by BN to stop PAKATAN from retaining its powers in Selangor. Hence, eligible voters and those who oversee the voting process are crucial to end BN’s dirty political culture.

Najib adalah punca kejadian Kolej Universiti Selatan

Selepas Presiden Kolej Universiti Selatan meminta maaf secara terbuka atas insiden, dua orang gadis yang didakwa telah dicabul sewaktu majlis makan malam bersama Perana Menteri, badan pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) menggesa pihak yang menjadi punca berlakunya dakwaan ini, iaitu Perdana Menteri Sementara, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak supaya memikul bertanggungjawab sepenuhnya ke atas kejadian ini dan meminta maaf secara terbuka kepada keseluruhan pelajar di Kolej Universiti Selatan.

Sehingga kini, Najib masih gagal untuk memberikan sebarang tindak balas mengenai insiden ini serta masih tidak memberikan penjelasan kepada orang ramai.

Presiden Kolej Universiti Selatan Thock Kiah Wah menghadapi tekanan daripada para pelajar, beliau telah mengambil keputusan untuk meminta maaf secara terbuka atas kejadian insiden dua orang gadis yang didakwa telah dicabul sewaktu majlis makan malam bersama Perana Menteri. Namun begitu, beliau tidak meminta maaf atas kemasukan politik ke dalam Universiti tersebut.

KPRU mempercayai bahawa Pengerusi Barisan Nasional (BN)Najib harus bertanggungjawab untuk insiden ini. Beliau dijemput untuk melawat Kolej Universiti Selatan sebagai seorang Perdana Menteri Sementara, namun kedatangan beliau diikuti oleh penyokong BN yang melambai bendera BN. Walaupun ini adalah suatu majlis pecah tanah bagi pembinaan sebuah kampus baru, akan tetapi, Najib sebenarnya membawa niat untuk merayu undian dalam menghadiri majlis ini.

KPRU menyatakan bahawa sejak Najib menjejakkan langkah ke Kolej Universiti Selatan, segala yang berlaku di sekolah tersebut berkaitan dengan Pilihan Raya Umum (PRU). Walaupun pihak Universiti Selatan menegaskan program ini tidak berkaitan dengan politik dan kempen PRU, namun, dalam tempoh kempen yang penting ini, program ini sebenarnya memberi Najib satu platform untuk merayu demi undi kepada calon Barisan Nasional di Johor.

Najib menghadirkan diri di sebuah institusi pengajian tinggi (IPT) di Skudai, Johor bagi merasmikan suatu majlis pecah tanah untuk kampus barunya. Ini juga telah mewujudkan dakwaan bahawa pihak Universiti disyaki  memotong bekalan tenaga elektrik kepada asrama dan menggunakan cara mendaftar nama untuk memaksa para pelajar menghadiri suatu majlis makan malan bersama Perdana Menteri.

Selepas itu, jurucakap pihak Universiti memberi penjelasan secara bertulis menjelaskan bahawa pihak Universiti tidak pernah memotong bekalan tenaga elektrik kepada asrama mahupun menggunakan cara mendaftar nama untuk memaksa para pelajar. Pihak Universti menegaskan program ini tidak berkaitan dengan politik dan kempen pilihanraya, oleh itu, Pihak Universiti berharap pelajar boleh mencuri masa untuk menyambut seorang tetamu bagi menghadiri majlis makan malam itu.

Pihak Universiti menjelaskan bahawa terdapat sedikit perselisihan fahaman dengan para pelajar akibat berlakunya kesilapan komunikasi antara Pihak Universiti dengan para pelajar.

KPRU berpendapat, walaupun Kolej Universiti Selatan telah mengisytiharkan dalam notis bahawa majlis ini tidak berkaitan dengan politik, namun, ketika Najib memberikan ucapan di pentas, beliau menyeru para hadirin untuk menyokong Menteri Besar Johor Abdul Ghani di Gelang Patah. Beliau turut mengumumkan kerusi Parlimen Gelang Patah akan dipulang semula kepada MCA selepas 5 tahun. Nescaya, semua ini adalah sebuah makan malam baur kempen PRU dan tindakan merayu undi.

KPRU menegaskan bahawa di bawah kerajaan Barisan Nasional, permainan ‘politik’ di IPT adalah satu perkara yang berat sebelah. Pelajar dipaksa untuk mengambil bahagian dalam pelbagai aktiviti yang berkaitan dengan parti pentadbir negara dan menerima mesej politik daripada parti yang mentadbir, akan tetapi jika aktiviti itu melibatkan pembangkang atau pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) seperti Bersih, pelajar akan menerima penindasan dan hukuman daripada pihak IPT .

“Satu video klip yang tersebar pada awal tahun melibatkan sebuah forum basuh otak (brainwash) di Universiti Utara Malaysia adalah satu contoh yang terbaik. IPT melalui cara mendaftar nama telah mewajibkan pelajar menghadiri satu forum yang tidak membenarkan perbahasan yang objektif.”

Selain itu, bulan Jun 2012, Najib melawat kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman. Seramai 3,000 pelajar digalakkan memakai baju berwarna merah, iaitu warna tradisional UMNO dan mengambil banner  “I love Najib”, berdiri di pintu sekolah dalam hujan bagi menyambut kedatangan Najib. Pelajar-pelajar pada hari tersebut  tidak dibenarkan memakai pakaian kurning yang dikaitkan dengan badan bukan kerajaan, Bersih.

Lantas, pada hari sebelum Najib melawat Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman, Najib berjumpa dengan sekumpulan pelajar Universiti Melaya (UM). Salah seorang pelajar merupakan seorang pelajar bidang pengurusan Sukan yang memakai pakaian Bersih di dalam dan dipadankan dengan hitam kot, untuk menyertai program “Dialog Perdana Menteri dengan Pemuda kaum Cina”. Pelajar  akhirnya dibawa ke Balai Polis Lembah Pantai.

KPRU percaya, dunia politik adalah bidang yang mudah dan boleh membuat perbincangan secara terbuka. Namun melihatkan kepada contoh di atas, Barisan Nasional sudah lama menyekat pelajar dengan cara kekerasan. Oleh itu, sekiranya pihak Universiti Kolej Selatan mempercayai sebuah majlis pecah tanah yang diadakan dalam tempoh kempen PRU dan menjemput Perdana Menteri sebagai tetamu majlis makan malam yang tidak berkaitan dengan politik, ini hanya menunjukkan pihak Universiti benar-benar tidak memahami cara BN yang menggunakan IPT sebagai salah satu cara mencapai kepentingan politik mereka.