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Make it official, retract call for merit-based system, MCA tells DAP

The BN component party says DAP must clearly state that it is no longer opposed to the quota system for the Malays and Bumiputeras.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Students gather for a discussion in a hall at a university in Serdang, Selangor, in this file picture.
Students gather for a discussion in a hall at a university in Serdang, Selangor, in this file picture.

MCA has upped the ante in a series of statements highlighting DAP's policy U-turns since partnering with Umno in the federal government, following Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's recent statement that the current quota system for Bumiputera students to enter public universities would be continued. 

MCA vice-president Ti Lian Ker said this was against DAP's opposition to the quota system, as well as the division of citizens into "Bumiputera" and "non-Bumiputera".

Congratulating DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng for the change of stance, Ti said the party's support for the quota system was in stark contrast to its stand under his predecessor and father Lim Kit Siang, who had consistently called for a merit-based system.

He also urged Guan Eng to make it official by retracting the party's past stand and "completely erasing their demands to show that they now realise that they have been wrong all this time in their actions".

"A clear message needs to be sent to DAP supporters that after being with the unity government, they have come to their senses and repented," Ti said.

Speaking at a gathering with students of Universiti Utara Malaysia last week, Anwar said the quota system would be continued in favour of Malay and Bumiputera students, adding that without it, there would be an imbalance of Malay students in certain fields. 

It was the latest in a series of statements by the prime minister to woo Malay support ahead of crucial elections in six states next month.

Anwar, who has been on a nationwide tour to meet students and civil servants, had put up a strong defence of DAP in front of largely Malay audiences, saying ministers from the party had never questioned government programmes to help the Malays.

Ti said Anwar's announcement reflected the position of the Cabinet which included DAP leaders. 

He said what was needed now was a clear retraction of DAP's past opposition to the quota system.

"This is very much welcome and necessary to ease the tension and ethnic polarisation that has become more apparent and worrying at the grassroots level ever since DAP came to power, because of the gap between those who succumb to DAP's incitement and those who oppose its struggle. 

"DAP must clearly and sincerely state that they agree with the Bumiputera quota as well as 'maintaining (the) Bumiputera' (policy), as a clear message to their supporters so that any opposition to the policy should not continue and be a threat to the peace," Ti added.