Co-President Gan Ping Sieu on Education Minister's Statement Linking the Matriculation Intake Quota with Language Job Requirement
Saturday, May 18, 2019

Education Minister Maszlee Malik should not conflate the issue of matriculation intake quota with language job requirements. These are two distinct issues. The former is about the merits of the 90:10 quota system. The latter is about language requirement in the job market.

As an Education Minister, Maszlee should understand that language is a job skill. It is market forces which determine if a person is employable. Language requirement is just one skill set. Knowing a particular language alone doesn't guarantee one a job, just as not knowing that language doesn't necessarily deny one of a job.

Maszlee is treading on thin ice by conflating the issues, both of which not only contain racial elements but can be emotionally charged. At a time when we need lower the political temperature, it is unnecessary to issue statements that can heighten sentiments. As a group that promotes moderation, we take a strong stand against words or deeds that will worsen race relations in this country.

In fact, as Education Minister, he ought to play a key role in fostering unity starting from schools. There is no need to take cheap political shots which are divisive. Instead, the Minister can look into preparing our graduates to be more employable, including arming them with skills sets that meet modern day job requirements.


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