THE Public Service Department (PSD) scholarship ratio of 55:45 for bumiputras to non-bumiputras will not be changed to suit populist sentiments, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said.
He said the PSD introduced the quota scheme last year in which scholarships were given to deserving students regardless of the income level of their parents.
However, he said the criteria for bumiputra students should not be relaxed just to satisfy the notion that the Malays and bumiputras were accorded special rights under the Constitution.
“The 55:45 ratio is good enough, which we have practised all this while,” said Nazri.
“The bumiputra ratio will not go below 50%.
“Whether this ratio should also follow changes in population trend will be studied later on,” he said in winding up the debate on the Supplementary Supply Bill on behalf of his ministry at the committee stage.
Nazri said the Constitution did not state any form of ratio on rights and privileges, in this case scholarships, that should be given to bumiputras and other races.
“It also did not mean that applicants with excellent results should be deprived of scholarships just because they come from wealthy families.
“Otherwise, we will lose them to other countries like Singapore, which regarded them as assets,” he added.
Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) advised the Government to stay within the course of the primary objective of the rights accorded to bumiputras.
“The objective of the bumiputra rights stated in the Constitution is to achieve a level playing field in the development of human capital among the different races.
“But don’t compromise this right for bumiputras just to win hearts,” he said.