PETALING JAYA: Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (pic) has come under growing criticism for linking the matriculation quota system with the unequal job opportunities for bumiputras in the private sector.
MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker said companies in Malaysia, irrespective of ownership, hire talents that are best equipped to improve the company’s performance.
“Is Mandarin the primary qualification for all industries throughout the private sector ... Or is Dr Maszlee confusing Malaysia with China or Taiwan?” he asked.
Ti said if there were any inadequacies or disadvantages among Malaysian graduates in the job market, then the minister should suggest remedies to better equip students.
He said Maszlee was “still stuck in the old mindset of race and is a disappointment to the expectations of educational reform in a new Malaysia”.
Ti added that corporations do not discriminate based on ethnicity but hire based on marketability and profitability.
“There’s always and already in existence the policies and bumiputra quota to protect the intake of bumiputras.
“We should not hinder competition and growth by creating unnecessary political rhetoric and prejudices thus affecting the growth of business,” he said.
Ti said employment must fit business requirements, adding that Maszlee should insist on helping non-Chinese to learn more languages to make them more competitive instead of coming up with policies that may “spoil or stunt” their growth.
Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) co-president Gan Ping Sieu said issues surrounding the matriculation intake quota were distinct from language requirements for jobs.
“As Education Minister, Dr Maszlee should understand that language is a job skill.
“It is market forces that determine if a person is employable. Knowing a particular language alone doesn’t guarantee one a job – just as not knowing that language doesn’t necessarily deny one a job,” Gan said.
His comments came about following reports which quoted Maszlee as saying that some companies required job applicants to have knowledge of Mandarin.
Maszlee, who was addressing a question-and-answer session in Universiti Sains Malaysia last Thursday, had reportedly said that if Malaysians do not want the quota system, then job opportunities should not be denied to bumiputras.
Maszlee had also claimed that some companies required job applicants to have knowledge of Mandarin.
Gan said it was unnecessary for Maszlee to issue statements that can heighten sentiments when it was a time to “lower the political temperature”.