GEORGE TOWN: Penang MCA wants Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik to retract his remarks connecting bumiputra employment in the private sector to the matriculation quota.
Its chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng (pic) said a chain reaction has ensued following Dr Maszlee's justification in retaining the matriculation intake quota on the misguided belief that job opportunities in the private sector are denied to bumiputra on the basis of language.
"This has led to further misunderstanding and polarisation between all ethic groups.
"It is only apt if he (Dr Maszlee) publicly apologises, withdraws his remarks and resigns in order to calm the storm he has raised," Tan said in a statement on Monday (May 20).
Tan said Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Asma Ismail was quoted in a news report defending Dr Maszlee, saying that the Education Minister should be praised as "education and job opportunities are connected to each other".
In the report, Dr Asma was also quoted saying that Dr Maszlee's "statement should be considered positively and sincerely in context without firing up racial sentiment".
"We agree with Dr Asma that education is an important mechanism for increasing the marketability of future talent.
"We also recognise that for most low-income bumiputra as well all communities, education provides a window of hope," he said.
"It is important to ensure that economic distribution is fair and balanced.
"However, to rationalise keeping the quota system by linking it with employment opportunities for bumiputra is unwise," Tan added.
He said the issue would persist if the Cabinet did not take Dr Maszlee's remarks seriously, admonish him or instruct Dr Maszlee to retract his remarks.
"As the Education Minister, Dr Maszlee is in a better position to comprehend the needs of the country and cultivate talents.
"However, after his appointment as Education Minister, he proposed unrealistic policies and the ultimate task of raising education standards in Malaysia is nowhere near undertaken.
"Instead, his policies will put non-bumiputra graduates at a disadvantage," Tan said.