Bersara MARA

Considering the significance of MARA’s scholarship/loan evaluation and selection process of viable students and enforcement policies and execution after perusing its list of defaulters published in the newspapers every now and again.

MARA

Every once in a while I notice that MARA (Majlis Amanah Rakyat) prints a list in our local newspapers of students they gave study loans or scholarships to. The list is not a roll call of their best students and their achievements like those published by the private colleges and universities in our country. It is not a list of honour. It is MARA’s list of shame. That list it prints comprises those defaulting students who have not paid for their study loans or scholarships that MARA knows about.

Of interest is the racial composition of that list – at least 95% of those on the list are Malays who comprise 60% of the Malaysian population. The other 5% are made up of the Chinese, Indian, various groups of the Orang Asli of East and West Malaysia that collectively comprise 35-38% of our population.

That composition could mean one of two things: It could mean that most of the loans and scholarships given by MARA are to the Malays up to a total of 95% of the benefits given and the non-Malays a meager 5%; or it could mean that scholarships are given equitably (whatever that MARA criteria imposes) as between the Malay and non-Malay students but the Malay students are on average worse at paying back their loans.

If the former, then it means MARA has betrayed its namesake by skewing the bulk of its resources towards the Malays – it says rakyat, not melayu, not bumiputera (translation: sons of the earth. It also means that MARA’s operational policy is in flagrant breach of Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution which provides as follows:

“Except as expressly authorised by this Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment.”

If the latter, then it means many Malay students that MARA assists are from an economic perspective poor investments where education is concerned.

I know that some loans MARA gives out are convertible into a full scholarship if the student obtains an upper second or a first class honours at their respective universities; if, however, they score lower second-class honours and below, the students would have to repay the loan.

Interestingly, if you look at the very bottom of the list, that portion with a black background, it sets out the conditions for qualifying for the reduction of the loan/scholarship amount. One of two conditions is that the student must have lulus pengajian di bawah tajaan MARA (translation: they must complete their course). This means some of those listed did not even finish or failed their course. MARA conveniently and regrettably does not mention which of those students wasted that precious educational opportunity so miserably. They also do not mention which of them obtained a lower grade than was expected of them.

In either case, the list is a damning indictment of MARA’s reckless scholarship/loan evaluation and selection process of viable students skewed towards the Malays and enforcement policies and execution. That is on top of the betrayal of its namesake I mentioned earlier.

Spending money on a student has to be undertaken like any other business deal – there must be a return of investment. Where scholarships and loans funded by government are concerned, the return of investment is in their ability to contribute to the country after they have completed their studies or completed development of their skills. This contribution can be in the form of economic, artistic, psychological, emotional constructive activity, which if allowed to develop to their full potential would benefit the rakyat and in time the country.

That means MARA should be only be spending our painfully paid taxes on students that have reasonable potential for contributing positively to the country. Not any and every Ali, Abu and Ahmad no matter how poor their educational potential. That means MARA should have a sensible process in place to evaluate the students worthy of financial assistance or educational sponsorship. This process should not be purely based on educational grades but health, psychological and emotional considerations as well because these factors can affect the student’s and the nation’s future potential.

To spend money on students who do not satisfy these basic criteria would be a waste of the rakyat’s money because there would be no constructive activity from them. Worse, they would be an expensive drag on society because that opportunity to develop someone more deserving would have been lost. It is for this reason that civilized countries direct a lot of their societal resources towards the development of their better students because that translates to a better future.

That MARA often publishes their list of defaulters shows that its evaluation and selection process is a failure. They have spent the rakyat’s money wastefully. In the New Straits Times on 31 January 2010, they printed two pages with 600 names. If we take a grossly conservative estimate of RM 40,000.00 per student for their entire tertiary education including living expenses (which I don’t know and have just plucked that figure from the air), that list of defaulters would amount RM 24 million. So in that list alone we may have not lost just that RM 24 million but the opportunity of properly investing it. And that is just 600 students. How many more defaulters there are? What is the true cost of MARA’s negligence?

We don’t know because MARA doesn’t tell us and the government does not either. It is understandable because the Board of MARA should resign after they do so. That is the least they can do for their abject failure if not betrayal in best developing and nurturing our youth’s educational endeavours with the resources at their disposal.

MARA is also an utter failure because we so often read (in the local newspapers) of Malaysians, mostly non-Malays, deserving of a scholarship or at very least a loan to pursue their dreams who are denied it. In their place, MARA threw away that opportunity to some mediocre Malays. Well, I do not doubt that MARA may have sponsored some good students (be it Malay or not), would not be at all surprised if the bulk of them were utterly mediocre.

MARA should publish a list of all the students they award loans and scholarships to every year along with the universities they are going to, the courses they intend to do and what honours those students graduate with. We the rakyat have the right to know because that is our money that they are spending, nay, investing. I also wonder whether MARA has done a survey on firstly, the underperformance of those students so measures can be taken to avoid wasting resources on them, and secondly a survey of where those MARA students have ended to see how they fared. That should be published too because this is about being accountable for the resources they have at their disposal.

The list is also lacking in terms of details about how long that failure to pay the loan/scholarships have existed. There is a limitation period of 6 years for MARA to initiate legal action failing which the former students can raise the complete defence of limitation against the claim. This is provided for under section 6(1) of the Limitation Act 1953.

I mention this because if you turn to the bottom of the list again, you will notice that the other qualifying condition for a reduction in the loan/scholarship is that the bantuan pinjaman yang ditawarkan pada 01.01.1985 dan keatas kecuali bagi pengajian di peringkat Sarjana dan PhD di bawah Skim Pinjaman Terbuka (SPT) mulai 01.01.1998. What this translate to is that MARA is making claims for loans/scholarship repayments from as early as 1985 i.e. 25 years ago, and as early as 1998 i.e. 12 years ago, for those under the Open Loan Scheme. Again there is no indication which of those students fall in either of this categories in the list.

It is fair to infer from this that MARA has merely listed those defaulters that it cannot legally claim from any longer in the hope that they will now settle their dues by shaming them. It can also be inferred that MARA has been negligent in ensuring repayment of those loans to the tune of millions. The rakyat’s millions. MARA has forgotten that its duty is not just to give loans and scholarships to mostly the Malays. It’s duty is to the rakyat – each and every Malaysian regardless of race – and to make sure those loans/scholarships are repaid.

An investigation should be launched into why MARA failed to take proactive measures to enforce those loans and scholarships before the limitation period sets in.

If that is not bad enough, the second part to the notice at the bottom contains this:

Peminjam yang tidak disenaraikan di atas tetapi masih belum membuat sebarang pembayaran balik pinjaman pelajaran/biasiswa dan pinjaman komputer pelajar MARA, adalah dikehendaki menghubungi Bahagian Kawalan Kredit MARA seperti alamat dan nombor telefon/faks seperti di atas.

(Translation: Borrowers that are not listed above but have not made any repayment of their study loan/scholarship and MARA student computer loans, are required to contact the MARA Credit Control Department at the address and telephone/fax numbers above.)

A reasonable inference from this is that MARA does not even have a complete list of their defaulters. Otherwise, why not list them? If they had them, why list some and not others? Further, does MARA really think these people will willingly contact them to settle their dues? They avoided and kept quiet in the first place. There is now even less incentive for them to do so now since limitation may have set in and MARA does not even know who they are.

MARA in English means “The Council of Public Trust”. The list has demonstrated that MARA has failed the public and cannot be trusted to manage and nurture our youth’s educational development. MARA has been negligent in wasting the taxpayer’s money by failing to enforce the repayment of scholarships and loans. And this is just one important area MARA is engaged in.

They may be the Council of Public Trust but I would not trust MARA with our youth, never mind our money and our country’s future.

Maybe it’s time for MARA to bersara (retire).

(Disclosure: I was a recipient of a loan from MARA (for my second and third year undergraduate law program) that was convertible to a full scholarship if I graduated with upper second class honours. I was fortunate enough with such honours.)


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Fahri Azzat practices the dark arts of the law. Although he enjoys writing and reading, he doesn't enjoy writing his own little biographies of himself. Like this one. He wished somebody else would do it for him. He has little taste in writing about himself in third person. He feels weird doing it. But the part he finds most tedious is having to pad up the lack of his accomplishments, or share some interesting facts about his rather uneventful life, as if there were some who found that oh-so-interesting; as if he were some famous person, like Michael Jackson. When he writes these biographies, the thought, 'Wei, Jangan Perasaan- ah!' lights up in his head. So he usually just lists what he got involved with, positions he held and blah, blah. But this time. Right here. Right this very moment. Uhuh. This one. This one right here. He's finally telling it like it is.

Posted on 16 February 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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58 Responses to Bersara MARA

  1. Mikey as Mikey

    1scholarship – please. or how about affordable quality education?

    It is world renowned that only the scums and dregs of humanity drift towards Government jobs – K.P. Varan –

    GOOD! WELL DONE! WORLD CLASS MENTALITY! Malaysia need more K.P.Varan.

    What if nobody want to work with Government? Corporatized everything?

    My suggestion:

    1. Improve education system.

    2. Affordable quality education.

    2. 1scholarship, send our best (be it Malay, Chinese, Indian, and all 'bumiputera') to best university, and ask them to serve in govt. sector after that, as practised by our lovely but kiasu neighbour.

  2. K.P. VARAN

    What has MARA achieved as the end result. Most of its graduands numbering over 150,000 apparently are not able to find suitable jobs in the private sector. No one wants them. The Government may be able to help out with some sedentary non brain usage jobs in the Civil service. It is world renowned that only the scums and dregs of humanity drift towards Government jobs. Public Funds wasted. Human beings in Distress. Is that all that has been acieved in the overall.

  3. DingDong

    Im not sure what r the scholar/loan schemes for MARA now but during my time there are 2 types.Skim Pelajar Cemerlang (SPC) and convertible education loan (1st class 100%/2nd Upper 75%/2nd Lower 50%).SPC is a full scholar not repayable but the receiver must come back and report to MARA KL upon completion.Convertible loans are for tertiary studies local & abroad but the biggest chunk goes to local MARA link institutions e.g UITM,KYPM,Kolej Mara,Giat Mara etc.So please do not assume that all MARA recipients are creme de la creme..Some Mat Rempits do get them.Even commercial banks have non performing loans (NPL) so loan default is not a unique case to MARA only.Mismanagement of funds happens in every govt agencies.I bet my balls govt servants in ASEAN countries (exc Red Dot)are just as corrupted as our civil servants in Malaysia.Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.

    My solution is simple.Out with the NEP in with the NEM.Let the non bumis have access to everything that the bumis can.It makes no different with NEP or no NEP.Difference is only Bumi students getting Education loans and house discounts.If the instability happens ok what.At least the pro affirmative actions clique can say I told U so.No hal la if a few wankers get chop n fed 2 d dogs.Good riddance.All I want to know before this new meribasi ala Spore is what will happen to all the Bumis after high school which will definitely be bottom of the meritocracy list?

    Im sure the Pekida,Kongsi and crimial underworld will set up their own PTPTN.Maybe after 20 years will c ghettos and slumps popping out just like the blacks in US/Brazil/Spain but full of bumis.Hahahahaha..What a sight..I hope they name one of the kampung as Kampung Meritokrasi!

    Why is the Chinese CCC controlling 80% of the economy?Why is the bumi getting all the education assistance?Why is the Tamil playing both ends?Why the East Malaysians treated like Indons?Worse off for non bumis East Malaysians?Ha2.

    I say chill la..Tread the middle path..Not too PR or BN in expressing opinion/ideas/views..SPM results is out.This issue will be played again in medias.Why my son got 9A+ dun get skolar aa?He studied very hard d but still dun get..U racist la JPA/Mara all BN fault..Personally I think aa ur son dialect during interview and his comm skills are poor la thats y fail aunty.Idea is there but failed conveying la.During the group debate maybe ur anak tunjuk terer la..try to put others look loser..Berlagak bagus la senang cite..Bukan lu punya anak solang la tala lapat itu Skole la..Masa saya punya time aa bdk MRSM straight A manyak wo..Itu MRSM Jasin Taiping PC pun sudah tapau habis semua skole kalau ikut meritokrasi..Saya punya kwn2 aa CGPA 3.5 and above pun masuk ITM saja woo.Ada limit every MRSM/SBP/Sekolah2 elit SMK/Sekolah Cina/India.Talak nampak pun bapak dia punya muka bising ali2 dalam paper..

  4. Loyarburokloyarbaru.

    Melayu mudah lupa….yg lupa bayar hutang…ingat makbapak dia punya duit….., yg lupa asal-usul…liberal kunun (termasukla nko si Fahri oii)! Aku tengok nkorang kutuk mengutuk ni aku gelak je…tapi ada org len tu tengok ni suma, tengok kita bertelagah sama sendiri (yg kat sini ni perkara kecik je)lagi besar gelak diaaa….Bawak-bawak la sedar sikit…jgn mudah lupa!

  5. the original chinese

    ABC, why don;t you write it yourself?

  6. ABC

    Fahri

    Hope you can write about what good do Chinese schools bring to this country except polarising children since young.

    • ABC, the whole Chinese school issue requires an extensive essay by itself. I disagree that they have been polarising children 'since young'. I do agree that Chinese schools do not encourage nation building but I do not think that they played a major influence in polarising our young. It is our national education policy that has. And is it not interesting that some Malay families these days send their children to Chinese schools? And the other interesting thing is this – I do not read reports of Malay students in Chinese schools being discriminated or bullied, etc. Just a thought.

  7. Mann Sann

    This is almost similar to 'Allah beri kita otak, tapi kita gunakan otak kita untuk melawan Allah'. MARA is like any other institution that is not perfect. Siapa yang perfect sekarang ini. DAP? PKR? PAS? UMNO?. UN?. Tak ada siapa yng perfect sekarang ini, atau pada bila-bila masa pon. Yang sempurna hanyalah Allah SWT. Tetapi kita masih mencari kesempurnaan yang dihajatkan oleh manusia yang tidak sempurna. Dunia ini diibaratkan saperti besi dan akhirat itu saperti emas. Orang yang pandai akan mencari emas. Orang yang mati kafir akan masok neraka. Kalau ia kaya, dan nak tebus dengan kekayaan dia untuk keluar dari neraka, Allah tidak akan terima. Marilah kita cari ilmu yang berguna. Ilmu yang berguna ialah ilmu yang mendekatkan kita kepada Allah. Kalau kita belajar di-Harvard atau MIT atau Oxford, tetapi tidak dekat dengan Allah SWT. ilmu yang kita belajar itu tidak berguna. Waallahu aalam.

  8. It is interesting how people often bring this Article in defence.

    Article 153 (2) of the Federal Constitution:

    (2) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, ……, the Yang di- Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions ……. as may be necessary to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government …….”

    What MOST people ignore is the word "…he may deem reasonable..". In law this means HRH needs to be reasonable in the objective sense. Fahri Azzat was suggesting that it is NOT reasonable to give loan/scholarship (note that loan is not mentioned in 153(2)) to those underserving. For example, if a bumiputra could get a scholarship with an University then there should be no problem getting the same from MARA as this is an objective assessment. It is common ground, that lowering the standard in order to give scholarship would be viewed as an unreasonable act. The law does not say what will happen if his HRH or his agents (MARA) acted unreasonably but in the long run, this will not help the next generation of deserving students as MARA does not have unlimited funds and neither do I condone using my taxes in an unreasonable way.

  9. Clarity

    I really wanted to know what happened to all the students who are sponsored by MARA. Perhaps, on top of printing out list of names for those who did not pay. Issue newsletters or magazine twice a year with all the information about Top Achievers, those who converted their loans into scholarships, how they are doing in life, how many drop outs…

  10. Lass

    Why does most of the students failed to pay back their loans? Are they really incapable or pretending it never happened? Shouldn't there be a guarantor in case the student could not manage to pay?

    Don't you think it's a little unfair to those students who did pay back their loans? Why won't everyone just go ahead and forget about it, since most people don't pay anyway?

    If they do not even know what is the opposite of 'Borrow'. Then they probably shouldn't go to university.

  11. Ben

    By picking all the top 3 students from every school should be more than enough to fill up the list of students qualified for scholarships.

  12. zam zam

    I hate to say this, but most of the time here in Malaysia, kulitfication is more important than qualification. It is saddening to smell racism among the commentators: Melayu Celup, non-malays…Does it matter? Are we all not Malaysians?

  13. Quicksilver

    Great article, I agreed with most of your points. it is true that MARA should have better management of their funds. And actions should be taken to keep track of all the students who are given loans before. Set a criteria to ensure not just any nondescript Ahmad, Ah Beng or A/L Bala can get a scholarship. The whole idea is to upgrade potential students or at least decent by certain standards, because these are the people whom we expect to contribute to the progress and economics of our country in the future…

    The race factor should not be a determinant for a students qualification. It is the public fund, and therefore ALL Malaysians is qualified as long as criterias are met.

  14. TheSleepyOne

    Hello Ding Dong,

    I've copied and pasted an article from the Star newspaper regarding MARA's spending ethics. Enjoy :)

    Thursday October 22, 2009

    RM42,320 for a laptop

    By YENG AI CHUN

    KUALA LUMPUR: Who in their right mind would pay RM42,320 for a laptop?

    Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi Mara Balik Pulau in Penang not only paid the price but bought two units of the same brand – Acer Aspire-5052ANWXMI, at a whopping price of RM84,640, said the Auditor-General’s Report.

    In addition, the college purchased 450 units of computer CAD with network card at RM3.45mil for 12 labs. Each 19-inch monitor costs RM8,500 while a 17-inch monitor costs RM7,500.

    “A check with local companies showed that the market price for the latest model is between RM5,350 to RM6,500 each. Worse still the computers, Precision 390 Dell, that were supplied are no longer in the market,” it said.

    Also purchased were 15 laser printers, Hewlet Packard P3005X, at the price of RM7,722 each when the market price was about RM5,000 per unit.

    In reply, Mara said the equipment were purchased in a lump sump and there was no price breakdown for the laptops.

    The price breakdown was only done after the equipment was supplied for the purpose assets record and it could not be used as a basis for reference.

    “Nevertheless, Mara has created a task force and is conducting a price adjustment for all the equipment,” it said.

    The report also stated that the college had paid between RM1,398 and RM2,945 for 204 teaching manuals.

    “Checks found that the teaching manuals supplied were bound using comb binding. The teaching manuals obtained at a cost of RM358,476 is a waste because they were never used,” it said, adding that the supplier has been notified to provide the original version of the teaching manual in hard cover.

    Mara also spent RM2.08mil buying computer software it didn’t need.

    Audits also found many discrepancies in prices paid for the same equipment, including the same LCD projectors that costs RM3,500 and RM8,000 for two different laboratories.

    “Swivel stools were also purchased at three different prices – RM340, RM350 and RM450 per unit and they did not even meet the agreed specifications in the agreement.

    “Other swivel chairs were bought for between RM810 to RM1,050 per unit when the college had bought the same chair previously at RM336 per unit,” it said.

    The report also stated that the German-Malaysian Institute which was picked as the consultant, had proposed a ceiling price of RM84.5mil for the purchase of equipment for the college while the Economic Planing Unit (EPU) fixed the price at RM127.65mil.

    “The reason for the higher price was to speed up the process of obtaining the supplies. In the end the agreed contract was fixed at RM112.42mil. Mara had submitted a letter to the Finance Ministry to say that the figure was reasonable.

    “Audit found that the agreed price for the purchase of equipment is not reasonable. This is because the approach taken by Mara did not fufill the criteria set by the Finance Ministry, which is to negotiate for the lowest price possible.

  15. Bro, it would appear that to some people, understanding an issue or issues, no matter how well expressed they are, is a terrible challenge. I am glad that you manage to deal with them. I must confess that I do not have your virtue in that respect.

    It is interesting that article 153 was raised. And I note with glee that as usual, the word "position" in that article quickly morphs into the word "rights". And gone are the words "natives of Sabah and Sarawak" leaving the word "Malay" hanging alone like a big sloth trying to pee from a short tree.

    To all the readers and commentators, I have attempted in my own Melayu tulin way – I am not a Melayu celup because the last time I checked, my parents, grandparents and their parents are all Malays – to explain what article 153 is all about. It can be found here : http://art-harun.blogspot.com/2009/06/visiting-ma

    That was my take on article 153 based on the provisions of the Federal Constitution. I am not a politician. Nor am I an activist with agendas of any sort. I am also not anti-Malay or pro-non-Malays.

    Cheers.

    ps Great article Fahri.

  16. DingDong

    Hi,

    For those who never bothered to listen to what the Sejarah Teacher tot us during high school on MARA read this wiki link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majlis_Amanah_Rakyat

    1st n foremost MARA was created to help BUMIPUTERAS in economic and educational activities.So definitely 95% of its loan receivers are bumis.I know that many non bumis loath every time they hear the name of MARA..To some MARA is a racist organisation..They approve loans according to skin colour and to make it worst undeserving applicants were granted loans due to cable [email protected] dun want to write a chong hei so please read this link to further understand the real purpose of MARA in NEP as planned by the policy makers back then:

    http://satdthinks.blogspot.com/2010/02/new-shoes….

    MARA's objective was met.Many succesful Malays inc my family earning about RM250K p.a.Dun start talking crap that most MARA students are losers and only a few managed to be good in what they do.

    If the implementation was better, NEP could have finished in the turn of 90s and so does MARA.But thanks to corrupt politicians,civil servants and Chinese Tycoons lobbying from Chinese Chambers of Commerce the NEP failed to cross the finish line.Look at the reality of Malaysia.Go see the corporate world,private companies and Gov agencies & GLC..There is a clear segregation..The Malays are still the majority of poor people in Malaysia..Y?Its due to implementation and weak political will..Too many people holding grudges against each other padahal we are one family born by different parents..

    I noticed that in modern countries the society is based on class.Rich,middle & poor.The rich pay high tax @40-50% income and middle @20-30% income.The rich and the middle support the poor regardless of skin colour.Everybody has food on the table everyday.From cradle to grave as they say.No bloody riot for years.Demo bit here and there to push for a cause or voicing dissatisfaction.

    My point is Malaysian policy makers should look at this system in detail.Can it work in Malaysia?.With a strong political will and co operation from all communities I reckon its not impossible to satisfy all Malaysians.The poor regardless of race will be uplifted bit by bit into the middle class..The rich will continue to be rich but the income gap will not grow but steadily becomes acceptable(improved Gini coefficient).

    Malays is split 50-50 in this issue.To continue with NEP or not.If not, does the New Economic Model will benefit the majority or will it benefit the minority.Attacking without facts on sensitive issues will make the NEP supporters holding tighter to their believes that if the Malays lose political power then the Chinese will run the country since the economy is under the Chinese Chambers of Commerce tycoons(CCC).Kesian Cina and India miskin x pasal2 kena just bcz a few selfish apek CCC and some Malay & Indians wankers wants to have all of the economy cake.

    FYI, for the non malays who believes that they are the most contributors in term of taxes in Malaysia please don't speak using the small hole that everybody has.For years 40-60% of Revenue comes from the various taxes paid by Petronas.Look at parliment hansard when Teresa Kok asked what is the breakdown of tax paid by races in Malaysia.Look at the yearly published tax payments made by Petronas.If u cross check u will find that Malaysian economy is driven by Petronas' profit.How did Petronas managed to maintain relatively low operating cost year in year out?Its because the Malays in Pet earn 1/5 of what they could earn in other MNCs.The Malays in Pet sacrificed their standard of living so that Malaysia has more funds for development.

    Next biggest contributor is the GLCs mainly Malays as well.The remaining is the blue chip companies and personal income tax.People always quote what TDM said during his political speeches.For godsake, why suddenly things that favor non malays they swallow it raw.The Malays contribute the most in Malaysian economy but only gets a small piece of the equity.Its impossible to say a workforce of 15 million contribute lesser than a workforce of 6 million in terms of working hours which is the basic unit of cost. So to those closet racist who thinks that their race is superior than others think again.

    People like -Godflesh on 16 February, 2010 at 6:26 pm- are the real reason why pro NEP are becoming much more aggressive.You talk crap,look down on them,make them feel insecure and belittle them..Good job trying to turn them over to the moderate side.stupid.U think u doing the rest of race a favor?Go emigrate la and join me working in a foreign country..Hahahahaha..Better maa..In the end money makes the world spin..LoL..

  17. ServiceB4Self

    Jahannam:

    Apologies accepted.

    I only read MARA's enabling statute and my interpretation of that statute is the MARA was formed to assist the bumiputeras only. We all have our respective opinion on this and it is best that we all agree to disagree.

    I also disagree that we should balk in asking those in power to be accountable. In reality everyone is accountable for their actions whether here on earth or in the afterlife. It is just that those in power are more accountable to others especially when one is responsible in managing the rakyat's assets.FYI, I have no fear in demanding those in power to be accountable, it is just the manner of my demand will always be based on sound facts and reasons and not just based on one's prejudice and floating rumours. Afterall, I am accountable for my allegations too!

  18. picththetent

    oh come on.

    disgustingly debte on this.

    malaysialack o fund.enough said.

    wanna some more, scumbags?

  19. Jahannam

    ServiceB4Self,

    I am sorry for the allegations that I made against you. But I am with Fahri on his views that MARA is supposed to be made for all races, regardless of his incomplete or wrong facts. If MARA's objective is to help a certain race, then don't call it Majlis AMANAH RAKYAT.

    You talk a lot about accountability. It's easy to ask someone who has no power to be accountable of their words. But try go to the powers that be and ask them to be accountable of their actions. You dare?

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  21. ServiceB4Self

    Fahri: Thanks for pointing out to Jahannam not to make allegations that Jahannam have no knowledge of. Clearly this is a problem with many people, just too fast in implying the worst in people. He clearly don't believe that people can do well purely on merit and hard work (and a lot of luck) – there is always must be "cables". I suppose no point in elaborating the shallowness of such conclusion. Possibly he based his conclusion based on his personal experience – he or people around him are only able to do well using cables only (opps sorry I was getting personal here!).

    It is impossible for anyone to prove a negative (I'm sure you learnt that in law school) and therefore for you to ask me to produce facts to proof something that may be non existent is hard. In law and as required by any religion clearly set out that those who alleges must proof. Sorry Fahri, my religion states that when you allege you are required to proof.

    Fahri, don't get me wrong. I understood the message you were conveying: 1. MARA is using our tax payer's money to ILLEGALLY give scholarships and loans to certain races over other races. 2. MARA should strive to collect outstanding loans (unfortunately since most of these loans are without security, short of finding the defaulters and actually able to sue them, it would be difficult to recover the loan). 3. MARA giving countries' resources to mediocre Malays 4. etc.

    What I don't understand is how you could come to your conclusion based on incomplete or wrong facts. From my experience, people who does that usually are prejudiced.

    Read your own post and look it from my point of view – is it reasonable for anyone to come to your conclusion based on the facts that you have produced? Maybe you may wish not to be defensive instead.

    Please note that I am not from EPF to issue defamation threats but while I hold strongly to the right to the freedom of speech, this freedom is subject to such right not to be used to harm another. Alleging a person or body has committed an illegal act is serious and one must be willing to accept the consequences when such allegation if it was false and malicious. If it is true and anyone is privy to an illegal act, it is our duty to report such act to the authorities. I honestly feel only a coward is willing to "baling batu sorok tangan!".

  22. Thank you all for the encouraging comments, criticisms and discourse. It is appreciated. For those that want to criticize, please feel free and don't hold back on my account. I encourage and welcome it (well the reasoned ones anyway). Allow me to just respond to some of the comments that came after my last comment:

    Jinhou: We cannot forget about them as much as I would like to. They are part of our country and so part of us. We must continue to engage and criticize their position until they can at least understand and appreciate our point of view. They do not have to agree but they should engage.

    Annase: I am not criticizing for the sake of it. I am critical because I wonder about how MARA is spending our money. If that default list is anything to go by, I'd say they are not spending our money productively or optimally. As mentioned earlier Article 153(2) was not relevant for my purposes.

    onthestreets: You have precisely summarized my article, which appears to have escaped Serviceb4self, Annase and Mamanview. That is why I did not deal with Article 153(2). And if I did start questioning it, police reports could be lodged against me for sedition.

    Chode: Would agree with you. I think we all have a natural tendency towards racism. I will be lying if I said I didn't. But we must transcend our destructive natural tendencies and improve our own biological and cultural failings.

    Magellan/Choong: I hear and feel you.

    Serviceb4self: I notice that (i) you have not sufficiently understood my essay (ii) and tend to pick on marginal issues instead of dealing with the main thrust of my essay. I would like to provide facts but the government does not disclose much of it, so I can't. I go by what is available and try to infer and logically deduce as much as I can from the little we have. If you can find those facts and can prove me wrong, I would be happy to stand corrected and thank you for it. And please, really, ease up on this defamation threats. EPF has no business suing anybody. They should just be concentrating on making sure we get the highest dividends possible instead of telling us how much less we are getting each year.

    TheSleepyOne: You don't have me fooled. You may be sleepy but you are still sharp. You are right, nobody has meaningfully addressed the issue of non-payment.

    LtCol: Thank you for backing me up.

    LtCol is a true patriot and Malaysian who fights for his countrymen irrespective of race or religion. He championed Captain Mukhtiar Singh's pension for years, his spirit never flagging despite the many hindrances and disappointments. He has a blog (http://7rangers.blogspot.com/). Tabik!

    Gundrohiker: MARA did not do a good job in giving me that convertible loan. It was only doing what it was mandated to do. I will be grateful but not to MARA but to Malaysia and all its citizens. It is to them that I owe an allegiance, not MARA. You do not applaud the tenor for merely clearing his throat.

    "The government can throw as much money as it wants towards education I don’t care."

    You don't care but I'm paying for it and I care. I want our money to go to developing the best and the brightest as much as those with potential and are deserving but financially impecunious. That is called getting value for money and optimizing it. Because if you learned even the littlest about economics you will appreciate that we live in a world of finite resources.

    That you are ready to throw money at education never mind what it produces and whether or not there are any returns is terrifying. Is it any wonder our government projects all end up in failure? There is no accountability and meaningful inquiry as to what the return of investment is.

    Jahannam: No need to get so personal and make allegations you have no knowledge about. It is not fair to impute what you said to Serviceb4self. Just because he is defensive does not mean he has cables. He is merely arguing his position as he understands it. He does not warrant such insults. Thanks.

  23. Jahannam

    ServiceB4Self,

    I wonder if you are one of those who use "cables" (you know what I mean) to get your MARA loans.. Maybe you also use your cables to get tenders for your company.. And maybe you also use cables to put your children in good schools..

    Why you are so defensive of MARA? Do you have cables there? Hm..

    I wonder how people like you, who get anything and everything they want through cables, sleep at night? Though huh? Everyday lying on your bed, thinking: 'What should I do if one day my cables suddenly hate me? What should I do if they decided to push me out of their ship? Who then should I turn to, to get those valuable government tenders?' But hey, cheer up dude.. You are not alone.. There are a lot of vultures out there wearing human masks just like you..

    At least our government has the backings of vultures oops.. I mean people just like you..

    Just my 2 cents thoughts..

  24. TheSleepyOne

    Dear NotADatuksSon,

    It is precisely for those points you've highlighted that the integrity behind the awarding of scholarships must be protected and seen to be protected. Unfortunately, the number of scholarship holders who get away with not repaying their loans/scholarships is indicative of a system that gets away with unaccountability.

    It is precisely because it is a privilige, one that I'm certain many Malays and non-Malays could use,that requires stringent selection practices and follow up action. We do not know whether MARA gets the distribution right, but we can infer on a balance of probabilities. If we truly have that large a number of students not repaying their scholarships/loans, then serious questions have to be asked about the character of the holders. Can we say that on a balance of probability MARA has selected the best candidates when so many of them do not bother with being accountable, after receiving the money of their fellow citizens? Frankly, it does not contribute to nation building.

  25. ServiceB4Self

    PuchongJoe,

    If what you said is true, it would be illegal for EPF to just "give" RM2 billion to MARA. I would recommend that you make a police report to expose this illegal act.

    However, if what you said is wrong, please publish your full name and address so that EPF can take defamation action against you. Afterall we all must be brave to stand by our principles.

  26. mamak

    Fahri Azzat , Thank you very much for your very well-balanced write-up. Please do your best to 'save' Malaysia from going to the dogs! If there are many people like you Malaysia indeed can be 'saved'!!!

    'Mamanview', Thank you for being a very good writer and your 'independent' thinking. Please work for the betterment of Malaysia … irrespective of their race!!! If you can do that, think more broadly, have a give and take attitude, be not an extremist (and I'm quite sure you are NOT), then Malaysia will have a very bright future!!!

  27. NotADatuksSon

    I think it unfair that many of us speculate that there are scholarship holders out there that 'do not deserve it' due to the fact that their fathers happen to be datuks.

    An organization like MARA doesn't just look at a student's academic record when giving out scholarships, they'd typically take into account the all-rounded-ness of the pupil to see if he or she is deserving of the award. There is also the element of the interview itself. We just don't know enough about what transpires during the interviews… perhaps that "deserving" individual with that stellar academic record couldn't even string a proper sentence in English!

    What I'm trying to get at is that even if MARA gets the distribution of the scholarship holders "right", we'd still be complaining till kingdom come. There will always be those who "don't deserve it" no matter what. Malaysians should stop thinking of scholarships as a right, they should see it as a privilege.

  28. gundrohiker

    For all its failings, MARA has done a good job as evident by the author having a degree from UK and myself also as well as my kampong friends.

    Without MARA, my kampong friends might still be at the kampong.

    Looking back 20 years ago, we were a bunch of kampong boys. So we are thankful to MARA.

    If there is anything I want to leave behind for my children. It would not be wealth/money but education. As I can see what it can do to lift your prospects.

    The government can throw as much money as it wants towards education I don't care. So I think you are barking on the wrong tree. There are so many other things worth fighting for.

    MARA and its fight for the betterment of the Malays through education should not be one of them!

  29. Lt Col Mohd Idris Ha

    Fahri is not someone who likes to hide behind anonymity and does not pretend to be what he is not. I can see that he is very proud of his 'Malay Celup" roots and unlike many has declared it at the first instance it was hinted. Please let's not go into the forensics's of how a person with half Malay blood thinks, as many of us like our past and present leaders too have all kinds of bloodlines in us . Fahri has raised some very interesting and thought provoking issues on MARA .This is a free country and those who choose to clink sabers with him will find him a worthy opponent .

  30. Maverick

    Fairdinkum ,

    don't you mara office bearers have anything in you

    all whatsoever, leave the EPF money alone ……

  31. Dear ServiceB4Self. I know that about RM2 Billions of our EPF money has been given to MARA to assist students and because of this our EPF return has dropped to about 4.5% that year when the newspaper publish the details. It not only wasted our tax money, but our life saving too. Bastard!

  32. TheSleepyOne

    Sorry about the typo. 'Please correct me if I am mistaken, but there have been reports of Chinese laws that are prejudicial..'

    was supposed to be 'Please correct me if I am mistaken, but there have been NO reports of Chinese laws that are prejudicial…'

    I am the sleepy one for a reason.

  33. TheSleepyOne

    It is undeniable that Malays still comprise of a large portion of Malaysians who would fall under the poverty line and that seems to be the gist of the argument of those dissenting with Fahri- it is the all too familiar cry of ‘ what about the Malays’. We have also heard similar cries of ‘what about the Chinese, what about the Indians’ and of course “what-abouts” that refer to every creed, race, and socio-economic denominator available. Unfortunately, that is missing the point on several grounds.

    Firstly, (unless i have missed it) none of the commentary, save for Fahri’s, dealt with the issue of repayment. Whether it be a scholarship awarded to a Malay or non-Malay, there must be some security that the recipient contributes back to the nation, whether in monetary value or in their services to the country’s growth. I personally am acquainted with several scholarship recipients who have had the good fortune of being sent overseas to study; very few of whom intend to return to Malaysia. Most of them think of ways out, while those who do come back, do so not out of patriotism, but due to lack of options. So I can appreciate Fahri’s point- if money is poured in, then surely, these individuals must be duty bound to contribute back. It also begs the question: if the issue of repayment (or lack of) is so notorious, and the relevant authorities have faced the same problem for years, then can we infer that their apathy towards such failure to repay is an indirect legitimisation of such “free meal” cases?

    Secondly, what is the criterion of selecting suitable/worthy candidates of scholarships. Economic background is one; merit is certainly another- both for obvious reasons, but what about race? If one argues that an impoverished AND industrious individual intends to read law, then by all means he might just deserve the scholarship. How much weight then ought to be given to race? Is an award based on someone’s race truly rewarding? Is an award based on race sake the message that we want to articulate to our global neighbours, or even to future Malaysians?

    Even if the race card were to be drawn (which I fiercely object to), then shouldn’t the composition of scholarships awarded reflect the same? MARA is but one of numerous scholarships set up by the Government or Government linked companies for Bumiputeras. Where is the transparency and accountability of how the money is being spent? What is the justification for such an unbalanced demographic when it comes to scholarships?(Are 95% of the industrious poor really of Malay dissent?) Our nation has had over half a century to develop and yet we are in the shadow of Singapore that has accelerated into an internationally admired nation. Mind you, I am not pro-Singapore for many reasons, but objectively speaking, the once dilapidated fishing village with limited natural resources surpassed our policies and strategies. I cite Singapore as an example at the peril of having Malaysian readers cringe, simply as a juxtaposition to our country’s policies and approach. Is a pro-Malay approach (or whatever race for that matter) the key to success? Affirmitive action is exercised around the world for those who need it and earn it. It is no denying that there are capable Malays who have needed and benefited from the scholarship schemes, but again, why are anak Datuks with questionable results also getting it? This last point comes as no secret due to its notoriety, which again raises the question, why are those in-charge not doing a thing about it? This practice tells the entire world that Malaysia will reward those who neither need, nor deserve it. Where will we be in another 50 years when money continues to go unaccounted for-will the Malays be in a better position then, Kings of a broke and corrupted nation?

    I believe there was a comment along the lines of whether the Chinese would treat the Malays better if the system were in the favour of the former. The direction of the argument fails on a number of grounds. Firstly, it is an argument on the premise of ‘ they might be corrupted and unjust, and therefore it is ok for us to do the same!’ Secondly, let us consider the nation with the largest Chinese population, China. Since its rule over Tibet, life expectancy has doubled and China have set out to invest 10.23 billion USD in Tibet between 2006-2010 on infrastructure alone. Please correct me if I am mistaken, but there have been reports of Chinese laws that are prejudicial to Tibetans in terms of their access to education. China has also had a commendable history of preserving the culture and practices of their minorities (there are 55 ethnic minority groups in addition to the Han majority) whilst encouraging growth and development.

    Plus let us be honest, Malaya was heavily influenced by the Hindu-Buddhist culture long before the concept of the Malay race was indoctrinated by the Dutch, and then the British- not to mention the amount of ‘cap-nagas’ in Kelantan. I would highly recommend readers check out Dr. Farish Ahmad-Noor’s articles/lectures. My point is not to vilify my Malay counterparts, but to assert just how beautiful and unifying our intersecting history is, one where our region had so many different cultures intermingled long before our beloved Parameswara came sailing over.

    Racism is all over the world, but does it justify the legitimisation of racism in the practices and policies of the Government- an unaccountable one at that. Let’s not waste the Rakyat’s money on undeserving candidates.

  34. k.

    Chode,if you'd say so, yes there are many racists in this country , in fact in this crazy world that we're living in.

    However,just looking at our country,I guess I wouldn't be quite far from right when I say the racist folks,regardless of religion are mostly the uninformed lot — the lower educated bunch.

    To live in a country where the population is made up of multiple races, the most important thing is the practise of fairness and mutual respect. The current gov holding the office doesn't enforce that, they don't practise that, in fact , heck they bloody well are screwing the whole system upside down 25 hours a day if they could .

    So, ask yourself do you want to be a person who practises fairness and respect whenever you walk down the street everyday, despite knowing that there may be some still putting on their racism hat every second of their day, walking on the same piece of road that you're on ?

    Or would you just conveniently screw your on principles, throw in the towel and be like one of them ?

    Secondly, do you want to vote for a government, a system that is so biased because it lives on racism like it's blood for life as a vampire would.

    Sure, yes I like a lot of others wouldn't immediately think choosing the other political party would solve the problem right away over night. In fact most ppl would think the entire process of making Malaysia a reasonably clean country takes a time in the measure of generations perhaps.

    Painfuly long, I might be right , or maybe I'm wrong and it'd take more time.

    The healing process if it happens , that is, is not easy. For a lot of ppl , the judgement calls lies in measuring if "is it worth my time waiting?"

    Malaysia is a nice country to enjoy its culture, its food, its consumerism indulgement, etc, but to me, it's not a good place to build my future, or my kids' future in. The education system is screwed beyond reparable at this moment.

    Like many others, I would choose to look for greener pastures elsewhere beyond the shores of this country.

    Before anyone accuses this group of ppl being selfish, being unpatriotic, I'd say : hey , the system here doesn't work, numbers doesn't add up you know what I mean? How do I help build the country if the country doesn't provide a place for me to build myself individually ?

    And before someone like maman starts yelling about pendatang serves you right going back to where you belong … Look again , I'm not being specific on migrants of certain ethnic groups here , a lot of the migrants that iwho are my friends or of I know of, are Malaysians of malay, chinese,indian, or borneo descendants.

    Say what, racism ? It's what they put in your head.

  35. ServiceB4Self

    Fahri,

    Your reply was "But my point is how that allocation is being carried out and the guise under which it is carried out.", unfortunately you didn't elaborate or have any facts or figures to support your point. The only facts you presented was the number of defaulters as advertised in the papers. I don't understand how based on this fact you can conclude that MARA takes 95% of the scholarship/loan allocation of the Government to be allocated to Malays.

    The reality, 100% of the funds allocated to MARA are to be funnel to Bumiputeras. The issue is what is the proportion of education spending in the Federal Government budget on education is being allocated to MARA? Is it 60% based on the Bumiputera demographic of the country? These are all the questions that you were not able to answer!

    How is it that you can conclude on the sliver of facts (considering the fact you relied upon was notice of default to borrowers) that MARA takes the most or in your words ALL of the allocation? Your comment is very irresponsible. Provide facts.

    Your lack of knowledge as to the formation UiTM and MARA denotes further irresponsibility on your part. UiTM was formally ITM which was formerly "Pusat Latehan RIDA" – Rural and Industrial Development Authority Training Center. RIDA was an authority formed prior to independence to assist the Malays in Tanah Melayu. As one of the pre condition by UMNO to agree to the granting of citizenship for the Chinese and Indian as requested by MCA and MIC, RIDA will always be for the Malays and there is an allocation from the federal budget to fund its operations and that the Chinese and Indians will be guaranteed the teaching in their language and of their culture. Maybe its about time to renegotiate these conditions (unfortunately citizenship once given can't be withdrawn – the Constitution guarantees that)?

    MARA today could have adopted our commercial bank's method of granting loans or scholarship, I am sure MARA's NPL would be equivalent to our commercial bank's. Unfortunately this method would effectively reduce the number of candidates that would benefit from MARA. Maybe had that happened when I applied for my student loan, I might not have qualified for the loan and I would not have obtained my postgraduate degree and obtained a job linked to the degree and subsequently now part owner of a company that employs 180 people (50% Malays and 50% Chinese & Indians). Of course the MARA loan is only just the enabler for me, but a lot of hard work and sacrifices and a whole lot of luck brought me to where I am now.

    The point I raised in Article 153 (2) was not on the issue of policy favouring Malays but the fact that the Federal Constitution allows specific allocation on scholarship for Bumiputeras and thus your statement that "It also means that MARA’s operational policy is in flagrant breach of Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution which provides as follows…" is wrong! What you have done was actually telling half truth unless you didn't intended to mislead your readers and that it was an honest mistake.

    In response to "I expect more of MARA. They are not there to just hand out loans and money for students to graduate from am undergraduate or postgraduate degree. They are there to nurture the education of our brightest. You cannot do that by simply throwing money at them and not even bothering to collect." MARA actually don't just hand out loans – in fact much more! Maybe you should do a bit more research.

  36. Choong

    A very good piece of article indeed. I share the same sentiment.

    Regardless of what race we are, it is important to remember that giving out these loans/scholarships are in the expense of people's welfare(ie medicine, infrastructure and etc). Thus, it is important for the institution to ensure the investment is of money's worth. It is absurd when the money is plowed out to these 'scholars' and they ended up not paying back nor coming back(oversea students).

    Regarding the race, it is understandable that the initial policy was to protect the deprived Malays. However, as our country develops,it is better to review to policy to ensure a better return on our 'human capital' investment.

    I am not saying this from a point of view of a chinese, but as a Malaysian. In terms of deprived citizens, I think the Sabah/Sarawakian should be given priority. However, I myself am a believer of self-effort.

    I am currently a self-fund student, struggling hard to make ends meet, but I am enjoying every single part of it. I am currently also trying to get a publisher to publish my book to inspire the youngsters nowaday to learn to self-fund their study. I was a scholar and I am still one.

    It is great indeed to be able to have a helping hand (and best when we dun have to payback,thanks to the loophole), but it is even better when we can create a better future using our own hand.

  37. magellan

    Fahri,

    A well written articulate article. Sometimes from the writing you can tell if a person is a first class, second class upper or just plain down right third class. You are one of the few rare Malaysians that does not consider race or religion, kudos to you and the other Malay Malaysians out there such as Prof Azmi Sharom, YB Khalid Samad, Nik Aziz, Zaid Ibrahim, DSAI and the many other non-racist malays.

    Personally mamanview and chode are racists to me as far as I am concerned. I concur with you that not all Malaysian Indians, Chinese or others are rich. I myself have the painful experience of not being able to complete my studies 20 years ago due to lack of money. Not that I am stupid or what, just lack money. My dad a government servant all his life, never could get a scholarship for my brilliant sister and me. We are categorised as others and opportunities for university entrance is limited to less than 5%. So unfair, but that is the truth about this country.

    Even my sister managed to qualify for university with 5 principles in STPM (2B's, 2C's and 1D – note that she was in the science stream), her application for her first and second choices of courses were rejected and instead she was just offered Social Science. She knows for a fact that many of her other malay schoolmates that received worse results than her, managed to get into the law faculty of UM, some even got MARA scholarships to study in universities in the US or UK. You know what hurts most learning about these scholarships and how its given out??? It's when you find out that your classmate that has a Datuk father and whom scores lower results that you gets a MARA scholarship to study political science in the US and you with a father that works as a meter reader with Jabatan Bekalan Air for almost all of his life and being loyal to the country, not to mention the pittance of a salary of RM 1100 per month, cannot get his son or daughter a scholarship even knowing for a fact that his children are smarter.

    What more can I say??? I am living proof of this system. So it really makes me sick to see people trying to interpret the federal constitution to proof their point. All I know is that its people like you, Mr. Fahri take is fair and always stands up for the rights of others.

    Honestly, I hate malays that hide under the constitution each time they are challenged. You buggers make it sound that you are divine human beings on this earth and cannot be questioned. For your information, it is proven that Malays are also migrants from the many Indonesian islands, so what makes you so special??? You came 200, 300 or 400 years ago??? So did I, I am a descendent of the portuguese era in the 1511. So why do I not have any other priveleges as you??? Have I not contributed to this land just as you have??? Or perhaps you have done more??? Can you please clarify???

    I hope that there are more Fahri Azzat's, Nik Aziz's, Zaid Ibrahim's, DSAI's in this country that may emerge in the next century to save this country.

    My prayer to God the Almighty! Please save Malaysia from these racist Malays!

  38. Malaysia

    Give me a racist Lee Kuan Yew who can uplift the country any time compared to the racist UMNO who enrich themselves by robbing & running the country to 3rd world basket case!

    • Zack

      Malay army officer cant go to sensitive military area. No Navy officer. Only 3 Pilot amongst a thousand Chinese Pilot. On te job advertisements in te Sraits Times stil indicate only Mandarin speaking. Thousand n thousand frm PRC r becomin Singaporen even they can't speak n understand simple English.

  39. chode

    No offence, but chinese people are amongst the most racist people I know. MOre racist than even the anglo saxon caucasians. THe malays are a lot more mild mannered and humble…to a point where some would say they lack initiative. I guess every race has their flaws.

    Look at Lee Kuan Yew's family.

    Everyone is born equal. But some are just more equal than others….Regardless of race/religion/ethnicity.

    • Zack

      100% agree. Look at China, they wana claim all South China Sea. How greedy they r ! India did not claim Indian Ocean. America n British did not claim Atlantic n Pacific Ocean when they r stil te major power. Every country wil protect their own race interests. Name any country in Asia tat practice equality to all races ? Te answer is none.

  40. I fail to see why there are Malays who think they are living in an ideal world. You think the Chinese would play fair and square if they had the political power? You think Chinese-controlled management of companies in Malaysia (local or multinational) would promote their staff based on real meritocracy? Well, think again. You have not lived long enough.

    The fact that MARA provides loans to predominantly Malays and the fact that most of them don't pay, are two seperate issues.

  41. kwang

    i admire ServiceB4Self for his principle…

    ""I am now able to finance my children’s education and I will not allow my children, though they may qualify for such loan/scholarship, to apply to MARA for this would deprive others to improve themselves.""

    from my personal experience, a lot of loan/scholarship holder just think of their sponsor as sugar daddy. they forgot about or never realize the purpose of loan/scholarship given to them. after they finish their studies, they just wish the sponsor is blur enough to forget about them and they dont have to fullfill the agreement/contract signed (be it repay the loan or go back home to serve the country).

  42. Dear Serviceb4Self,

    Thank you for pointing out Article 153(2). I agree that that provision does allow for more allocation to be given to 'Malays and natives' of Sabah and Sarawak.

    But my point is how that allocation is being carried out and the guise under which it is carried out.

    Why then are there so much more Malays on that list as compared to Sabah and Sarawak natives? Or why are there so many Malays as compared to Sabah and Sarawak natives? Because there are more Malays than them perhaps, but do we know the population ratio compared to the amount of scholarships/loans given?

    Why must MARA also be another 'help the poor disenfranchised sensitive Malay' organization when there are so many other government, non-government, quasi-government organizations and initiatives already helping them? Malays even have universities (UiTM) which does not allow non-Malay students though it has no compunction about hiring non-Malay teachers. What is the policy behind this? Why must every organization of government end up one that helps the Malays? Why can't there just be one, just one, government organization that truly looks out for the Malaysians of other heritages on their welfare?

    Article 152(3) also does not say that ALL our resources must go towards helping the Malays. It just says reasonable proportion of reservations may be made for the Malays and Sabah and Sarawak natives. It doesn't even say the majority of places must go to them. All it says is reasonable proportion of reservation of places/benefits NECESSARY to safeguard the special position…

    The keywords in that provision are 'as may be necessary to safeguard' and 'of such proportion as he may deem reasonable'. These words indicate that the reservations for the Malays and Sabah and Sarawak natives must be reasonable in the context of Malaysia – not Malay demands. The manner in which the provision is drafted suggests the element of dynamism which implies that that proportion is subject to change of circumstances.

    I confess to finding it disappointing that you hold MARA to such a low standard where education spending is concerned. You think that their evaluation process that evaluates only academic competency is sufficient (even then I think it is very low). MARA should not have to trouble themselves to ensure that the scholar has the moral and patriotic possibility of repaying the loan.

    I expect more of MARA. They are not there to just hand out loans and money for students to graduate from am undergraduate or postgraduate degree. They are there to nurture the education of our brightest. You cannot do that by simply throwing money at them and not even bothering to collect.

    That, to me, looks like a waste of tax payers money.

    And half truths? I did not mention Article 153(2) because my essay was not about the policy of favouring Malays and Sabah and Sarawak natives, but how that policy was being carried out. Aside from what I said above, I am compelled to commend your attitude as you expressed in the 3rd last paragraph.

    Mamanview,

    You remarked 'Probably your alliance to your half Malay blood' and 'only in certain Malay Celup like you' in your reply.

    Firstly, let me just say I think Haris Ibrahim a great man and far nobler than you could ever imagine. Secondly, you do him an injustice by mentioning our names in the same sentence.

    Thirdly, what then is in the Malay mind? A Malay Malaysia and the Chinese and Indian Malaysians as second class citizens always kow-towing to the Malay and paying them tributes? Like slavery or colonialism is it? Or perhaps you think us like the Jews in Germany under Hitler? If you don't like us and find us a nuisance you can ship us on a train to be incinerated?

    What, pray tell, is this grand future that you have for Malaysia, Malays and the rest of us? Don't be shy.

    And please feel free to reply in Malay if you feel English incapable of expressing how you feel accurately.

    Thanks.

  43. Annase

    Fahri,

    Yes, MARA as all the great things in this country, has a great goal of helping the unfortunate..as if the most Malays at that time. Saying that it contravenes Article 8, u should have done due diligence in intepreting Article 152(3), where the King could exercise in safeguarding Malay special position.READ special position, NOT KETUANAN MELAYU.

    So, what went wrong? That is where we should look at..criticizing for the sake of criticizing does no good for everyone.

  44. i would say MARA as of right now does not have the fund (not enough). i heard that MARA will no longer sponsor the "elaun sara hidup". MARA will pay the tution fees only. and new application will be more strict.

    lucky to all of you who had the chance to convert it to full scholarship.

  45. Godflesh

    Mamanview,

    Really lah bro you maman lah or was it MABUKS. You confidently say that Malays don't care for a Malaysian Malaysia yet 90% of the country's taxes are contributed by the nons. Maybe its time the celups and pendatangs and whatnot kick the likes of you out of this country and take BACK whats righfully OURS! Go figure…

  46. Jin Hou

    Forget about hopeless racists like mamanview.

    Anyway, I accidentally turned on TV1 a week ago, and there was this forum-ish program on PTPTN. The director of PTPTN was invited to the program and he admitted that the default rate is 60%. As a result of this, there is shortage of funds and they have to cut down on the number of loans available.

    So its not just Mara mismanagement, but a chronic mismanagement of public funds across the entire spectrum of public services. Yup, that's how hopelessly incompetent and corrupt this government is.

  47. mamanview

    There you said it all, the previous commenter have indicate the reason for MARA existence!The right of scholarship was clearly stated in the Federal constitution.

    Probably your alliance to your half Malay blood have help me understand your way of thinking…

    In many minds of Malays, there is no such thing as Malaysian Malaysia! Probably only in certain Malay Celup like you and Haris Ibrahim!

    So, blaming an institution which was created to assist in affirmative action is totally ignorant..

    Nobody is fooled here bro.. only people who like to present half truth is the fools..

    • ANONYMOus

      cool mamanview, I really support u .. let this dude here fully understands the history as if repeating the spm examination properly and hope he'll fail the test subject for history due to the stupid misleading article

  48. Dear Mamanview,

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the trouble to comment.

    Firstly, I am a Malaysian of Malay-Chinese heritage. Whatever my race, I am entitled as a citizen of this country to criticize or to praise whatever government institutions, politicians, etc. as I see it. That you have raised this as an issue by way of comment demonstrates your overt sense of racism especially when my race has nothing to do with my comment.

    Secondly, if you think I have understood the objective of MARA, why don't you explain it instead of just saying I 'need to understand' it. That you haven't suggests you too do not understand or have such a powerful understanding that it has rendered you incapable of expressing it. Or maybe I'm just not worth your time?

    Thirdly, who is talking about right or wrong? I am discussing its effectiveness in contributing towards nation building. That you have only been able to name Tan Sri Khalid and Dr. Azly as products of MARA scholarship doesn't prove anything. There will always be those exceptions. Why don't you tell me the ratio of Malay students for every one of them?

    Fourthly, not all Chinese are 'economic powers'. There are a number of them struggling to earn a living. That you think all Chinese are rich demonstrates how your racism extends to your economic perspective as well. So all Malays are poor then? What about all those millionaire Malays created during Mahatir's time? Why do you not ask why these obscenely wealthy Malays do not share it or use it to educate and improve their own Malay society? Where are they now?

    Fifthly, I am aware that Malays came primarily from a agricultural background. Yes, they were in the kampungs and mostly farmers – but why do some persist in acting like that even when they are in the city and working as executives? Like you, for example. Why is it after the Malays are taken out of the kampung they are unable to take the kampung out of themselves?

    You said 'MARA has done very well in uplifting Malays economic capability' – but my question is at what cost? My point is that we don't know. You don't know. Just because you see a few Malays becoming successful out of MARA does not in itself evidence success. If 1 out of 50 Malays in the MARA program ends up successful (has a career, stable personality, mature in thinking, contributing to the country, etc.), is that success?

    You must evaluate MARA in the context of Malaysia and Malaysians – not the Malays. If MARA was supposed to be principally for Malays then don't call it MARA, call it Majlis Amanah Bumiputera Untuk Kita Sahaja(MABUKS).

    Then at least the rakyat is not fooled about its purpose and the name of the organization, if not its abbreviation, more accurately reflects its purpose.

  49. ServiceB4Self

    MARA's objective from it's web site is as follows:

    "Menggalak, membimbing, melatih dan membantu Bumiputera, khususnya di luar bandar, supaya menyertai dengan aktif dalam kegiatan perdagangan dan perusahaan ke arah membentuk masyarakat usahawan Bumiputera yang berdaya tahan, profesional dan kukuh."

    Fahri's comments "Of interest is the racial composition of that list — at least 95vper cent of those on the list are Malays who comprise 60 per cent of the Malaysian population. The other 5 per cent are made up of the Chinese, Indian, various groups of the Orang Asli of East and West Malaysia that collectively comprise 35-38 per cent of our population.", raises a few questions – are there now Chinese and Indians comprising of 5% of the defaulters list Bumiputeras?

    On Fahri's comments that MARA is in breach of the Federal Constitution, one must read Article 153 (2) of the Federal Constitution:

    (2) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, ……, the Yang di- Pertuan Agong shall exercise his functions ……. as may be necessary to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and to ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable of positions in the public service (other than the public service of a State) and of scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government ……."

    Since MARA was formed under an act of Parliament, clearly it is in compliance! Fahri like many bloggers will only produce half truth! He would produce Article 8(2) of the Constitution but he either purposely or negligently fail to produce other Articles, so that he can spin a tale of unconstitutionality and thus conclude that MARA is an illegal organization.

    We so often accuse the Main Stream Media of producing half truth (usually this is the case) but to be fair, we should also accuse the alternative media of doing the same. It is even worst when some bloggers would go to such an extend to extrapolate and insinuate all forms of theories but are not willing to defend one's position in court when sued for defamation. Sometimes some of this bloggers are even a bankrupt like RPK (not that I am implying Fahri is one). The very least, the main stream media are able to pay when sued for defamation and that they are required to be solvent in order to continue.

    My wife and I took a MARA loan to finance our post graduate studies overseas. I have repaid both loans many years ago and if not for the loans granted by MARA, my wife and I would not have been in the position we are in today and definitely have benefitted from such loans. I am now able to finance my children's education and I will not allow my children, though they may qualify for such loan/scholarship, to apply to MARA for this would deprive others to improve themselves.

    The issue is not that MARA's evaluation process is a failure – such process determines whether the applicant is academically competent but not whether the borrower has the principles to repay one's loan as required.

    To state that MARA should cease granting loans because of these defaulters, would mean to deprive thousands of applicants that would require it and thus to enable Bumiputeras to improve.

  50. mamanview

    Probably this author, whom from his name is a Malays or just probably a non malay chap using a Malay name.

    He need to understand the objective of Mara first before commenting on the issue.

    MARA has not done anything wrong, in fact most of these mediocre students have excel in life, and one of the prominent is Tan Sri Khalid MB of Selangor. He is a product of MARA scholarship!

    Even Dr. Azly the so-called new Malay and many more Malays!

    One have to realised that the once upon a time Malay community are primarily living in kampung and mostly farmers! they are very far away from economic powers unlike the Chinese!MARA has done very well in uplifting Malays economic capability.