Overseas Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships should only be given to applicants who get into the very best universities on their own merit.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said having straight A’s should not be enough as applicants should be subjected to rigorous psychometric tests and interviews to see whether they are suitable.
“Perhaps the PSD should study how Singapore awards its Public Service Commission scholarships, which required applicants to go through multiple interviews and is not automatic.
“If we have a clear policy about overseas scholarships for our undergraduates, limit the places and clearly say which universities and what courses are considered, then I feel it can help solve the current controversy concerning the scholarships,” he said yesterday.
Khairy said people with straight A’s should not feel that they are entitled to scholarships.
“It is a privilege,” he added.
However, he agreed that there are many cases of eligible people who had been overlooked.
“The system must be improved. Let us have a policy where it’s clear the PSD scholarships for undergraduates going overseas are only for the top universities and for critical courses,” he said.
Khairy said not all straight A’s candidates deserved full scholarships in courses of their choice.
The PSD has been ordered to investigate complaints that some SPM top scorers were not offered scholarships.
There were also reports stating that the PSD had failed to award scholarships to top students.
A total of 4,298 unsuccessful candidates appealed last year and 1,218 of them had at least 9A+.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said recently the Government never promised overseas scholarships for all top students.Malay extremist group, Perkasa, wants the Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships for overseas first-degree programmes scrapped.
Its chief, Ibrahim Ali, said: “The cost of funding a student overseas is equivalent to funding two to three students locally. Overseas scholarships should be given for post-graduates studies in disciplines that are not available locally.”
“That’s why Perkasa is proposing that scholarships for overseas first-degree programmes be scrapped,” he added.
Ibrahim also urged the PSD not to give in to BN component parties MCA and MIC in disbursing scholarships.
“It is a government matter. MCA and MIC must not disrupt the PSD. Umno and its Youth wing never disturbed the PSD though many Bumiputera students failed to secure scholarships.”
Ibrahim also took Deputy Education Minister and MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong to task for saying Chinese support for BN has eroded due to government’s failure to provide scholarships.
“What about the Malays who fail to get scholarships?” asked Ibrahim.
“As far as I know, Malays who failed to obtain scholarships still support the government. But for some races, they are not supportive even when they are given scholarships. Similarly, the shift in support for MIC is also small,” Ibrahim said.
The perennial controversy over the award of PSD scholarships resurfaced last week when Wee claimed that 363 straight A+ students failed to get scholarships this year.
This is despite the pledge recently made by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak that all students scoring 8A+ and above will receive the PSD scholarships.
Yesterday, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz defended the PSD and took Wee to task for claiming there was abuse of power in the award of government scholarships.
He said Wee was using the issue to gain political mileage and challenged Wee to furnish proof of his claims.
The PSD scholarships fall under two primary categories: the overseas degree programme for 1,500 selected students and the local degree programme for 2,500 applicants.
Toppers in Andhra Pradesh net not only top scores but apparently also a fat bank balance. By the end of the result season, toppers ofSSC, HSC, Inter, Eamcet and the all-importantIIT-JEE are richer by Rs 1 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, depending on their rank and the exam they have excelled in. The moolah comes in for a small ethical compromise: lending their names to institutions they have never been to.READMOREhttp://themalay-chronicle.blogspot.com/2011/06/toppers-in-malaysia-go-begging-in.html