As usual, the Menteri Besar of Johor himself, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman leads the way by his annual call for the "meritocratic" system to be scrapped. Yes, he goes bonkers every year prior to the UMNO assembly as blogged last year.
As reported in Malaysiakini:
Umno Johor has suggested that the meritocracy system practised by institutions of higher learning be terminated to reduce the gap between students of different ethnic backgrounds in certain ‘strategic’ courses.His argument is:
Its head Abdul Ghani Othman said the meritocracy system should only be applied among students from within the same ethnic group, in competing for places in public universities.
“It would not be considered extreme to say that we are currently facing a crisis in education. The gap between Malay and non-Malay (children), especially between urban and rural areas, is wide,” he reportedly said.If the disparity between the rural versus the urban folks is really the issue he is so concerned about, then lets address it from a rural versus urban perspective. Why must it be a Malay vs non-Malay approach? And what about all the other poor bumiputeras like the Ibans, Kadazandusuns and other minority groups?
“Drastic measures must be taken to develop the education environment in rural areas so that the younger generation of Malays do not become victims of discrimination as a result of the implementation of meritocracy.”
As it is the current "managed meritocracy" system is still a distance away from the supposed cutthroat meritocratic system that many espoused. Yet if UMNO leaders such as the Johor Menteri Besar who was actually a former academic (not a very good one obviously) seek to even dismantle whatever semblance of meritocracy in the existing system, then even the optimist would ask if there's still hope in the country.
Unlike in the past, unfortunately I don't even think that he is going to get indirect verbal correction from Pak Lah, much less even a light tap on his wrists due to the political pressures which he is facing within UMNO. Will other component leaders stand up and speak?