However, I just found out late last week, that even diplomas and degrees from our very own local Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) which has been established for many years, and accepted widely by the Malaysian private sector, is not recognised by Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awan (JPA). Hence any TARC graduate seeking employment with the civil service will be rejected outright.
Network Engineer, Soo Pak Leong who graduated from TARC in 2003 has been applying to join the Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM) for the past 3 consecutive years, but has failed to be even shortlisted for an interview. Soo is now past the 25 year old limit for new PDRM recruits, and his dreams to be a police officer has effectively ended.
To fulfil his dreams of joining the force, Soo even downgraded his entry level to that of an Inspector, instead of a Cadet Assistant Superintendent (ASP) in his final application in the hope of achieving his ambitions.
Subsequently, he only found out from unofficial sources within the police force, much to his horror, that applications from TARC graduates are not accepted by the Government service.
Clarifications from the JPA (as above) confirmed that his academic qualification is "yet" to be recognised by the Government. Over the past seven months, Soo has written to all the MCA leaders and parliamentarians, the Education Ministries as well as the Prime Minister himself. He received no answers as to why his qualification cannot be recognised. YB Wee Ka Siong, MCA Youth Education bureau chief could only reply that this wasn't the first instance, and they will "pursue the issue further".
Hence this matter raises a few serious questions:
- Firstly and obviously, what are the reasons that the Government, after so many years, is still adamant in not granting recognition of diplomas conferred by TARC, especially since TARC was set up by Barisan Nasional's very own key coalition partner, MCA. Given that many other local institutions of more dubious standing has been granted recognition, there's absolutely no reason why TARC should not be granted immediate recognition for Government employment.
- Secondly, it raises the question as to whether the Government is indeed serious about its talk to raise the number of non-Malays in the Malaysian civil service, given that a large proportion of its students are of non-Malay origins. In fact, only last week, the leaders of PDRM have openly called for more non-Malays to join the force.
- Thirdly, if indeed the Government has no intention of granting recognition to TARC, then it is critical for TARC administrators to make this information known to all potential students, so as to not mislead them in their future careers. While the private sector is happy to accept many of its graduates, those keen on the civil service should instead apply to other recognised colleges.
I hope that the Government will take immediate actions to rectify the above wrongs and demonstrate that the above is all but an exception to the rule that the Government has no intent on marginalising Malaysians of non-Malay descent.