There is fierce competition to get into the matriculation course, especially among non-bumiputra students.
MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon said this was based on his experiences as a former deputy education minister.
He said the party “does not believe the figures” provided by the Education Ministry regarding the latest enrolment in the matriculation programme.
Chong said the party wants a better explanation on the numbers after a heated exchange on the matriculation programme happened in Parliament on Tuesday.
He was referring to the written reply provided by Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching to MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
She was replying to the questions posed by Dr Wee on the number of spots offered, those who have accepted the offer and who have reported for the 2019-2020 matriculation programme, based on race.
Dr Wee also asked if there was a shortage of students in the science stream and what the ministry was doing to address this.
In her written reply, Teo said that 55,324 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) leavers were offered a place in the matriculation programme for the 2019-2020 intake.
“Out of that, about 30,000 rejected the offer. So, there are 25,969 this year,” said Chong.
Teo said the matriculation programme’s enrolment for the 2019-2020 intake saw 22,655 bumiputra students, 1,774 Chinese students, 1,212 Indian students and 278 consisting of other races.
Chong said the party wanted the ministry to provide details on the number of Chinese students who rejected the offer for a spot in matriculation.
He added that Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik announced in April that the number of seats for matriculation would be increased to 40,000 from 25,000 per year but still keeping the quota for bumiputra to non-bumiputra students at 90:10.
“YB Maszlee said that this is a win-win situation as this will increase the bumiputra quota (and) at the same time the non-bumiputra will get more seats,” he said.
Chong said the party had questioned the ministry on how it could increase the capacity when there was not enough facilities and manpower to cope with the surge of students within a year.
“Now true enough, they (the ministry) are not able to provide (the infrastructure),” he said.
Chong also said that in the written reply, the ministry said that there is an average of 2,922 empty places in matriculation every year since 2013.
This proves that even at 25,000 places, the number of spaces were not completely filled, he said, adding that this was due to students having other pre-university pathways they could pursue.
On another matter, Chong slammed DAP for allegedly distributing a comic that puts it on a pedestal, and insults Barisan Nasional, to national secondary schools and national-type secondary schools.
“There are all kinds of things in this comic (including) celebrating Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, insulting former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and MCA,” he said while holding up images of the comic’s pages.
He said the comic is published by Asia Comic Cultural Museum, which is supported by DAP Penang.
Chong questioned whether the ministry had approved the distribution of the comic, which he said “poisons the minds of our students”.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow dismissed a claim made by Najib that DAP was attempting to spread its propaganda through comic books.
Chow said the state government only undertook the responsibility of paying the rental for the museum located in Komtar but was not involved in its management or operations.