In a report by Free Malaysia Today, Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, Universiti Teknologi Mara’s (UiTM) first-ever director and founding father recently called for non-Bumiputeras to be accepted into the university.
Tan Sri Arshad was appointed director when UiTM was first established in 1965. Now, he believes that Malaysia has reached the point where UiTM can begin welcoming students of other ethnic backgrounds. However, he stated that this should only be allowed at the postgraduate level. He was quoted by the daily as saying,
“If you ask me whether non-Malays should be able to go to UiTM, my own view is that at the master’s degree level, the graduates should be able to compete with other races.”
The 90-year-old founding director has previously expressed this opinion in an interview with The Mole in 2017 as well.
“It has been over 60 years and the institution has produced a lot of graduates. I think it should open its postgraduate programmes to non-Bumiputeras. However, it should not be for its undergraduate programmes because there are still so many things the institution needs to do (for Bumiputeras).”
Elaborating on his recommendation for non-Bumiputeras to only join at masters-level, Tan Sri Arshad told FMT that at the undergraduate level, Bumiputera students were not ready for competing with non-Bumiputeras just yet.
Meanwhile, he also pointed out that UiTM lacked exposure to different cultures nowadays, saying,
“If the students are 100% Bumiputeras and lecturers are 95% Bumiputeras, how will they get exposure to other cultures and ways of thinking apart from watching TV and reading books?”
UiTM was also the topic of national interest last year shortly after GE14 in May when Hindraf 2.0 (not to be confused with the Hindu Rights Action Force) handed over a memorandum to the Council of Elders demanding that UiTM be open to non-Bumiputera students. This was met with polarised reactions, and even a petition calling for the institution to remain open only to Bumiputeras was garnering thousands of signatures.
What do you think of the former UiTM director’s suggestion? Let us know in the comments below!
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