Do You Think We Are Ready To Open UiTM To Non-Bumiputeras?

This debate has been on-going since forever and here we are in 2018, still talking about whether MARA University of Technology (UiTM) should be open for all Malaysians.

Since the break of a new dawn in Malaysia post-GE14, the pros and cons for what seems like an apt shift as we move forward to live harmoniously together beyond the boundary of race has never been so clear and full of impact.

RELATED: What Young Women Can Learn From The Outcome Of GE14

If you didn’t already know, here’s a crash course on what you need to know about Malaysia’s public university. UiTM was established in 1956 and it was initially opened with the intention of helping Malays in the rural areas of the country. Now, the university is primarily based in Shah Alam, Selangor, with 13 autonomous state campuses and 21 satellite campuses offering about 500 study programmes ranging from foundation to postgraduate level.

RELATED: Meet Malaysia’s First Female Student To Attend The U.S. Naval Academy

The topic resurfaced after Uthayakumar of Hindraf 2.0 had submitted 25 demands to Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC), one of which included an old demand to open up UiTM for all. However according to The Sun Daily, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairman P. Waytha Moorthy denied the proposal and has confirmed that Hindraf 2.0 is not a valid organisation.

Soon after, the hashtag #UiTM has risen to the top of the list of trending topics on social media. Many Malaysians and UiTM alumni have spoken up in support and against the issue. Here are a few tweets that really stood out for us:

While many users on Twitter are in support of pushing for change, MARA University of Technology (UiTM) Alumni Association (PAUiTM) felt so strongly on the matter that they created a petition to protest against demands to open admissions to non-Bumiputera students.

When the issue was addressed to PAUiTM’s president, Datuk Mohd Zaini Hassan, he said “We have no problem whether UiTM admits non-Bumiputeras or not… but it should be in line with the current national education system. My reasoning is simple, as long as the school education system is still diverse (according to race), I think the original goal of UiTM should be maintained, that is, to cater only for the Malays and Bumiputeras.”

The petition was set up a few days ago on 29th May and at time of writing it’s at the 168,000 mark with a goal of 200,000 signatures.

Image: change.org

People may have different views on this topic but this writer personally is open to the idea of opening up UiTM to all Malaysians, regardless of race. In the educational sphere, there are much larger issues for us to fix but I think it’s important for us to take the step in the right direction in order to live in an inclusive society. So, do you think we’re ready for the change? Continue the conversation thread and let us know what you think!

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