23-06-2016 05:46

Don't blame high number of jobless Bumi grads on Chinese

PETALING JAYA: The employability of graduates, including Bumiputera graduates, ultimately depends on their qualifications, former Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said.

Therefore, he said, people should avoid making sweeping statements such as a high number of Bumiputera graduates from public universities are jobless because “the Chinese prefer to hire Chinese graduates”.

Instead, he said, Bumiputera graduates from public universities should be encouraged to get internationally accredited qualifications.

An engineering graduate, for instance, should strive to get the Ir professional qualification.

“The real issue is about the qualifications and employability of graduates. This is the way to solve the problem. Not by using the race equation,” he told FMT.

The former Umno deputy minister was asked to comment on Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali’s view that Chinese firms in the private sector preferred to hire Chinese staff. Ibrahim said employers who cited the poor command of English as a reason for not hiring Bumiputeras who graduate from local public universities were just using it as an excuse.

Saifuddin said research done by Universiti Malaya professor, Lee Hock Aun did show there were Chinese-owned companies that preferred Chinese graduates over Bumiputeras.

“But I don’t think a person should make a sweeping statement such as the one made by Ibrahim. The issue is quite complex. For instance, there are also Bumiputeras who prefer not to work in Chinese-owned companies. In this case, you can’t say the company does not want to hire Bumiputeras.”

Saifuddin pointed out that the nation needed to look at ways to improve the employability of Bumiputera graduates.

“But the job market is becoming competitive. Companies, especially international ones, need students to have an internationally accredited qualification.

“Some Bumiputera students do not want to continue or go further to get a professional qualification, either because they are complacent, or, in the context of international papers, they are concerned that they may not be able to handle it well because of their weak command of English.”

Saifuddin added that in some specific areas, English played a vital role.

He agreed with former UM Vice-Chancellor Ghauth Jasmon’s statement that 80 per cent of the 400,000 jobless public university graduates were Bumiputeras.

Ghauth had said that he had received a lot of resistance from students and lecturers when he tried to introduce extra English classes and asked lecturers to submit their research papers to International Scientific Indexing (ISI) journals as these were in English. He said he was accused of abandoning the Malay language and there were petitions to remove him from UM.

Saifuddin said there was much truth in what Ghauth had said as the former VC had tried very hard to improve the students’ English proficiency.

“Also his efforts on UM’s ratings in terms of research at the international level. But, my take is, he was misunderstood by many. That is unfortunate.”

He said the Higher Education Ministry had been trying hard to improve English among students.

“But in some cases, especially for the professional courses, I am informed by employers, especially international companies, that we must do more. That is why, for example, in some centres that offer ACCA accounting courses, public universities require students to attend English classes while they do the ACCA.”

17-10-2013 11:54

'Ban only applicable to Herald'

PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders today criticised State Reform Party (Star) Sabah chairman Jeffrey Kitingan for suggesting that Sabah and Sarawak secede from Malaysia in response to the Court of Appeal’s ruling banning the use of the word ‘Allah by the Catholic publication, The Herald.

They said Kitingan’s suggestion was a form of sedition and could create chaos in the country.

Umno supreme council member Saifudin Abdullah rubbished Kitingan’s statement and stressed that the ban was not a blanket ruling against all non-Muslims but was specific to The Herald.

Saifudin said the authorities must study Kitingan’s statement in the proper perspective.

He added the issue had become confusing with individuals issuing their own statements.

“The word pull out of Malaysia is a very heavy word to use and its is illogical.

“You have to make a statement in a professional manner and not use your emotions to comment,” he said when contacted.

Yesterday, Kitingan had said that the Court of Appeal decision on Monday to allow the government ban on the word Allah from being used in The Herald’s Bahasa Malaysia edition clearly showed that the Umno-led BN government had never been sincere in implementing multi-racialism and that religious inclusiveness had now been discarded altogether.

Kitingan warned that there was no other possibility but a probable break-up of Malaysia if the race and religion division was allowed to continue.

“There is no point in retaining Sabah and Sarawak within the Federation of Malaysia when the ultra-Malays in Malaya keep trying to break it up and without any appropriate response or with the silent acquiescence from the federal government,” he contended.

Unwise statement

Sabah youth and sports minister Taufik Abu Bakar meanwhile said Kitingan should stop twisting the facts and misleading the public.

He said everyone must respect the court decision and everyone in Sabah had no problem with the decision as it did not affect the east Malaysian Christians.

Taufik opined that Kitingan had made an unwise statement and that his allegations against the government was irrelevant.

“Don’t politicise this issue and Sabah will remain as part of Malaysia. It is not an issue at all actually,’ said Taufik.

BN Bandar Tun Razak division executive secretary Zahrain Mohd Yassin suggested Kitingan do some reading about history and religion before issuing statements.

He said the court ruling was based on history and the federal constituency, and did not in any way discriminate other religions.

“He should read the Malaysian history and the constitution first.” he said.



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