Malaysia: A Meritocratic Society

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Partial view of my UEC-JML. I cannot show the whole of it, since it contains some sensitized information (e.g. my previous national id number), which I prefer not to disclose in a public space. I cherish this result card very much, as getting it has taught me a lot about gain and loss in life.

A meritocratic society

In comparison with the Malay high school students, a major disadvantage for the Chinese high school students is the non-recognition of their high school certificates by the Malaysian government. As a result, all of the students need to take additional government examinations –Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) – to be considered into a public university in Malaysia. Even then, as said, it is not a guarantee for them to get a position in the university. Moreover, the Chinese high schools in Malaysia are private institutions not funded by the government, so the parents have to pay a high amount of tuition fees for their children (I managed to get some subsidizations from the school during my second and third years of study, since my family met the low-income requirement).

Still, every year, tens of thousands of students swarm to get a place in different Chinese high schools in their regions. Foon Yew High School in Johor Bahru is one of these popular high schools. (more…)