The Tempinis diaries

May 4, 2008

Rejected for Matrikulasi?: It Might Work Out Well in the End

Filed under: education, malaysia — Tags: , , — toru @ 1:22 pm

And so it begins. We have the yearly round of heartbreaking stories of top students who are rejected for scholarships and matrikulasi (letter below from Malaysiakini). My two cents worth to these students is this: get over it. Don’t mope about it, don’t shed tears over it. Channel your energy towards earning excellent STPM or A-levels grades. SPM is not really a pre-university qualifications anyway. If you got good grades for SPM, don’t expect a short cut to university.

You will emerge stronger from this experience. And things will work out in the end. This incident might turn out to be a huge blessing in disguise. Get excellent grades for STPM or A-levels and go to another university which values your talent, energy and brains. Here’s how. Looking back at those dark days when I was in a similar position, I would say that I have achieved so much more than if I had gone to a local university. Besides, the standard of local universities is nothing to shout about these days.

A daughter devastated, a mother with no answers
A Schoolteacher | Apr 17, 08 3:27pm
I am a teacher by profession. I am teaching in a government school. Being a teacher, I am expected to inculcate moral values in my teachings. I have memorised all the sixteen values ‘Nilai-nilai Murni’ as a result of twenty-five years of teaching – values that transcend curriculum. Day in day out, all the students are exposed to all the values which are expected to cultivate good thinking and moral values among our young citizens. Examples of some of the moral values are being kind-hearted, respecting each other, fairness, honesty, and moderation.

In the recent SPM examination, many of my students did very well, some scoring straight As. We, teachers of all races, felt so very proud seeing the achievements of our students. We had ‘Hari Anugerah Cemerlang’ in my school. Parents, regardless of race or religion were there to lend support for the programme and at the same time to motivate the children. One such student is my own daughter, who scored 12 As, best student of the school. She used to wake as early as 4 o’clock in the morning to start preparing for her SPM.

When I asked her why she has to take up 12 subjects and ‘torture ‘ herself, she told me, ‘I am not a bumiputera like many of my friends.’ So the need to take up two extra subjects (not offered in her school) in order to be on par with her Malay friends.

She applied for the Progran Matrikulasi well before SPM itself. Yesterday was the day she was eagerly waiting since obtaining her SPM results because all the applicants will get their reply from the matriculation office. While I was in school, my handphone rang. It was a call from my daughter. When I answered the call she was already sobbing, and I am so silly to think that it was tears of joy.

The sobs turn to cries after she heard my voice – she was devastated, depressed and very disappointed because she failed to get entry into this government-sponsored programme. She is the eldest in my family. I have another three school going children. May be I am to be blamed because it was me who asked her to study hard, get good results because being an ordinary teacher I can not afford to send her to private colleges.

When I came back after school yesterday afternoon, again I saw tears in her eyes. She asked several questions. ‘Is it wrong to get 12 As in SPM? My Malay friends who got 2As and 3 As got to do the matriculation programme, I am denied. What’s wrong? You are also a teacher just like uncle, (my Malay college in school) his son was offered a place although he scored only 5As. Why?’ I don’t have answers.

Being a teacher (I teach History and Moral Education), I teach my students to be loyal to the country, to respect the leaders, to obey the laws of the nation, to promote goodwill and so on. I encourage them to participate in ‘Rimup’ (a race integration programme among students of various races).

I do not know what to say to my daughter. I feel guilty because what I teach in school is actually rubbish, perhaps I need to tell them the reality being a non-Malay citizen of our beloved nation. For that I need to resign. Please Mr. Prime Minister, may be you have something to tell us.


  1. I’m a spm2007 student who scored 10as 1b in bahasa melayu.I also applied matrikulasi before my spm exam.
    However,just like the school teacher’s daughter,I’m failed to get the opportunity.
    I still remember that time I typing in my IC number to check,step by step.Since many people around me told me that don’t put too much hope on that, I told myself its ok if didn’t get it.But I still feel to have it at the same time.

    That’s only my experience.

    Comment by KEY — May 7, 2008 @ 8:10 am

  2. I am spm 2007 student.I was rejected for matric but unfortunately i was appealed for PDT.I even dont understand why i was rejected -i got 5 a’s.I have a friend who got 3 a’s but she managed to go to matric Kedah.Im wondering is that impossible for a teacher’s daughter to get offer for matric.Now i got the reason why i was rejected.Is that because my mother is a teacher.

    -I was confused-

    Comment by Rejected — May 7, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

  3. I am sorry to hear about this. Don’t dwell on the rejection and work harder for your stpm.

    Comment by tempinis — May 8, 2008 @ 1:35 am

  4. Ya, now the time to work harder in my stpm and left alone all the bad feeling behind.

    Comment by KEY — May 11, 2008 @ 5:22 am

  5. great to hear about it Key. Maybe you can take a look at my post on getting into Singaporean universities and improving your English after spm?

    good luck.

    Comment by tempinis — May 11, 2008 @ 5:47 am

  6. Hello,its me again.Today I just had a orientation day with all that talks with those upper six seniors.I’m shock and start worrying about the studies when I heard from one of good result senior said that only 3 of them got passed in the chemistry test.Even my friends all start struggling against the difficulties of stpm and wish to change from science stream to art stream!Its really make me don’t know what to do next.

    Can I know that diploma course is not good enough for us?
    I also trying to improve my English too,should I go for some extra classes to do so?

    Comment by KEY — May 13, 2008 @ 9:08 am

  7. Have faith in yourself and work hard. Things will work out in the end. Why are they not doing well in Form Six? Is it because the school is not very good? Is there a better school nearby where you can transfer to?

    Here is my post on improving your English

    Comment by tempinis — May 13, 2008 @ 2:52 pm

  8. 3 out of 13 students passed the test,its just a breaking news for me!I’m not sure about the reason,but the senior said that they still have about 6 months to work harder to catch it up. Even he said it confidently[i think],but it can’t stop me to worry.I’m study in the same school since form 1.My school is ‘SMJK’ one, many people try to get in this school. I can’t sure that it is not very good but isn’t form 6 need us to work hard and the teachers just help at the side.

    I have wrote something in my blog in english about my feelings.If you don’t mind can go and take look

    I think I should trust myself to work hard.Thank for your concern.

    Comment by KEY — May 14, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  9. Its not about how many A’s you got.. And about Bumiputra or not. Matriculation college MOE are made specially to bumiputra. Just agree with that.

    Comment by Amanda — May 21, 2008 @ 3:07 am

  10. Hi, yes indeed sad. I feel sad for your daughter. I can feel how she must be feeling, hopes dashed. You said it. It is the reality of being a non malay in this nation which we have adopted as our own. We, non malays are treated “anak tiri”. ( I am a convert) But when election time comes, they (those who rule) refer to us as their children. They want our votes only. We must find a political party which treats every one equal.

    Comment by Saiful — May 24, 2008 @ 2:58 am

  11. From
    On A daughter devastated, a mother with no answers

    Ratormo: The matriculation course only serves one objective and that’s to get into public university the easy way. But there is no easy way to get a proper education. In my opinion, the STPM exam follows the Viking’s proverb: ‘What does not kill you, makes you stronger’. I was a STPM student who has now completed a degree and MSc. in Petroleum Eng. from a local university and a PhD in Chemical Eng from Nottingham University (UK) with scholarships from a private company (for degree), the government university (for my MSc) and the British government (for the PhD). Today I earn a fantastic salary working for a foreign oil company doing R&D work .

    Up to the PhD level, I can tell you that STPM was the toughest exam that I had ever faced. The STPM and CLP (law exam for foreign law grads) only serves to break the will of the non-bumi students. But like the Vikings said, what does not kill you, makes you stronger. So Schoolteachers’s daughter don’t give up. Take up the STPM and pursue your dreams and show this government what you are made of!

    Truly Malaysian: I am in deep sympathy with the mother who finds it hard to answer her daughter’s question pertaining to equal opportunity in education. Thirty long years ago, I was fortunate enough to get an honest answer from a director in my department on the same question.

    The answer was- ‘This is our national policy’.

    In Malaysia, where people are divided and ruled along racial lines, there are artificial differences, discriminations and segregation as tools of public administration. Without that, the people would not be divided and therefore could not be ruled as is now. Fears, threats, distrust and therefore disunity among Malaysians made things easier for the authority to administer the masses.

    And this has not changed over all these years. So, if you desire to be a ‘loyal’ Malaysian, you have to come to terms with this state of inequality and injustice. In fact, it is irrelevant for us to use the word ‘equality’ in this land as it has yet to attain that level of civilisation.

    I sincerely hope that the daughter’s question is answered.

    Prabu: This is not first time that I’m hearing that a straight A1s student is denied an entry to a government matriculation institution. Even my colleague’s daughter who scored 11 A1s is denied admission to these pro-bumi schools.

    Is not that Indians, Chinese and others don’t have the money to send their children to private institution. Isn’t it a citizen of Malaysia’s right? Why do we have to go elsewhere for education even if our children scored many, many A1s? Where is the equality in education? We are not asking for special rights for education but at least, it should be an equal system.

    If this continues, we non-bumis need not to live in such country. No wonder many are migrating.

    Sadirah K: I can well sympathise with ‘A Schoolteacher’ and the plight of her daughter. There are many young Malaysians who are now asking the question as to why they are of lesser value than others. The only time Malaysians are equal is when it comes to tax assessments. It is difficult for Malaysians who are not bumiputera, Malays or Muslims to secure places to study for Matrikulasi.

    I know of a friend of mine whose two children excelled in their results but could not secure a place. The father was desperate because he wanted his children to study in Malaysia. He could not afford to send them overseas. They cannot do Assasi Sains because they do not qualify racially. The only option is STPM – a two year programme following which there is no choice but to do a course not of your preference. Talk of Medicine and Dentistry and it is a dream.

    This is the level of discrimination that we have to face as minorities. The government talks about Vision 2020 and fairness before all Malaysians. They continue building more and more Mara residential schools that only benefit one community. Less then 25,000 students of about 43,000 who sit for the SPM annually are Indian Malaysians. What ‘threat’ do these students pose?

    Do the Indians have to beg for even a 10% allocation of places for Matrikulasi, Assasi Sains and in Mara Junior Science Colleges and residential schools? The PM says that he is the PM of all Malaysians but his rhetoric does not match his actions. In the field of education, there is tremendous inequality.

    Comment by Saiful — May 24, 2008 @ 3:04 am

  12. […] to all who did well in STPM and SPM. You might want to check out my previous writings here, here, here and […]

    Pingback by STPM and SPM 2009 « The Tempinis diaries — March 15, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

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