PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic) should apologise for the way he answered questions posed by a female student on racial quotas in tertiary education, says Gerakan.
Party vice-president Datuk Baljit Singh said the way Anwar answered the student’s questions during a dialogue session at the Penang Matriculation College on Saturday (Aug 5) was inappropriate.
“Is the Prime Minister unable to distinguish between political enemies and young students?
“As the Prime Minister, he should understand the feelings of Malaysians, especially students who are disappointed instead of responding in an emotional state,” Baljit said in a statement on Monday (Aug 7).
Baljit, who is also Perikatan Nasional’s candidate for the Bukit Tengah seat in the 15th state election, said students are now mature and have a desire to understand the political landscape of Malaysia and described Anwar’s behaviour as shameful.
Baljit also questioned the whereabouts of the “DAP warriors who have been fighting for equal rights in Malaysia”.
“Where is the Deputy Education Minister from DAP?
“Is she just silent and hiding behind Anwar after becoming part of the government?” Baljit asked.
During the “Temu Anwar” session on Saturday (Aug 5), Anwar had received a question from a female student at the Penang Matriculation College, who wanted to know when the government was going to do away with the racial quota system in favour of meritocracy for entrance into higher learning institutions.
She also drew on the example that her non-bumiputra peers who scored more As than their bumiputra counterparts had initially failed to gain entry into matriculation colleges and some only managed to get in after appealing.
Anwar, however, continuously interrupted her when she was trying to provide the context for her question and answered her in an abrasive manner.
He also told her that she should have followed his previous sessions with students.
“I already answered. Next time, follow,” he said.
Anwar also said that the student was not being fair to poor bumiputras from rural schools.
This was not the first time that Anwar has been in hot water for the way he interacted with students.
In June, Anwar was criticised over a remark he made to an 18-year-old female student during a dialogue session at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia in Negri Sembilan when replying to her questions on the economy and performance of the ringgit.
Anwar praised her on how she relayed her questions before saying, “Kalau saya muda, saya dah minta nombor telefon dah (If I were younger, I would have asked your number).”
– The Star