Monday 13 June 2011

PSD recipients list will not be revealed

The government will not publish the list of Public Service Department (PSD) scholarship recipients despite the revival of calls for greater openness.

Minister in the Prime Minister Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz reiterated this in the Dewan Rakyat during Question Time this morning.

Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (PAS-Kota Raja) had raised the matter in view of the outcry over students who did not receive PSD scholarships despite having obtained excellent examination results.

Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) posed a similar question, demanding how the government can make claims about being transparent when no one knows the eligibility of the recipients.

“It NONEis the government's policy not to reveal the marks obtained by recipients, in order to protect the rights and privacy of the individuals,” Nazri said.

He repeated that the government had allocated 1,500 scholarships for degree courses overseas, 2,500 for local public and private degree programmes, and 8,000 for diploma courses that can continue to a degree programme.

Nazri brushed aside claims of abuse of power by PSD officers in selecting candidates, a question posed by Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan).

“There isn't any concrete proof of abuse of power in awarding the scholarships, looking at the fact that the implementation was done transparently and in an orderly manner as instructed by the cabinet decision of Jan 14, 2009.”

'Lingering misconceptions'

Nazri explained that the awarding of overseas scholarships often becomes an issue because of “lack of understanding of the criteria and candidate selection principles”.

“This is despite the efforts taken to educate the people through the media and education fairs held annually throughout the country.

“Among tazlanhe reasons why many high achievers are not successful in obtaining an overseas grant is because the number of students achieving excellent academic results is increasing.”

Other misconceptions are that the PSD will provide students with placement in a university.

“In fact, the PSD only offers sponsorships. Places for courses for matriculation or at local universities are allocated by the education minister or the Higher Education Ministry,” said Nazri.

However, to address the recurring problems, the PSD scholarship scheme will be studied and upgraded, he added.

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