Tajuk asal artikel Michelle Yap yang disiarkan oleh Malaysiakini adalah tajuk debat tahunan Majlis Pelajar Malaysia Australia 2010. Biarpun pada peringkat awal 44.1% menyokong usul debat ini, bagaimanapun selepas debat, didapati jumlah tersebut menurun. Syabas kepada pendebat yang berjaya meyakinkan bahawa DEB telah membantu pertumbuhan negara selama ini.
'Malaysia has failed to progress since NEP'
Apr 30, 10
About 200 students gathered in Prince Philip Theatre at Melbourne University, to participate in the first Malaysian Student Council of Australia, Victoria Chapter (Masca) Annual Debate (MAD) 2010, which goes with the motion 'Malaysia has failed to progress since the inception of New Economic Policy (NEP)'.
A group of debaters from a diverse range of backgrounds - be it race or religion, was chosen. The affirmative team comprsied of Julie Ngai, Shamir Hameed and Sri Athiyan, who were convinced that tye NEP has discriminated and unfairly treated citizens that are not privileged.
'All of us are from different background, ethnicity, ideas and thoughts, but we share a common trait - we are Malaysians. Deprivation of equity of opportunity is the biggest downfall of NEP.' Julie Ngai from Negeri Sembilan, who is a second year Law degree student studying in Monash University.
According to Sri Athiyan from Johor, who is also a second year law student of Monash University, the government had lifted the 30% equity requirement in 27 service sectors only last year, after realising the importance of foreign investments to bring in expertise, technology, knowledge and job opportunities into Malaysia.
However, the debaters from the opposing team, Haerris Riani, Noor Leena and Ronald Li believed that NEP had made Malaysia a developed country.
Ronald Li from Selangor, who is doing his Masters in International Relations at Melbourne University, said that people generally thinks that poverty is still an issue in Malaysia because our wage levels have not been increased, but in the largest economy of the world, the US, wage levels have also not gone up in recent years and poverty has since long ago been a huge problem.
Noor Leena from Penang, who is currently studying Bachelor of Commerce in Melbourne University, argued that since the inception of NEP, the unemployment rate has decreased from 6.7% in 1985 to 3.7% in 2006.
Haerris Riani, from Selangor, who is pursuing Masters in Commerce and Management at Deakin University, and also the president of Kelab Umno Victoria, believes that the education system has improved because of the NEP based on the increasing number of Malaysians studying and graduating from overseas.
Members of the floor were very attentive throughout the debate. The high turnout for MAD indicates that Malaysian students in Australia are highly concerned with the issue that has been lingering in the minds of Malaysian youth.
Prior to the event, the first polling that was recorded from everyone who attended the debate, showed that 44.1% were for the motion, 26% were undecided and 29.9% were against the motion.
The second polling, that was recorded after the event showed a slight decrease in the amount of people who were for the motion at 40.2%, 15.9% still undecided and the number of people against the motion had increased to 43.9%.
MAD 2010 was organised by students, for students with Zia Mohzani, a postgraduate from Monash University as the Project Manager. MAD aims to promote intellectual discourse among Malaysian students in Victoria, and also to create awareness regarding critical issues in Malaysia.
This event is sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Australian government, the Australia-Malaysia Institute, YNJ Migration Consultants, Mister Potato and Victorian International Directors' Committee (VIDC), Universities of Victoria, with refreshment of the day sponsored by Chilli Padi.
The writer is public relations and press secretary, Masca Annual Debate 2010. Photo credit: Eugene Lee Eu-Juin.