SPM Higher Achievers: What Can Be Done?



Every year, more and more students score straight A’s for their SPM. When I was a student, the highest A’s you could obtain was 11 if I’m not mistaken, but now, it has rose to a ridiculous 16A’s!

Now that the number of high achievers have increased, there is a problem. The government can’t afford to give all of them scholarships, and even better can’t offer them the courses they want. For the government, it must be a headache, because they can only choose a few from so many… but for the students whom can’t get into a university, a scholarship or even the course they want after scoring so many A’s, its just unfair. And before you know it, political parties come up with accusations that there is no fairness in the system.

Won’t be saying much on the quota system practiced, because I feel that the general public knows that there are ‘special exceptions‘ when it comes to these things, and I could get in trouble if I say too much without outstanding proof, but as the Malaysian public perceives, I know you guys know what I mean.

Construction workers beautifying a hotel

Now, with so many high achievers, a small budget to spend for their scholarship (public service scholarship) and limited places for their(the students) preferred courses. What can be done?

Currently, the government offers free scholarships and tertiary education to those whom are lucky enough, and if you are not so lucky, you get a course you don’t want.. but still sponsored by the government. Unlucky ones, get left out and get to choose from the long list of private institutions their parents can afford.

With so much at stake, the country is bound to loose bright minds if the government does not deal with this issue appropriately, and some political parties will be quick to use it to gain political mileage. So, what was announced? Well, for starters, our education minister cum Deputy PM said that they will limit SPM usbjects to 10.

This is good, because I personally think that getting over 12A’s is just crazy!! Secondly, I read that the government plans to make selection for the scholarships easier. Well, I could say both are good moves, and do have their advantages, but I do not see this solving the problems arising due to higher high achievers yearly.

So, anyway, I recommend that the government set up a special university for these high achievers. If not, make a special university college. It’s a one off expenditure, but you’d solve this teething problem. No need to offer them scholarships, but instead, bring in the best minds to teach in this university, and these high achieving students enroll in the university for free. Yup.. free.. just like in boarding school, minus the uniform and the school like rules.

The way I see it, the government spends way too much on teaching selected students foreign languages (for preparatory classes to send them abroad), way too much on these students’ scholarships, and way too much to keep on sending them year by year… but at the end of the day see them paying back all the money spent (known as the ‘fine’ for breaching contract), and refusing to serve for Malaysia simply because they are comfortable and earn more in the country they have been studying. It’s a loss of human capital.

Kuching is a nice place to stay

Educating them in the country will not only ensure most of them do stay in Malaysia and increase our ‘great minds’, but also shorten cost and also expenditure because there is no more worries on flight tickets, accommodation and so much more.  All the government needs to do is bring in those ‘brilliant minds’ from other countries, to educate our younger ‘brilliant minds’, and of course prepare the best infrastructure for them. Run the institution like great universities like Harvard or Oxford, and revoke quotas or whatever and make it a truly meritocracy university…

but hell yeah… in Malaysia… it’s never easy to be fair…. blah!! It’s my suggestion though…

Pogang: A Bidayuh favourite delicacy

Anyway, check outthe new look of my gallery, and last but not least… Happy Gawai everyone… my house will be closed this year.. .hehehehe…


  1. I agree so much with you on government expenditure to send student overseas. As it turns out this will only work if Malaysia can match the offer that is given overseas. This is not possible when Malaysia is a developing country.

    It is normal for human being to aspire to better their life, be it academically, professionally or financially. On the other hand, I am very disappointed with some students who take advantage of the system. It’s unpatriotic. If you use the taxpayers money to fund your overseas education you SHOULD come home and offer your expertise at home for a certain amount of time. Preferably equal to the amount that has been given to you. Paying it back in full working overseas is not enough a compensation…when given scholarships, you are not borrowing taxpayers money, you are borrowing their hope for you to come back and use your overseas gained skills to better your own people.

    Hence the reason why I rejected a scholarship offer and head overseas self-funded. I knew I wasn’t going to come home to work and the least I could do was not to cheat our hardworking citizens of their tax money.

    You made a very good move. I think you’re going to reside in Australia also now kan?? You saved my money by not taking the scholarship because I pay tax now..hehe

  2. Hi, just found your blog because I was Googling “Biro Tatanegara”.

    The problem with the SPM is that the cut-off marks for “A” have been lowered so far that As are saturated, so it’s way too easy to get straight As (by saturated I mean like when you take a photo, if you open the shutter too long everything will be white, right?). My grumpy old Add Maths teacher said that during his time, getting 9As meant that you were a bona fide genius. Now it just means you’re a decent student.

    The bar for the SPM needs to be raised back up. I know this may hurt students from poor backgrounds or in rural schools, but the answer is to give them better teachers, not to have a national exam that has become almost meaningless as a standard.

    Couldn’t agree more with you megabigBLUR. Quality has dropped for quantity.

  3. In my personal opinions, nowdays student should living out of their dogma.
    Just like what Steven Jobs say in his speech in this video:

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

    Well, our time is limited. Lets do something that we love to and we can see value in it :).

    Agreed Syuxx!!

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