Anwar criticised for telling students that gov’t will lose all elections if IPTA quota banished

PRIME Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is facing criticism from netizens for his replies to a student who asked him why the authorities are not ending the public higher education institutions (IPTA) quota in Malaysia.In Malaysia, universities like Universiti Teknologi MARA (UITM) have a strict quota for Bumiputras and non-Bumiputras.

In his reply to the student, Anwar said that eliminating the quota system could lead to electoral losses for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government in all upcoming elections.Anwar said the unity government intends to uphold the quota system across the IPTA as a means of preserving the longstanding social justice principles since the nation’s independence.While he cautioned against disregarding the historical and social contract context stating that pushing for the system’s removal would create instability and potentially subject the country to the governance of PAS and Bersatu, resulting in further challenges, many on Twitter were not happy with his answer.They are also not happy that he stopped the student many times, urging the latter to ask the question directly instead of explaining the IPTA problem in a lengthy speech.They say he replied to the student’s question rather sternly. Netizens feel that he should have a softer approach when it comes to students in the country, especially on a highly sensitive topic.Twitter user @ruffnazir stated:

(Whatever it is, Anwar needs to tone down a bit when interacting with the younger generation like this. It was surprising to see Anwar being quite stern with the students. Yes, being firm is necessary but not too harsh. They are not politicians or adults with work experience.)

Moreover, Twitter user @azlierzimi added:

(The answer was satisfactory, but I am not fond of the way the response was delivered to the young individual. A thunderous applause for the brave student who asked such a bold question.)

Meanwhile, some agree with PM in terms of his tone towards the student.

(If you try asking your boss such a question, you might end up getting thrown out of the window! Just see how your boss’ response will be. 😛)

However, when it comes to the whole issue of the government’s IPTA stance, there are quite a few who are sarcastic. – Aug 6, 2023

Main photo credit: Free Malaysia Today’s video

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