Utar comes first before CNY shopping


  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 Jan 2003

BY FOONG PEK YEE

INSTEAD of shopping for Chinese New Year, many Wanita MCA leaders have turned peddlers of Chinese New Year decorations this festive season. 

They go to markets and shopping centres nationwide to sell 60,000 pieces of Chinese New Year couplets at RM10 each to raise funds for the party’s Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar)  

The Chinese community is known for their generosity in their support for education as testified by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Utar campus in Kampar last Sunday. 

Describing education as the secret behind the success of the Chinese people, he said the community would go to great lengths to ensure the future generations get the best education. 

Going the extra mile: Wanita MCA chief Chew Mei Fun (right) and Wanita MCA Titiwangsa chairman Grace Chew at the Pudu market to raise funds for Utar.

Dr Mahathir’s testimony was indeed timely and a big boost as momentum for Utar fund raising activities is expected to rise immediately after the ground-breaking ceremony. 

“The university (Utar) is for our children, grandchildren and generations to come,” said Wanita MCA Titiwangsa chairman Grace Chew. 

Grace and her team not only sold over 200 couplets but also took the opportunity to promote the importance of education to the Pudu market crowd yesterday. 

Unlike some MCA male leaders who are still quarrelsome and criticising collective decisions in the party openly to boost their flagging egos, their Wanita counterparts – grandmothers in their 60’s and with no political ambitions – have put them to shame. 

Besides living up to the Chinese saying “Nui Ren Ker Yi Ting Pan Pien Tien” (Women hold up half the sky), their dedication to Utar is in fact a major step towards healing the “wounds” inflicted in the party after an internal power struggle which started almost immediatley after the 1999 general election. 

Utar is the opportunity to redeem the party’s image in the eyes of the community after three years of intermittent mud-slinging between the rival factions. 

The first phase of the campus which costs a few hundred millions of ringgit is scheduled for completion in three years. 

Like the party’s educational projects, especially its 34-year-old Tunku Abdul Rahman College in Kuala Lumpur and its four branch campuses in Johor, Penang, Perak and Pahang, Utar will be another testimony to the party’s ability to garner support from the community. 

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