KUALA LUMPUR: Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has skirted the issue of terminating Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara)’s scholarships to students in Taylor's University.
He avoided answering a question posed to him at the Dewan Rakyat by Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping). Instead, Ismail provided the number of scholarships for students currently enrolled in the private university.
"As of Sept 2015, 521 Mara scholars were undergoing studies in Taylor's University in various fields including foundation programmes, degrees, master's programmes etc.
“The number of scholarships is very large for a higher education institution (IPT). The sponsorship of students by Mara in IPTs, including Taylor's University, is based on current needs," he said in a written reply to the question on Tuesday.
Nga had asked Ismail to explain Mara’s decision to stop its sponsorship for students at Taylor's.
On Sept 21, Ismail announced that Mara would terminate the sponsorship for the next intake of students to Taylor’s.
At the time, Ismail also avoided questions from reporters on the reasons for the termination, with the minister merely answering “there are many reasons".
It is believed that this is due to the varsity’s decision on Sept 18 in terminating the services of its bus operator which ferried protesters to the red shirt rally on Malaysia Day.
The bus operator reportedly used vehicles bearing the university’s logo to ferry passengers to the Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu on Sept 16.
The university said the two-month termination notice, which takes immediate effect, was done in line with the contract of service with the third-party bus company.