PETALING JAYA: The book vouchers aid scheme for tertiary students may continue, despite Budget 2019 not making any allocation for the scheme.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the Finance Ministry has agreed to look into the Education Ministry’s recommendation to continue the book vouchers aid scheme.
In a statement on Saturday (Nov 10), he said he brought up the matter at Friday’s (Nov 9) Cabinet meeting, the first since Budget 2019 was tabled.
“The Finance Ministry has agreed to look into this matter as it is meant to help reduce the financial burden of tertiary students,” said Dr Maszlee.
He added that the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also believes that such aid should continue.
“We hope there will be good news in the near future,” said Dr Maszlee.
He also thanked the Finance Ministry for their consideration and the Prime Minister for his support.
“As promised, I will ensure that students' welfare is looked after,” he continued.
The book voucher scheme was launched in 2012 with the name “1Malaysia Book Voucher” programme (BB1M) and was worth RM200.
In 2014, the government increased the amount to RM250.
However, the vouchers were allegedly being abused to buy items other than reading materials and were even being sold.
Thus in 2016, the government changed the vouchers to cash worth RM250 that was preloaded into a student debit card.