Maszlee all for student book vouchers

PETALING JAYA: The Education Ministry will push for the book vouchers aid scheme for tertiary students to continue.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the Finance Ministry has agreed to look into the Education Ministry’s recommendation to continue the book voucher aid scheme.

In a statement yesterday, he said he brought up the matter at Friday’s Cabinet meeting, the first since Budget 2019 was tabled.

The latest Budget did not mention any allocation for the book voucher aid scheme.

“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 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 student welfare is maintained.

“The book voucher scheme is a cause I champion for students,” he said.

The book voucher scheme was launched in 2012 with the name “1Malaysia Book Voucher” programme (BB1M) and was worth RM200.

This BB1M programme was to ease the financial burden of tertiary education students in Malaysia.

In 2014, the government increased the amount to RM250.

But the vouchers were used 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 is pre-loaded onto a student’s debit card.