KUALA LUMPUR: The government should not expect Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TarUC) to use its reserve funds for operational expenses as such money is meant for its future development, says MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
He said the reserve fund of TarUC had been maintained in terms of real value by merely growing in line with inflation rate.
This fund, he said, was accumulated over the years through donations and operating surplus.
In a statement, Dr Wee said the reserve fund for the institution in 2015 stood at RM545.7mil. In 2016, it increased to RM579.6mil and last year, it stood at RM585.6mil.
“It was merely kept at its real value. Furthermore, the fund has always been used for the development of TarUC, such as setting up the Sabah and Pahang campuses which cost RM100mil in total.”
He said that records showed that the previous Barisan Nasional government had been allocating operating and capital expenditures for TarUC over the years.
Dr Wee said in 2012, TarUC was provided RM64mil for operating expenditure, in 2013, a total of RM60.71mil was allocated for both the operating and capital expenditures.
The total operating and capital expenditures for 2014 was RM69.25mil, 2015 (RM56mil), 2016 (RM52.25mil) and 2017 (RM34mil).
Dr Wee said for this year, RM30mil was allocated for operating expenditure but for next year, only RM5.5mil is allocated for capital expenditure.
“We can see that Pakatan Harapan has slashed the government’s assistance for TarUC by a whopping 82% when we compare the 2018 allocation with the 2019 allocation,” said Dr Wee.
He said that while Pakatan had also slashed allocations for Universiti Malaya, the total only dropped by 8.3% from 2018’s RM453mil (operating expenditure RM445mil and capital expenditure RM8mil) to 2019’s RM415mil (operating expenditure RM405mil and capital expenditure RM10mil).
“If we just compare the operating expenditure allocation for both institutions, the amount for TarUC dropped from RM30mil to zero, while the amount for UM only decreased 9% from RM445mil to RM405mil.
“By putting these figures side by side, it is very obvious that Pakatan is sidelining TarUC on purpose,” said Dr Wee.
He said that previously, DAP leaders such as Lim Guan Eng and Teresa Kok ridiculed the Barisan-led government for only allocating RM30mil for TarUC in Budget 2018 and insisted that the amount be increased to RM60mil.
“And yet now that Pakatan has taken over the Federal Government, with DAP holding the Finance portfolio, these politicians lacked the courage and will to provide sufficient funds for TarUC.
“This shows that being ‘consistently inconsistently’ is indeed their trademark,” said Dr Wee.
At the Parliament lobby, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said that it was reasonable to ask TarUC to use 4% of its cash reserve to pay for operational cost and expenses.
“If they say it is not supposed to be used for operating expenses, I would like to ask Dr Wee what is the cash reserve supposed to be used for?” she asked.
She said that other public universities have been using their cash reserve to pay for their operational cost.
“This is because in the past few years the government was not able to provide sufficient amount of funds for them.
“This is the reality and challenge faced by many government universities.
“And under such a situation, I don’t think it is too much to ask for TarUC to use 4% of its reserve for its operating expenses,” she said.
Did you find this article insightful?