‘Maintain RM30mil allocation to TAR UC’

GEORGE TOWN: The operation of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) will be affected if it is only given RM5.5mil in development funds next year, says Penang Front Party (PFP).

Its president Datuk Patrick Ooi said TAR UC received RM30mil during Budget 2018.

“We understand that the country is burdened with financial constraints, so we are not expecting the allocation to be increased.

“We just hope the allocation can at least be maintained at RM30mil so that TAR UC can function optimally,” said Ooi yesterday.

He also sent a memorandum of appeal to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, which was received by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow’s information officer Zahar Zainal.

On Thursday, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said tuition fees at TAR UC might increase after Lim said the government was giving RM5.5mil for the development fund instead of a RM30mil matching grant.

Lim said the Pakatan government advocates separation of education from politics, hence as long as TAR UC belongs to MCA, it will not consider providing the matching grant.

Ooi urged Lim not to politicise the issue.

“We hope Lim will understand that although TAR UC is linked to MCA, it has produced hundreds of thousands of graduates from various races, religions and social backgrounds.

“Education is vital for nation building. We hope the state and federal governments can give their undivided support to the institution.

“TAR UC has always been professionally managed,” he said.

PFP is an independent Chinese-based party which champions community issues.

It is neither anti-DAP nor Barisan Nasional-friendly, and is affiliated with over 80 social, temple and clan associations.

In the last general election, it contested 13 state seats and one parliamentary seat in Penang.