KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The RM30mil allocation by the government to a trust fund managed by Tunku Abdul Rahman Alumni Association (TAA) is for the benefit of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) and students of the institution, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said on Saturday (Nov 23) that the allegation that the RM30mil trust fund could only be utilised on condition MCA relinquished ownership of the institution was baseless.
"I want to stress that the allocation of at least RM30mil a year in the trust fund handled by TAA is not for saving in a bank account but for use for the benefit TAR UC and its students.
"The RM30mil is not to be left in the trust fund as savings to earn interest, ” he said during a media conference with a line-up of the TAA leadership.
Lim said TAA was not controlled by the government or any Pakatan Harapan political parties but comprised successful former TAR UC students as well as a representative of the Finance Ministry.
The Finance Minister also explained that the fund could be channelled directly to TAR UC if the institution was no longer controlled by MCA, a political party.
"In another word, the trust fund will manage the annual RM30mil allocation without the involvement or intervention of the government or any political parties, including MCA and Pakatan Harapan, ” he said.
Lim stressed that until MCA gave up ownership and control of the administration back to TAR UC, the trust fund would be handled by TAA to look after the interest of the institution and students.
The allocation announced yesterday was approved by members of the Cabinet, including Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he said.
Meanwhile, TAA president Datuk Yap Kuak Fong said the trust fund would be under the leadership of a senior legal advisor and the main objective of the public trust was for the sole purpose of ensuring TAR UC institution was free from political intervention.
"This means the separation of education from politics and to have the right structure to move on to the next level to ensure TAR UC becomes a prominent higher education institution in Malaysia," said Yap.
He said the legal advisor would set up a company limited by guarantee for non-profit purpose and there would be diverse representation as required.
"In terms of structure details, we look at it based on the underlying principles that there will be public accountability, transparency as well as good corporate governance," he added.
Local media commented that the Finance Ministry must be transparent and explain in detail the proposed trust fund of RM30mil to TAR UC.
MCA publicity deputy chairman Mike Chong Yew Chuan questioned why should the fund be channeled into the TAA, as opposed to the other registered alumni association, the Federation of TAR Student Alumni. – Bernama
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