KUALA LUMPUR: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has been told to stop the political persecution of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC).
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong in making the call, added that the DAP secretary-general had for the last one year, interfered in the 50-year-old TAR UC, which is governed by all relevant laws.
"An officer from the Finance Ministry has on Nov 26, suddenly presented a letter at the TARC Board of Governors meeting stating that the board is illegal because the trustees are all MCA members.
"This is a shock to us. Since when there is a law or constitutional clause that prohibits a member of a political party from becoming a member of a foundation?" said Dr Wee.
For this year and next year, a total of RM60mil in government matching grants has not been given to TAR UC.
Lim said he would only give TAR UC the grants if it sever ties with MCA.
The Barisan Nasional government had given RM1.0123bil matching grants to TAR UC between 1969 and 2018 to help keep its tuition fees affordable to needy students.
"I want to tell Lim Guan Eng, that's enough, we had enough! Stop suppressing TAR UC, and stop the political persecution.
"TAR UC was founded by us (MCA), This higher education institution that we and the Chinese society support together, have groomed at least 200,000 students," said Dr Wee in his hour-long and emotionally charged speech when opening the party's 66th annual general meeting (AGM) here on Sunday (Dec 1).
TAR UC was set up by MCA as Tunku Abdul Rahman College in 1969 to provide tertiary education to needy students who could not gain access to public universities and could not afford to go to private universities.
The college was elevated to a university college -TAR UC - in 2013.
Dr Wee said TAR UC enrols between 6,000 and 8,000 students of all races annually, most of them being Chinese, which is close to the total number of Chinese freshies admitted each year by the 20 public universities in the country.
Dr Wee said: "As long as I am the president, I will be here to protect TAR UC from those who intend to tear it down. And I am sure all MCA members and those from the Chinese community will also do their part to safeguard this institution.
"Lim Guan Eng, you and your father (DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang) as well as your party have never donated a single sen to TAR UC.
"Please do not abuse your power," said Dr Wee, adding that Lim should stay out of TAR UC.
He also challenged Lim to a public debate and settle the issue once and for all.
The public has also started to rally their support for TAR UC.
Dr Wee said he was thankful to all for their support, and the RM223,974 raised for TAR UC as of Wednesday (Nov 27).
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