SHAH ALAM: It is heartwarming to see Malays, Indians and Chinese strongly supporting the fund-raising effort for Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC), says its board of governors chairman Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
A two-hour fund-raiser at the Nasi Lemak Tepi Jalan in Setia Alam here on Wednesday night collected RM10,978.50.
“I am very touched and grateful for the support from Malaysians as the university college is undergoing a tough time. Their support shows they understand TAR UC’s plight, ” Liow said, adding that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has deprived TAR UC a total of RM60mil government matching grants under Budget 2019 and 2020, which are meant for the institution’s operating expenses in order to keep its fees affordable.
Liow said TAR UC managed to raise RM1.4mil since the fund-raising campaign took off last year.
Set up by MCA in 1969 as Tunku Abdul Rahman College (it was upgraded to a university college in 2013), it has produced over 200,000 graduates, mostly from poor families.
The institution’s frugal management plus the RM1.023bil matching grants from the government between 1969 and 2018 had made the fees affordable.
Liow said TAR UC would convey its plight to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is now the acting Education Minister.
“Dr Mahathir was the Education Minister (between 1974 and 1977) and he knows TAR UC very well.
“We hope our Prime Minister can help so we can continue our mission to provide quality education with affordable fees, ” said Liow.
Nasi Lemak Tepi Jalan outlet owner Muhammad Hakim Aziz said he paid RM3,000 in expenses and fees for his four-year-old child to enter kindergarten this month.
He said the monthly fee is RM600.
“Education is expensive nowadays. I cannot imagine the cost when my children start college, ” said Hakim, 30.
He said he supported TAR UC fund-raising when Shah Alam Barisan Nasional leaders approached him for help.
Hakim said efforts to provide affordable education for the young deserved the people’s support.
Those at the event included Shah Alam Umno chief Datuk Azhari Shaari and MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon.