‘TAR UC will fight for grant’s return’

Focused on education: Liow (centre) and Federation of Tunku Abdul Rahman College Alumni Associations Malaysia president Adrian Yeo (sixth from left) cutting the anniversary cake with TAR UC management and federation officials.

PETALING JAYA: Regardless of who helms the government, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) will fight for its right to a matching grant to be reinstated, says its board of governors chairman Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said there was a contract between the government and TAR UC, which must be honoured.

“Whoever leads the government must fulfil that promise.

“There is nothing political about TAR UC. Education is for nation-building.

“We’ve fulfilled all the requirements to form an education institution, so please support us with the resources to develop, especially now that we are on our way to becoming a full-fledged university, ” Liow told reporters after the Federation of Tunku Abdul Rahman College Alumni Associations, Malaysia’s 31st anniversary luncheon here yesterday.

A scheduled meeting between MCA representatives and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was acting Education Minister, over the matching grant on Feb 24 did not take place when he resigned and became interim Prime Minister that day.

Liow, a former MCA president, stated that he had retired from politics and was involved with TAR UC purely as a volunteer in the interest of education and nation development.

Liow also reiterated that TAR UC, despite having been set up by MCA, was apolitical.

Under Budget 2019 presented by former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, the RM1-for-RM1 matching grant – an annual amount given by the Barisan Nasional government to TAR UC to match the funds the university college raised – was cut off.

In the past, the institution received between RM30mil and RM60mil in matching grant annually from the ministry.

It was the first time in 50 years that TAR UC, which was set up in 1969 by MCA to cater to Chinese students deprived of opportunities to enter public universities, was denied this funding.

Lim had called for MCA to relinquish control of the institution before the ministry would reinstate the matching grant

In the latest Budget 2020, not only was the matching grant for TAR UC not reinstated, its development fund was also slashed from RM5.5mil to a mere RM1mil.

MCA maintained that the TAR UC management would continue to request the matching grant of up to RM60mil per year, which the Federal Government had agreed to since 2013.

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