PETALING JAYA: Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) president Lee Sze Wei (pic) says the RM58mil direct allocation from the government would enable the institution to continue to provide quality and affordable education.
Lee also thanked the government for the allocation in a statement Thursday (May 28).
“The allocation gives TAR UC the impetus to continue our mission in making quality education more accessible to all Malaysians," he said.
On Wednesday (May 27), MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the Finance Ministry had agreed to allocate RM58mil directly to TAR UC and thanked its minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
An immediate outcome is that the allocation will no longer be channelled through any third party.
This is a departure from a decision made by the Pakatan Harapan government, where former finance minister Lim Guan Eng insisted that TAR UC founder MCA must cede control of TAR UC to continue receiving government funds.
"I am thankful that Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz has taken the overall situation into account and rectified the situation," Dr Wee said.
Explaining the RM58mil allocation, Dr Wee said the Finance Ministry retrieved the remaining RM18mil of the RM40mil that Lim had allocated to TAA’s trust fund.
The fund is called the Tarcian Alumni Association Education Trust Fund (TAA-ETF).
He said the allocation by Lim to TAA-ETF was on an ad-hoc basis, an arrangement that was not listed in the national budget.
“To carry out the government’s commitment since the establishment of TAR UC, previously known as TAR College, a matching grant of RM40mil will be channelled to the university college through the Higher Education Ministry this year under Budget 2020, ” said Dr Wee, who is also TAR UC Education Foundation Board of Trustees’ chairman.
He said the Higher Education Ministry would also channel the remaining RM18mil from TAA-ETF to the owner of TAR UC.
“The payment will be made through a proper disbursement procedure by the Higher Education Ministry, ” he said.
MCA, which founded the TAR UC in 1969, fought to secure matching grants for the university college.
Over the years, the university college has received an average of RM30mil to RM60mil annually from the government.
However, when tabling Budget 2019 in Parliament, Lim announced only RM5.5mil for TAR UC’s development fund.
In Budget 2020, which was announced in October last year, not only was the matching grant for TAR UC not reinstated, but its annual development funds were also cut to RM1mil from RM5.5mil.
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