PETALING JAYA: The reinstatement of government allocation to Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) has come as a great relief to the institution, especially the deserving students.
Federation of Tunku Abdul Rahman College Alumni Associations president Adrian Yeo Eng Hui said the annual grant was important for TAR UC’s continual survival.
“TAR UC is not profit-motivated. The university college is doing a social and noble obligation in providing quality education for the masses at affordable fees.
“The news of reinstatement of the government grant to TAR UC came as a great relief for us.
“We feel good as the government re-embraced TAR UC after (it was) being abandoned and in the wilderness for the last two years, ” he said when contacted.
On Wednesday, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong announced that TAR UC would obtain RM58mil from the Finance Ministry for this year and that the allocation would no longer be channelled through any third party.
The fund includes the remaining RM18mil (of the RM40mil) government allocation that was previously allocated to a third-party trust fund that the Finance Ministry had retrieved; and another RM40mil from the government under Budget 2020.
Dr Wee said this was the decision reached following discussions with Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
Yeo said TAR UC had been operating at a loss in the past few years.
“Although it turned out to be surplus following interest income from bank deposits, it is not real income but meant to cushion off the depreciation of money value.
“If the grant is cut off, then scholarships will have to be reduced, perhaps by half, ” he said, adding that the alumni was thankful to the Finance Ministry and Higher Education Ministry for honouring the government’s obligation in continuing giving the grant.
With the grant restored, he noted that it was time for TAR UC to “march forward with clearer direction and conviction”.
Yeo lauded Dr Wee, who is also TAR UC Education Board of Trustees’ chairman, for putting the smile back on TAR UC staff, students and alumni.
“You did a massive job. You are a great warrior who engineered the reinstatement of the grant to the rightful recipient, ” he said.
TAR UC president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei said he was grateful for the funding, which would enable the university college to continue providing quality and affordable education.
“We would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to the government for restoring the funding. This is certainly very good news to us as it gives TAR UC the impetus to continue our mission in making quality education more accessible to all Malaysians, ” he said.
TAR UC alumnus Datuk Theng Book said it was a relief that the university college was finally “back on track”.
“This is a piece of great news for the Chinese community and the students will benefit from it, ” he said.
He hoped that there would be no more politicians who would deprive others of access to education for their own agenda.
Theng, a lawyer who graduated from TAR College (before it was upgraded to TAR UC) in 1984 and was once the alumni president, said some students had not been able to pay their school fees in the past few months.
“I hope this grant will help them through the disbursement of scholarships and aid, ” he said, adding that the alumni must be united and do more for education.
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