‘Mara college closure in Semporna a tough call’

KOTA KINABALU: The closure of the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) polytechnic college in Semporna is a tough but inevitable decision to make, says Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

He said over the past years, the college had accumulated losses amounting to RM28mil following a decline in student intake.

Mahdzir said the college could take up to 600 students but there were only 96 left now.

“The operational costs have to be paid, salaries must be paid and maintenance is high.

“Though Mara itself is federal-funded, the college is considered a private entity and funds must be sourced,” he said.

The issue was highlighted in Dewan Rakyat on Nov 23 when Sepanggar MP Datuk Azis Jamman asked the ministry about its closure.

The college will close down completely by July 31 next year with the remaining students transferred to other Mara polytechnic colleges in Peninsular Malaysia.

The staff, meanwhile, will be given the option of relocating to another polytechnic in Peninsular Malaysia or end their services via a voluntary separation scheme.

Earlier in the event, Mahdzir witnessed the launching of a proposed high-end condominium development project by Mara Inc Corporation which is expected to cost over RM500mil.

The construction is scheduled to start in the first quarter of next year.

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