Report: Dr M agrees to meet MCA over Taruc’s matching grant request
Sunday, 23 Feb 2020 09:25 AM MYT
BY KENNETH TEE
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — MCA is to meet Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (Taruc) allocations for a matching grant.
The Star quoted MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong as saying the meeting, slated to take place in Putrajaya tomorrow, is aimed at defending what the higher learning institution should have received.
“’He is clear about the intention of this meeting and following his agreement to meet, MCA is looking forward.
“We are also fully prepared for it,” he was quoted saying by The Star.
Wee, who is also Ayer Hitam MP, said he wrote to Dr Mahathir immediately after the latter announced that he would be stepping in as the acting education minister following the resignation of Maszlee Malik in January.
“I made it specific that I wished to meet the education minister to discuss the Taruc allocation issue, which I have mentioned many times in the Parliament.
“This is not something new because I did the same when Maszlee was two weeks into his appointment as the then education minister.
“However, we had no chance to meet until his resignation,” he said.
Wee, however, refused to divulge details of the meeting, including the time, venue and those attending.
In Budget 2018, Taruc received a RM30 million matching grant. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced RM5.5 million for Taruc’s development fund in 2019.
He cut this to RM1 million in Budget 2020.
Lim had justified the slash by saying education must be separated from politics and insisted that MCA must give up control of Taruc, and let the institution be run by Tunku Abdul Rahman Alumni Association (TAA).
He had stressed that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration did not halt financial support for one of the most esteemed education institutions for the Chinese community, but only set conditions for the fund disbursement.
Last November, a RM30 million allocation for Taruc was eventually announced and allocated to a trust fund managed by TAA.
The proposed trust fund, to be headed by members of the TAA, student representatives, and a Ministry of Finance official, is seen as a bid to remove political influence from the institution.
Lim noted that the trust fund will manage the RM30 million annual fund without the involvement or the intervention of the government or any political party including MCA or PH.