KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — A National University of Malaysia (UKM) student is claiming to have injured herself from starvation made necessary by a lack of funds.
According to a Harian Metro report today, the Sabahan claimed she sustained a punctured intestine due to her inability to afford food since her foundation days.
“Due to lack of food, my intestine was punctured, causing me to vomit blood,” she was quoted as saying in the report.
“Doctors advised me to eat and warned that I was at risk of intestinal cancer if I kept up my habit of not eating. But I couldn't do anything as I had no money,” said the girl named only as Nur.
She claimed that she was left with just RM150 for an entire semester after she used her National Higher Education Corporation (PTPTN) study loan of RM3,000 to pay for her fees and preparation costs.
Nur said she could not bring herself to ask her parents, a seamstress and a fisherman in Sandakan, for money, and soothed her hunger by reading the Quran.
Hers was not the only case of impoverished students reported by Harian Metro, who also met another student who claimed she had to miss classes due to the gastric attacks that she developed due to not being able to afford food.
The student who was identified as Shakira said she had to make RM30 last a week for food as well as study essentials.
Incidents of students struggling to cope with rising cost of living were highlighted last year, after some complained to then deputy finance minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan about the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on their finances.
Ahmad had then advised them to cook their meals in their living quarters to minimise the burden of the consumption tax, prompting backlash from the students.