KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — Pakatan Harapan and DAP do not intend to take over Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) from MCA, the Finance Ministry said today.
It said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had made this clear on Friday, before criticising some news outlets for omitting this in their reports.
“The minister had assured the RM30 million annual funding for TAR UC would be fully restored when MCA relinquishes their political control over it, meaning RM30 million each for this year and next year,” said the ministry’s Corporate Communications Unit in a statement.
It added that certain English and Chinese media also did not report Lim explicitly stating that MCA should relinquish control of TAR UC to professionals, especially its former students or alumni.
“He said that TAR UC would be better off, when run professionally without any political or government interference, and would be allowed to determine its educational policy independently based on academic standards of excellence.
“Another example which was not reported was Lim citing the example of Kojadi, an MCA- controlled co-operative which received RM15 million from Yayasan 1MDB in 2012,” said the ministry.
During the press conference, Lim recounted that Kojadi’s then-chairman Datuk Ng Peng Hay sought to return the funds to Yayasan 1MDB but was denied permission to do so by MCA. This subsequently led to the freezing of Kojadi’s bank account and Ng’s suspension from his post.
“The Finance Ministry hopes media organisations can do their work professionally and competently, whatever their political affiliations.
“Whilst the media organisations can be politically partisan, either pro-MCA or pro-BN/PAS, press freedom requires them to report the facts fully and truthfully,” it said.
Lim’s press conference at Parliament yesterday was in response to MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong’s complaints on Friday that Putrajaya ought to allocate funds for TAR UC and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, as it was highly unfair to the 28,000 students who come from lower-income and poor families.
Similarly, Wee also responded to Lim’s remarks earlier today by dismissing the latter’s call for MCA to let go of TAR UC in lieu of increased government funding, and claimed Lim was using its funding as a tool for political purposes.