KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today said the RM30 million allocation in a trust fund managed by Tunku Abdul Rahman Alumni Association (TAA) is for the benefit of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) and students of the institution.
Lim said the allegation that the RM30 million trust fund could only be utilised on condition MCA relinquished ownership of the institution is baseless.
“I want to stress that the allocation of at least RM30 a year in the trust fund handled by TAA is not for saving in a bank account but for use for the benefit TAR UC and its students.
“The RM30 million is not to be left in the trust fund as savings to earn interest,” he said at a media conference with the line-up of TAA leadership here today.
Lim said TAA is not controlled by the government or any Pakatan Harapan political parties but it comprised successful former TAR UC students and a representative of the Finance Ministry.
The finance minister also explained that the fund could be channelled directly to TAR UC if the institution is no longer controlled by MCA, a political party.
“In another word, the trust fund will manage the annual RM30 million allocation without the involvement or intervention of the government or any political parties including MCA or Pakatan Harapan,” he said.
Lim stressed that until MCA gives up ownership and control of the administration back to TAR UC, the trust fund would be handled by TAA to look after the interest of the institution and students.
The allocation announced yesterday was approved by members of the Cabinet including Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he said.
Meanwhile, TAA president Datuk Yap Kuak Fong said the trust fund will be under the leadership of a senior legal adviser and the main objective of this public trust is for the sole purpose of ensuring TAR UC institution is free from political intervention.
“This means the separation of education from politics and to have the right structure to move on to the next level to ensure TAR UC becomes a prominent higher education institution in Malaysia,” said Yap.
He said the legal advisor will set up a company limited by guarantee for non-profit purpose and there will be a diverse representation as required.
“In terms of structure details, we look at it based on the underlying principles that there will be public accountability, transparency as well as good corporate governance,” he added.
Local media today reported that the Finance Ministry must be transparent and explain in detail the proposed trust fund of RM30 million to TAR UC.
MCA publicity deputy chairman Mike Chong Yew Chuan questioned why should the fund be channelled into the TAA, as opposed to the other registered alumni association, the Federation of TAR Student Alumni. — Bernama