KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC) and its students can expect to receive RM40 million from the government by the end of this month.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the 2019 allocation for the private higher learning institution linked to Opposition MCA will be paid out to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Alumni Association (TAA) once the trust fund is set up.
“The government had earlier promised that at least RM30 million will be allocated every year for the proposed trust fund beginning from 2019, for the benefit of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC) and its students.
“For this year, RM40 million will be allocated,” he said in a statement.
The proposed trust fund, which will comprise members of the TAA, representatives from the TARUC student body, and a Finance Ministry official, is seen as a bid to separate the academic institution from politics.
Lim said the proposed trust fund should be given every opportunity to show how it can use the government fund for the welfare and benefit of TARUC students.
The private university college started by the MCA is held in high regard by the local Chinese community.
MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong rejected views that TARUC is cash rich, after a DAP lawmaker Chong Zhe Min claimed the institution had a net cash surplus of RM97.22 million in 2018.
The Pakatan Harapan government came under fire after the MCA accused it of deliberately withholding funds as a form of political retaliation against the party by imposing certain conditions, which Lim has consistently denied.
He previously clarified that the government wants the practice of political patronage financing to stop, and that TARUC will only receive cash support if all MCA figures there quit their posts.
In his statement today, the minister said he hoped the RM40 million allocation will lay to rest “once and for all” allegations made against the government that such funding is “illegal”.