DECEMBER 5 — Every university in the world, public or private, will cry out in joy if the government announced an extra RM10 million on top of the RM30 million yearly allocation. Incredibly, instead, MCA did not say a word of thanks with total, absolute silence.
Until now, MCA had ridiculously portrayed RM 30 million allocation specified for students as an “attack” on TARUC. It didn’t matter to MCA the students will benefit from the increased allocation, it only mattered to them that the money did not come under their control.
This is not the first time MCA had chosen to put more emphasis on retaining absolute control than to accept donations earmarked for students’ welfare. When Mr. Koon Yew Yin pledged to donate RM30 million specifically to build a hostel in Kampar campus of UTAR in 2010, it was rejected on the ground that board of UTAR could not accept outside interference and conditions on donations. The students’ personal safety, convenience and commuting time were conveniently sacrificed for the ego, hubris and vanity of MCA.
MCA likes to claim that it is the champion for the Chinese and the defender of Chinese education. It prides itself as the founder of UTAR and TARUC that had produced 200,000 graduates. They never seemed to remember that the universities were built with government funding and donations from the Chinese society and the students had to pay full fees. In essence, the students do not owe MCA any favours at all.
Worse still, MCA does not behave like a real guardian should. Instead, TARUC and UTAR are treated as cash cows and hostage to hold the Chinese society and government to ransom. If the government did not provide any funding, students will have to pay higher tuition fee. Chinese society was pressured into donation drives to raise funds to help cover for the shortfall. Fear and anxiety were widely sown to create mass hysteria. Hawkers were donating their meagre incomes to help out MCA, the billionaire custodian.
It was never made clear to the public that TAR Education Foundation was sitting on a cash pile of RM 634 million and would not collapse. On top of that MCA has assets worth nearly RM 3 billion with annual profits of RM 100 million from dividends, rental and stocks. MCA is more than able to donate even RM50 million a year to TAR UC.
On the contrary, MCA preferred to cover up its fat bank accounts at the expense of poor students and well-meaning hawkers. They did not welcome, possibly even resent the RM 40 million allocation given by the government to help TAR UC students. Their power over the university was far more important that the welfare of students themselves.
In summary, as the custodian of TARUC, MCA should get its priorities right and put the interests of the students first, and politics last. They should be grateful and thank the government for the increased allocation announced for the benefits of the students.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.