MARA will not survive without Umno, Najib tells students

By SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID

SUBANG, April 15 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today the survival of key Bumiputera institutions like the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) depend on Umno-Barisan Nasional remaining in power.

Addressing five thousand present and former Mara students here, Najib claimed the Opposition will dismantle the Bumiputera development fund if it wrests federal power.

“As long as Umno-BN is in power, I guarantee MARA will continue to exist and expand,” Najib said.

“But with the other side, any institutions that are inconsistent with their Malaysian Malaysia agenda, I believe they will do something to it.”

Malaysian Malaysia was a campaign slogan used by the DAP, the predominantly Chinese opposition party that Umno leaders claim is trying to subvert Malay political rule.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said Malays must continue backing the ruling coalition in the 14th General Election to preserve Malay institutions like MARA.

MARA, formed in 1966, was the brainchild of Najib’s father and the country’s second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein who initiated the trust fund to help bolster Bumiputera socioeconomic status through education.

Today, MARA has an 18,000 strong workforce with 569 offices, eight of them based abroad.

Some of the agency’s education institutions are prestigious, like the Maktab Rendah Sains Mara that boast a highly successful alumni that include some of the country’s current and former top leaders.

Currently, there are 120,000 Bumiputera students enrolled in 358 of its learning institutions, and the agency has helped 1.2 million students since its inception.

Najib said today’s event, held at the Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology UniKL (MIAT) here, was symbolical of the agency’s growth and success.

MARA, he noted, has succeeded in producing skilled and capable Bumiputera graduates for high-tech industries like aerospace.

MARA owns M-AeroTech and Asia AeroTechnics Sdn Bhd, the former tasked to promote Bumiputera supply-chain companies while the latter a maintenance, repair and overhaul company that provides a training platform for future Bumiputera licence aircraft engineers.

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