Want bigger federal funding? Relinquish control of varsities, Guan Eng tells MCA

Radzi Razak
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur October 12, 2019. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — Lim Guan Eng said the federal government will provide appropriate funding to MCA-linked Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARC) and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) if the political party gives up its control on the two higher learning institutes.

The finance minister was responding to MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong who kicked up a fuss that UTAR only received RM1 million and TARC nothing after the Budget 2020 tabling yesterday.

“We are not going to stop you from running educational institutions. But how can public funds be used to support a politically controlled organisation?” Lim told a news conference at Parliament here today.

He said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has made it very clear that politics and education should be kept separate.

“I have said before that if MCA is willing to relinquish control over KTAR, the government will immediately reinstate funding which is RM30 million this year and RM30 million next year,” Lim said, actually referring to TARC.

The finance minister made the same argument when tabling Budget 2019 last year and called on both universities to cut their political ties with MCA if they wished for federal funding.

Lim said MCA should think about the impact when asked for comment that the federal funding cut will hurt the students instead.

“You can also ask the same question to MCA. Why is it so difficult for them to relinquish control and allow funding to be restored on the basis that this is an educational institution separate from politics?

“Umno did not have a university, MIC also did not complain,” he added.

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