STAR criticises the move, saying the NGO has become an agent of the federal government.
KOTA KINABALU: A directive by the director-general of the Higher Learning Department, Prof Dr Rujhan Mustafa, to channel scholarship applications through politically-linked KDM Malaysia association has come under attack from the opposition State Reform Party (STAR).
Describing the directive as “totally improper”, the party’s deputy chairman Daniel Jambun said it was “shocking” that a high-ranking government official could be “so loose with the rules of government protocol”.
“I simply cannot believe that a supposedly apolitical and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has suddenly been asked to be an agent of the federal government.
“And when was KDM Malaysia officially appointed as an agent of the Higher Education Department?” Jambun asked in a statement today.
Rujhan yesterday appealed to school leavers “especially from the KDM community” to give their names and details to KDM Malaysia president Peter Anthony “so that it would be forwarded to me”.
Jambun questioned the rationale behind the instruction, saying that it seemed to be some sort of a collusion between the Higher Learning Department, Umno and KDM Malaysia.
He also wondered if the applications would be approved if they are made through KDM Malaysia, and if so, wouldn’t that mean that KDM Malaysia is being used by Umno for selfish politics.
“It is quite well known that KDM Malaysia may be an instrument of Umno’s political propaganda to the point that local KDM-based BN parties have accused the NGO of splitting KDM unity.
“If Rujhan is sincere about helping the people to gain scholarship, why doesn’t he encourage all NGOs in Sabah to be channels of the scholarship applications?
“Why single out KDM Malaysia? Why not also appoint the more established NGOs such as the Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF), the KDCA, the Sabah Murut Association (PMS), the Sabah Momogun Rungus Association (SAMORA), the United Sabah Bajau Organisation (USBO), the Persatuan Anak Negeri Sabah (PANSA) and a lot of other NGOs?” he asked.