PETALING JAYA: What is RM4.5 million to the government, compared with the RM650 million allocated for the Taman Tugu project, Perkasa asked today.
Its president Ibrahim Ali said this in response to an earlier report today that 150 medical science students in Egypt were facing the possibility of expulsion as they had accumulated RM4.5 million in unpaid tuition fees – brought about by the decline in the value of the ringgit.
He told FMT: “RM4.5 million to the government is a small amount… Education is more important than infrastructure.
“Can you imagine how sad the students and their parents would be? I nearly cried when I read about it. I can feel it because I met these students in Egypt twice,” he said.
Ibrahim first heard about the plight of local medical science students in Egypt sometime last year, and he paid them a visit, handing out some RM150,000 in donations to them.
Ibrahim said it would be a “tragedy” if the unpaid tuition fees rendered the students unable to complete their studies in Egypt.
“On top of that, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) and the Public Service Department (JPA) have cancelled their sponsorship programmes for students. This is indeed a tragedy,” he said, adding that it would be a huge waste to the society, and the government, if the students were forced to drop out from their studies.
“It is an irony how the government always emphasizes the importance of modal insan (human capital) and there are still students who can’t complete their studies because of a lack of sponsorship and scholarship, despite getting good results.”
He said it was the right of Bumiputeras to seek loans and scholarships from the government to further their education, as, he claimed, this was enshrined in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
“I urge the government to step in and resolve this. If the government cannot resolve this, then stop ‘talking big’ on how it’s all about ‘Rakyat didahulukan’ (people first).”
FMT attempted to contact Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid, but to no avail.
The 150 affected Malaysian students are studying medicine, dentistry and pharmacy at Al-Azhar University, Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Zagazig University, Alexandria University, Tanya University, Mansoura University and Assiut University.