KLANG: Several students sponsored under a programme by the Socioeconomic Development of Indian Community (Sedic) claim they have not received the full amount of allowances promised to them while attending their course.
G Saundarya said she received RM300 while N Puspadewi and S Manhayakharasii said they got RM600 for the entire five-month course. By right, they were supposed to get RM400 a month as allowance.
They had been attending the course at a college in Kapar.
Puspadewi said when they approached the college, it claimed RM100 was cut from their allowance for the electronics course and RM200 for the bridal course.
However, the students were not satisfied with the explanation as the courses were supposed to have been provided free of charge to them by Sedic, which in turn is sponsored by the government.
“When they met us, they were rude and insulted us. That is when we realised that we had been cheated by the college,” Puspadewi said.
The students lodged a police report and contacted Sedic on the issue, but have not received any response yet.
They also complained to Kapar MP G Manivannan, who threatened to take legal action against Sedic.
He gave Sedic 48 hours to respond.
The PKR lawmaker said the students came from poor families and the fact that they had not received their specified allowances made it difficult for them to get by.
“How are they supposed to survive on less than RM100 a month?” he asked at a press conference today.
Manivannan added that more students had approached him on this issue, making it even more crucial for Sedic, the human resources ministry and the higher education ministry to respond to the allegations.
Sedic director-general prof N S Rajendran acknowledged that Sedic had received complaints from students and said the matter is being investigated.
He said Sedic had directed the college to stick to the terms of the contract.
“We have taken action and we have directed them to pay the students as per the contract, with no deductions. It has all been taken care of.
“Even yesterday, they were at our office giving us reports on the action taken pursuant to our letter,” he told FMT.
Rajendran said Sedic was in the process of paying some of the students and would continue to pay the others.
“If they have any more complaints, they should come back to Sedic.”
However, he added that those who had dropped out of the course might no longer be eligible to receive the allowance.
He also said Manivannan should get his facts straight before making any allegations.
“He can claim misappropriation of funds, but he should first check with the government office which is running the programme,” he told FMT.