MCA’s fear over TAR university is comical

Pamela Yong, under the guise as deputy chairman of the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (Insap), invoked the ghastly fear of “political castration of TAR UC by MOF” in her statement two days ago.

Pamela Yong is actually the Sabah Wanita MCA chief, and sits on the board of TAR UC.

Insap is an MCA think tank chaired by its vice-president Ti Lian Ker.

TARC was established in 1972 due to MCA’s failure to get enough university places for Chinese students with good grades.

It was a “token of consolation” with “affordable tuition fees” to soothe the anger and resentment against MCA.

The ploy worked so well that TARC became a runaway success. Chinese preoccupation with education, coupled with the demands of a rapidly developing economy, saw a spike in the number of students.

The Chinese community’s generous donation in pursuit of their children’s future, together with the government’s matching grant, soon led to the establishment of UTAR and TARUC.

Everybody was involved in the process, including the traders on the streets, the government and the taxpayers. But only MCA is claiming the prize as its own.

The board of trustees is controlled by MCA leaders, and they can pick and choose new members.

In reality, MCA is no more than the interim custodian of TARUC when it was being established by the combined efforts of the public and the government.

In the Memorandum of Association of TARC Education Foundation, at least 50% of the total number of trustees must be third parties, having no connection with the foundation or any of its founders.

MCA had wilfully and blatantly disregarded the sanctity of the TARC EF by filling the board with cronies.

Yet when the government requested for MCA to obey the rules set by them, they started behaving like a bunch of cry babies, accusing the government of breaching iron-clad contracts and laws.

The lame excuse came from Dr Pamela Yong, who conjured up a picture of “castration of TARUC”, to put fear into the psyche of every Malaysian male.

MCA is behaving like an irrational parent who refuses to acknowledge the child has grown up.

TARUC has been in existence for 47 years with 28,000 students. The cash flow is solid with RM634 million in reserve. The alumni boasts many tycoons and successful professionals, many of them who are older and wiser in the real world than the current top leaders of MCA.

The RM40 million funding involved was already given to TARUC to be used fully to develop the human resources.

TARUC is not short of money. The alumni, the teaching staff and the students are more than capable to take care of the university.

MCA is the hindrance and obstacle now. To let a grown-up child to fly the nest may be difficult. It takes a real grown-up to learn to let go.

MCA’s fear of losing control of TARUC, to the extent of feeling castrated, is comical, and sad.

Dr Ko Chung Sen is the DAP assemblyman for Kepayang, Perak.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.