The PH Government proves its commitment to fund Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC) despite MCA’s continuing reluctance to relinquish its political control over the institution

The Ministry of Finance has just announced that the government has approved an annual allocation of at least RM30 million to TARUC provided that the allocation is channeled via a trust fund administered by the university college’s alumni association.

This proves that the PH government has remained consistent on its promise that TARUC would continue to receive financial support from the government.

What the government is against, however, is the practice of channeling public funding to public organisations that are controlled by political parties. Indeed, this was shamelessly practiced by the previous BN government.

Unlike BN and MCA, the PH government is committed to ensure that education institutions must have the autonomy and freedom to carry out their functions. Educational institutions, especially those that receive public funding, must not be controlled by political parties who may use them to gather political support or for other unethical purposes.

Yet, MCA continues to ignore and pretend not to understand why TARUC must be free from the party’s political control.

If DAP or other political parties were to set up their own education institutions tomorrow, and the Ministry of Finance were to channel public funding to these institutions, would MCA remain silent and support such a move?

Nevertheless, the Ministry of Finance should be commended for establishing a mechanism where public funding can be channeled to TARUC while bypassing MCA control over it. The proposal to transfer the funding to an independent trust fund managed by the alumni association is a short-term measure to ensure that TARUC can continue receiving the financial support that it deserves while protecting it against MCA.

In other words, the Ministry of Finance is resolving an ethical problem that MCA themselves has created.

In return, will MCA have the courage to relinquish its ownership and control over TARUC so that the funds can be channeled directly to TARUC in the future? Will MCA be willing to put the interest of TARUC and its educational mission ahead of the party’s own political agenda?

Khoo Poay Tiong
Media statement by Khoo Poay Tiong in Malacca on Saturday, 23rd November 2019