UTAR and TAR UC started in 1969 as TAR College and are now recognized as among the leading universities in Malaysia. Credits must be given to all the professors, lecturers and students who made them successful.
Credits also to the pioneers from MCA who obtained permission from government to establish TAR College, UTAR and TAR UC at the beginning. Funding was raised from both the public and the government on a dollar-for-dollar basis. An independent UTAR Education Foundation and Board of Trustees were set up to oversee the running of the newly founded institutions.
The fact is both UTAR and TAR UC had grown up and are going from strength to strength. The success came from the dedications of the teaching staff and the individual hard works of the students. MCA was always there to bask in the glory of achievements.
UTAR and TAR UC represent the combined efforts of the Chinese society, including the poor labourers who donated the precious ringgits that they earned. MCA was involved in the setting up process but was never as the ultimate owner and guardian. The TARC Education Foundation has 13 members and board of trustees has 8 members. They were meant to consist of independent individuals not related to political parties. This did not seem to deter MCA from appointing all the directors from MCA current or former senior leaders.
Obviously the emphasis is to retain control and power over the institutions. The views of the students and alumni are not properly represented. Some of the alumni are thousand times more successful and capable in managing multi-billion companies than the MCA group of career politicians. The students in the campus real time every day can provide feedback on what really matters to the university and the students. They have a deep and natural understanding of what will be better for the university, staff and students.
To deny the input of the alumni and the students is akin to running a company ignoring the views of your workers and customers. Many of the alumni will love to repay their alma mater with funds and expertise. They will be more enthusiastic with UTAR and TAR UC free of political elements.
MCA must realize they were only part of UTAR and TAR UC but not the owner. They were the spokesperson and the bridge between the Chinese society and the then government. To hijack these two institutions as theirs and hold the students and government to ransom is most despicable and without honour.
It is time for MCA and all political parties to let UTAR and TAR UC fulfil their calling and potential as the cradle of academic development. As parents must not hold back their children, MCA should let go of the directorship of the TAR Education Foundation and Board of Trustees.