Malaysiakini News

Minister: Budget cuts will train varsities to be more efficient

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

A drop of RM2.4 billion in allocation for the Higher Education Ministry will not affect the ministry in the efficient promotion of education.

Minister Idris Jusoh said the reduced allocation was due to the government's adversely-affected income, as a result of the fall in national oil and commodity prices.

"We must understand the current challenging economic situation, and the government can still afford to provide the ministry with quite a comfortable budget. Admittedly, it is less (than the previous budget) but it is to train the universities to be more efficient in its implementation.

"The government can still afford to come up with a balanced budget like last year, despite the current economic uncertainty," he told reporters after attending the sixth Higher Education Ministry tour programme, 'Soaring Upwards', in Ipoh today.

Idris was commenting on the 2016 Budget tabled by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, which allocated RM13.378 billion to the ministry.

The allocation is five percent of the total budget, as compared to RM15.785 billion in the 2015 Budget.

The government is still going ahead with the 1Malaysia Book Voucher Programme worth RM250 per student for 1.2 million higher education students, and to check its abuse, it can only be used at recognised books shops only.

According to Idris, the government will always make evaluations if there were other needs in the coming budgets.

"The government will give due consideration when we conduct studies, and there will be needs which will have to be upgraded, especially in the field of research, which will impact heavily on the stature of universities in the country," he said.

- Bernama

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