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Yoursay: Scholarships for Palestinian students while locals suffer

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YOURSAY | ‘Palestine’s nearest and wealthier Arab neighbours should be leading the way.’

Scholarships for Palestinian students from private funds, not taxpayers

Antibend: I am shocked that DAP leaders like Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii are defending the government giving out scholarships to Palestinian students via the Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM) from private funds.

Is this the real truth, or an attempt by spineless DAP leaders to ingratiate themselves to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad?

When Malaysian students are suffering, we in turn show generosity to foreigners.

I am not against assisting needy students, but this smacks of the Pakatan Harapan government wanting to point score with the Islamic world. DAP’s Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching should be ashamed.

Otak-Otak: It’s hard to believe that the prime minister announced this funding for foreigners, and only later others had to clarify that the funds would be from the private sector.

The MACC should conduct a check – there is a lot of money involved here, RM11.47 million.

Our own bright local poor students are having a hard time, they certainly will be more loyal and faithful to those private organisations who support them throughout their education journey.

KS: How private is ‘private’ in Malaysia? Especially when major banks, utilities, plantation and infrastructure companies are basically GLCs (government-linked companies) to varying degrees?

How much political prodding was involved for these ‘private’ sources to come up with the money voluntarily, when licensing, regulatory approvals, development approvals, import permits, key personnel appointments are all determined by ministries?

How much ‘encouragement’ was given to these ‘private’ sources, when a certain MCA-affiliated businessperson was allegedly subjected to tax auditing, penalties, and a ban from travelling overseas after he donated to the out-of-favour Tunku Abdul Rahman University College?

Wouldn’t these private resources have gone into funding local poor students eventually if there were no high-profile political populist moves to fund politically-selected foreign students?

What's the difference in discrimination – between politically favouring certain local students and politically favouring certain foreign students?

Annonymous: Charity begins at home, Harapan. The ruling coalition is turning out to be the same kind of bare-faced, shameless apologists as their predecessors, also treating the rakyat like fools.

Yii explains that the sole public university among the 12 chosen institutions will raise its own funds.

The fact is, however, that the time, resources and manpower of public universities are funded by taxpayers, and are here blatantly being abused to pursue and support Harapan’s political agenda, a dubious cause for Palestinians.

This is at the expense of our own suffering students, who are cruelly abandoned and unjustly denied the same help to study in these universities.

Ong Seng Swee: This is charity to victims of conflict. I don’t mind the government spending on that.

Roar for Truth: But we are not so advanced and developed a country to dabble with such generosity at the expense of our own students.

Palestine’s nearest and wealthier Arab neighbours should be leading the way.

Anonymous_247509149801558: @Ong Seng Swee, Hamas gets funds for their weapons from very rich Muslim countries, so why don’t they help with Palestinians’ welfare too?

And if we’re helping victims of conflict, what about the genocide of the Tamils in Sri Lanka?

There are poor Malays, Chinese and Indians here who need help. Look at the number of people begging outside the doors of banks.

Newday: Privately raised funds – very philanthropic of these 12 universities. Really? Come on, pull the other leg. Philanthropy starts at home.

MalaysianMalaysian: Indeed, why aren’t the same private funds being given to needy Malaysians?

Notanonymous: @MalaysianMalaysian, because white skin can improve a university’s ranking. Suffering minorities of war-torn countries improve global acceptance.

Why do you think countries donate millions when disaster strikes elsewhere, although their own people are suffering? It’s all just for the PR (public relation).

My Understanding: These 12 universities should not be seen to favour certain countries in awarding scholarships to foreign students. It’s not good for the image of our country in the academic world.

Politicians who don’t have direct connections to the matter, or who are from states like Sarawak where elections are due to take place, should not wade in to add to the confusion.

Muruga: Harapan is becoming a Muslim-centric government giving money to Islamic causes when there are others who also need help.

Local universities suffered massive budget cuts in recent years, forcing many to raise their own funds.

And now the government wants to snatch that away by giving scholarships to Palestinians, even when it lacks funds to run universities as it did before.

That money could have been channelled to the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans to B40 students. Harapan is neglecting locals to appear heroes in the Islamic world.

Anonymous_1552653558: So, are the Palestinian more deserving than non-Malay Malaysians?

RKR: If Harapan didn’t offer these scholarships, Umno and PAS would accuse them of being insensitive to the plight of Palestinians.

And by doing so, the likes of MCA and other Chinese or Indian-based parties would screw them for offering help to foreigners at the expense of locals.

Either way, Harapan can’t win.


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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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