Government funding channelled to Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) through third parties is no substitute for the government matching grant that it previously received, said the foundation that owns TAR UC.
MCA had accused Lim of mixing politics with education, and MCA president Wee Ka Siong had questioned Lim’s decision to channel the funds through the TARCian Alumni Association (TAA) although there are four other TAR UC alumni associations to choose from.
Wee is also the TARC Education Foundation (TARC) chairperson. TAR UC is solely owned by TARC, which is under the purview of the government.
TARC, in a statement today, said:" The government can fund any bodies for TAR UC’s benefit. (However) money provided by the government to a third party and channelled to TAR UC cannot be a replacement to the TAR UC matching grant for operational expenses."
The government’s matching grant will go through a rigorous funding process under the purview of the Education Ministry, it added.
The statement came after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that it would provide a trust fund with a RM40 million matching grant, which can be channelled for the benefit of the varsity and its students.
The fund would be set up and managed by TAA.
Lim described this as a transitional solution until MCA relinquishes control of TAR UC, after which the fund would be channelled directly to TAR UC instead.
In the statement, TARC board of trustees said, "there exists a historical and contractual obligation on part of the federal government to honour the matching grant to a maximum of RM60 million per annum".
“The obligation by the federal government is still not fulfilled and should be considered as due and outstanding,” it added.