ADUN SPEAKS | Dr Pamela Yong, under the guise of deputy chairperson of the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (Insap), invoked the ghastly fear of “political castration of TAR UC (Tunku Abdul Rahman University College) by MOF” in her statement two days ago.
Yong is actually the Sabah Wanita MCA chairperson and sits on the Board of Governors of TAR UC. Insap is actually an MCA founded think tank chaired by its vice-president, Ti Lian Ker.
TARC (Tunku Abdul Rahman College) was established in 1972 precisely for MCA’s massive failure to get enough university places for Chinese students with good grades, and they knew it. TARC was the “token of consolation” with “affordable tuition fees” to soothe the anger and resentment towards MCA.
The ploy worked so well that TARC became a runaway success. Chinese preoccupation with education, coupled with the demands of a rapidly developing economy, saw the number of students skyrocket. The Chinese society’s generous donation in pursuit of their children’s future, together with the government’s matching grant, saw the eventual births of UTAR (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman) and TAR UC.
Everybody was involved in the process, including the traders on the streets, the government and the taxpayers. But only MCA is claiming the prize as its own.
The Board of Trustees are controlled by MCA leaders, and only they can pick and choose to admit any new members to the board.
In reality, MCA is no more than the interim custodian of TAR UC when it was being established by the combined efforts of the public and the government.
In the Memorandum of Association of TARC Education Foundation, at least 50 percent of the total number of trustees must be third parties having no connection with the foundation or any of its founders. MCA had willfully and blatantly disregarded the sanctity of the TARC Education Foundation by filling the board with cronies.
Yet, when the government requested for MCA to obey the rules set by themselves, they started behaving like a bunch of crying babies, accusing the government of breaching iron-clad contracts and laws.
MCA is behaving like an irrational parent
The ultimate comical lame excuse came in the form of a highly trained dentist, Pamela Yong, conjuring up the picture of castration of TAR UC, to put the fear out of the living daylights into the psyche of every Malaysian male.
MCA is behaving like an irrational parent who refuses to acknowledge that the child has grown up. TAR UC has been in existence for 47 years with 28,000 students. The cash flow is solid with RM 634 million in reserve. The alumni boast many tycoons and successful professionals, many are older and wiser in the real world than the top leaders of MCA.
The RM40 million funding involved was already given to TAR UC to be used fully for the development of human resources. TAR UC is not short of money. The alumni, the teaching staff and the students are more than capable of taking care of the university.
With all due respect and regret, MCA is the hindrance and obstacle now.
To let a grown-up child fly from the nest may be difficult, but it should be celebrated and proclaimed as mission accomplished. It takes a real grown-up man to learn to let go.
MCA’s fear of losing control of TAR UC, to the extent of feeling castrated, is comical, and sad, to the extreme.
DR KO CHUNG SEN is state assemblyperson for Kepayang, Perak.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.