M.A.R.A as the acronym goes for Majlis Amanah Rakyat is giving awful news to the deserving Malays who are in dire need for assistance to educate their children to tertiary level.
A few told me that their children who have been agreed by MARA to sponsor them for their tertiary education in various universities were told that their sponsorship were put on KIV as the oldest government agency has dried up of their funds.
This information or hearsay is too hard to bear as the country is not anymore competent to finance the needy students to further their educations, the basic responsibility of any reasonable government must accomplish for the growing up children of the nation.
This is an actual history, a real unspeakable one and that reflects the tangible incapacity of the ruling government to function even in disposing its very basic responsibility to her people; that is education.
While we accept that there is a global economic down-spiral, no one can accept that the young sons of the soil being encumbered from studying in universities and colleges just because the government has low cash level.
Why the government of the day is is not giving priority to educational assistance for the deserving people especially for the Bumiputra? MARA is among the only few agencies that provide educational assistance for the needy to lean on.
Providing education is the basic government expenditure. Failing which, it’s like a pair of parents who are not able to feed and provide diapers for their new born baby.
In the decades of late 60’s until end of the 70’s scholarships were provided by many sources. Bank BUMIPUTRA and PETRONAS gave thousands of scholarships right from day one of their operations but that is not happening anymore.
BBMB and PETRONAS were then the real agencies which disbursed scholarships to actualize its real functions to develop the nation and education was acknowledged as the most viable mode and medium to arrive at that goal.
The chief of the 2 agencies were nationalistic enough to allocate large sum of money for the purpose of education and those sent by PETRONAS and BBMB are now serving as heads and important position both in Public Services and Private Sectors.
But all those are history as BBMB itself is no more in existence. The directions have changed since the 80’s where scholarship was replaced by loans that were to be paid in full plus the element of interest plucked to the loan scheme.
At present any student registered in the universities are automatically indebted to more than tens of thousands of ringgit who would promptly receive letters of demand as soon as they are graduated.
MARA is the only place left for thousands of Malay students to seek assistance in going through their financial encumbrances in getting to university campuses.
Now MARA itself is plagued with financial incapacity and this is too much for the majority of the Malays to stomach.
This is contemptible state of affair; what happen with the big talk about bringing the nation to greater height and all the slogans in place? What do all those rhetoric mean if we can’t even spare funds for the education of our children?
Why are we getting further from the basic constitutional rights of scholarships and when can we get the taste of free education like Germany and all the Scandinavian countries?
The 2 and the half months old administration have got this issue to answer instantaneously. This is the issue of the poor majority of the population who voted the government in power.
This is an issue that needs the answer to come from the PM himself, not just from MARA.
This is not the issue of MARA autonomously; it is the issue of government as a whole and in totality. These are issues of dignity of the ruling government and do not to take this issue lightly.
Registrations of new intake of students in all local universities are just around the corner and anguish of poor parents who fail to get their sons sponsored to the universities is very visible.
I am happy to remind my commentators in this blog who used to bash me and alleging me for my critics on the government and alleged me as a thankless creature who forgets the scholarship that the government gave me.
To those commentators in anonymity I can now answer your critics on me without exertion.
While you are right to be thankful for the scholarship you secure for your own studies 40 years ago, you have to bear witness now that your generation is almost denied of their opportunities to get hold of what you had.
It will be too selfish on your part just to mill around your satisfactions of 4 decades ago and you rebuked those persons like me in fighting on for your generation to enjoy what you have enjoyed exceedingly.
The unfortunate lots can be among your own family members and relatives or you neighbors. So it is very unaffectionate on your part to think that a person who thinks aloud for your generation is committing crime and against the government.
Let us agree among ourselves, that education is the basic conscientiousness of any country with government and with constitution. To a nation, scholarship and any educational sponsors is a must; like a must for every one of us to feed our growing children.
I am hopeful that what ever allocation that MARA is due for should be settled with now without further procrastinations.
Our leaders can persist talking about other big economic developments with announcement of economic comings and goings with high and pretentious economic jargons once the basic obligation like student educational assistance through MARA is done.
To PM Najib, please do the needful now. Our sons are in the quench of educational progression to achieve their burning desire to be rounded citizens.
Please unravel the problems with sense of compulsion, and never take it as a favor from your part.
I don’t enjoy writing an article with this tendency, but I am compelled to do so.
Someone has to be upfront in saying it, since no one has the courage to unfasten it in the open.