DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen says it is still not too late for the chief minister to get Sarawak Foundation scholarships for them.
KUCHING: Sarawak DAP has urged the state government to provide scholarships to 43 students who have performed well in their SPM examinations.
State DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen said Chief Minister Adenan Satem must keep to his word that state statutory body Sarawak Foundation would fund the overseas education of the Sarawakian students after their Public Service Department (JPA) scholarships fell through.
On Jan 24, Adenan issued a statement saying that his administration would step in if the Federal Government fails to honour the scholarships.
“Yes, we will help the students. I have given instructions to Yayasan Sarawak to find ways on how best to help them,” he was quoted as saying, referring to the Sarawak Foundation. Adenan is chairman of the board.
JPA had announced that it was suspending its scholarship programme on Jan 20, citing falling government revenues.
Chong, who is Kota Sentosa state assemblymen, said the students obtained good results, with most receiving straight As when the government halted the scholarship programme this year.
“Initially, they were supposed to be offered an overseas scholarship programme by the JPA when they pursued STPM and SPM,” Chong told reporters at the state assembly here today.
“When the scholarship programme was scrapped, many of them had already been offered places in prestigious universities overseas.
“Some got offers from University of Berkeley, Imperial College of London and other good universities.
“When this news broke, Adenan promised Yayasan Sarawak will help.
“However, Yayasan Sarawak did not help. Therefore, all 43 of them, who were supposed to go overseas, did not go. At the end of the day, they ended up in local universities.”
During the second reading of the Supplementary Supply (2015) Bill, 2016 by Second Finance Minister Wong Soon Koh, Chong had raised the matter and pointed to money spent on public relations and celebratory events amounting to RM7 million and RM5.5 million each.
Chong said he was still hopeful the Chief Minister will help the students further their education overseas.
“It is still not too late to grant these students their overseas scholarships. They can still go.”
Meanwhile, Chong denied allegations that DAP’s Pujut State Assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon had dual citizenship.
Online allegations surfaced after the Facebook site “UPP Pujut” pointed to a post on the online forum MiriCommunity.net that alleged that Dr Ting also held Australian citizenship.
Malaysian law does not allow dual citizenship.
In the recently concluded state election, Ting had beaten timber tycoon Hii King Chiong, who was a BN direct candidate and an affiliate of United People’s Party (UPP), as well as an independent candidate, Fong Pau Teck.
Fong was the Pujut incumbent. He was fired from DAP in 2013 for insubordination.
Chong said the originator of the allegation might have experienced a “very sour defeat”.
“He has to accept the verdict of the people. There were painful defeats for DAP as well. We accepted the verdict of the people.”
DAP lost five of the 12 seats it won previously in the May 7 state election.
- Freemalaysiatoday june 13, 2016