Press Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:
The scholarships that were announced by the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Muhammad yesterday for Palestinian students living here will only involve funds that will be raised or generated by the universities themselves including the local Private Institutions of Higher Learning or private universities (IPTS) and will not involve any government funding or affect scholarships that are being offered to local Malaysians.
This was confirmed by the Deputy Education Minister YB Teo Nie Ching upon verification after the announcement yesterday. I contacted the Ministry to clarify on the policy whether it will involve public funds and also places in public universities especially for the local Malaysian students. I believe it is important that priority should be given to the locals not just on scholarships but also entry into public universities or institution of higher learning.
Based on the announcement by PM Tun Dr Mahathir, there will be 12 local universities that will offer this scholarship and the fund amounting to RM 11.47 million will be raised by the universities themselves. Out of the 12, only 1 university is a government university but the funds for the scholarship must be raised by the university itself and no government grant will be used for this purpose.
The other 11 universities are private universities. It is common practice for these private universities to offer scholarship to foreign students on a yearly basis, as it is
part of their strategy to attract international students as it is helps to improve their ranking as well. So for these year, such scholarships for international students will be offered or given priority for Palestinian students instead.
There have been a certain level of confusion over the matter and I hope this clarification can clear some doubts over the matter. I believe the offering of any scholarships or grants especially in higher education intuition especially if it involves public fund , priority should always be given to our local students that have worked hard and achieved the required target.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP for Bandar Kuching