A Warisan leader said that the government must prioritise local students who are also suffering financially.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohmed Khaled Nordin’s announcement on the one year tuition fee waiver for over 600 Palestinian students at public universities in Malaysia has sparked quite a debate.
Warisan deputy president Datuk Darell Leiking criticised the government for not prioritising Malaysian students in need of financial aid, stating that many Sabahans are forced to spend money on travel and courses in Peninsular Malaysia due to insufficient university spots in their home state.
“I know it sounds arrogant and horrible to some, but for me, if the Madani Government thinks this is the way to help the Palestine citizens, maybe the Madani Government should do exactly the same to the deprived Sabahans first (who have to go to Malaya to enter universities because UMS in Sabah is not enough for Sabahans to enter because of shared entry by all Malaysians),” he said in a Facebook post.
He further pointed out that his business friends and himself had been asked many times by Sabahans for financial aid.
He added that a line must be drawn when it comes to the government helping non-Malaysians with such aid.
This view of him was also shared by many on social media.
This is so common sense lah @KhaledNordin @anwaribrahim — like the Malay saying anak dirumah kelaparan KERA dihutan disusukan ! We are not rich country to dish out financial assistance unconditionally when we have RM1.5T in debt… #KITA JAGA KITA— Maniam (@ManiamMKM) November 16, 2023
Help our own before we help others.— OnnMarosa (@iawnaek) November 16, 2023
Exactly. Once again, what is Madani trying to prove? Palestinians students deserve priority over Malaysian students?— Prav (@TheDandyGoblin) November 17, 2023
If we can allocate our own resources to help non-citizens, we can definitely do the same to our own citizens.— Sunny (@scarredpotatoes) November 16, 2023
Fee Waiver For Palestine Students
As previously mentioned, the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) announced on November 15, that the tuition fee waiver will go into force immediately.
Mohamed Khaled also said that his ministry will negotiate with private colleges to cover the costs of over 200 Palestinian students enrolled for a year of study there.
Furthermore, the government is thinking of giving Palestinian students a monthly stipend.
“This (exemption of fees and monthly allowances) will involve a cost of about RM20 million as a result of contributions from public and private universities as well as the public,” he said at a press conference, as reported by FMT.
Further details about the initiative will be announced soon.
“We will announce the exact amount for these initiatives. It is in the final stages,” Mohamed Khaled said.