OUT OF THIN AIR: Assemblyman accuses state govt of fooling the people over money to help Unisel students
SHAH ALAM: THE Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)-led state government has been challenged to provide free education to Universiti Selangor (Unisel) students if the state really has RM2.1 billion in reserves.
Datuk Subahan Kamal (BN-Taman Templer) said the state government should not charge any fee to Unisel students if they had the money as claimed by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
"Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Mohamed Azmin Ali said the Federal Government has lifted the freeze on the Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans to Unisel students because it was afraid, but this is not the issue.
"The issue is that Pakatan wants PTPTN to be abolished and students do not have to repay the loans. If this is done, how will PTPTN be able to sustain other students?
"That is why Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said if this was doable, then the state government should take the lead and give free education to Unisel students," Subahan said outside the assembly here yesterday.
Last month, the Selangor government announced its plan to raise RM30 million to provide financial aid for Unisel students who had been temporarily denied PTPTN loans.
Khalid said the state government would float 202ha of Unisel land on the property market to raise the funds to help the students. However, yesterday, the state assembly was told that the plan to float the land has been scrapped after PTPTN lifted its temporary freeze.
"RM30 million is not much. We were told that because the Federal Government has retracted its decision, the state government decided to keep the money.
"They are trying to fool the rakyat. It looks as if they're plucking the numbers out of thin air."
He said Azmin, who is PKR deputy president, instead of debating the supplementary supply bill at the state legislative assembly, spent two hours speaking on various things from the Federal Government's supplementary budget, to former Bank Negara assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid's sworn testimony, but little on the bill itself.
"I regret what Bukit Antarabangsa has done. The Dewan was called to discuss the supplementary budget requested but he wasted our time by talking about politics and issues more suitable to in Parliament."
State Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim said the menteri besar might explain the Talam Corporation Bhd debt restructuring exercise this week.
Teng said the most appropriate time for Khalid to do so would be during the winding-up of the Supplementary Supply Bill.
He was responding to whether the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency would hold an inquiry on the state government's transaction with Talam.
"We will wait for the MB's explanation in the assembly, if members are satisfied, then there will not be a public hearing."