RM500m fund 'a timely move'


Youth groups welcome setting up of trust fund for Bumi students to pursue higher education

  SEVERAL youth groups yesterday praised the government's move in setting up a trust fund for Bumiputera students to pursue higher education under the Bumiputera Education Leader Foundation (YPPB).

  Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung  information chief Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim said the programme,  launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Saturday, showed his  concern for the future of Bumiputera youths.

  He said the programme to raise RM500 million to fund higher education for 12,000 Bumiputera students in five years starting next year, would ensure  no one was left behind in getting an education.

  "The setting up of the trust fund is timely as the country is rapidly developing, but some deserving Bumiputeras are left behind as they are in the low-income bracket and cannot afford tertiary education," said Irmohizam, who is also Malaysian Youth Council vice-president.

  Yayasan Muamalat Belia chief executive officer Noor Azman Idris,  in welcoming the move, said the money given to the foundation must be monitored closely.

  "An independent body should monitor the foundation to make sure money is disbursed properly and given to eligible candidates."

  YPPB fund has  received pledges totalling  RM158 million  from 21 companies and institutions, with the government pitching in RM30 million.

  Among the RM10 million donors are CIMB Group Holdings, Felda Holdings, Maybank, Management & Science University, University of Nottingham, Kumpulan Sapura, Sime Darby, Telekom Malaysia, UEM Group and Yayasan Al-Bukhary.

  Bumiputera business leaders also welcomed  the selection of 30 Bumiputera companies as the pioneer batch in the High Performance Bumiputera Companies (Teras) programme to be developed as world class companies under the Bumiputera Agenda Unit (Teraju).

  Perak Malay Chamber of Commerce president Datuk Muhammad Muhiyuddin Abdullah lauded the initiative to improve the prospects of Bumiputera businessmen and expressed hope that budding entrepreneurs could  be roped into Teras programme.

  "There are many young male and female entrepreneurs with great potential and business ideas, and we should tap into their business acumen. The companies must be selected carefully, verifying their authenticity and background."

  Former CIMB Bank executive director Datuk Tunku Ahmad Burhanuddin described Teras as a good move for awarding  projects to companies based on merit.

  "The Bumiputera Economic Transformation programme is not the first to award projects to Bumiputeras, as there were similar initiatives  before."

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