KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Umno secretary-general Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki reportedly defended the RM15.75 million allocation for 63 independent Chinese schools, stating that questioning this allocation is unjust when Malay education has received RM3 billion in budget.
Free Malaysia Today quoted him emphasising that similar allocations for independent Chinese schools were already made during previous administrations, including during the tenure of Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin.
"If we combine RM1 billion with RM2 billion, it means RM3 billion. We spend it only on Malay-Muslims’ education. That’s why I say it would be unjust”.
"RM3 billion spent on Malay-Muslim education, people don’t question our expenditure, but we want to question the RM15 million?” Asyraf was quoted saying at a Barisan Nasional rally at Kampung Chemomoi in Pelangai, Pahang.
He was referring to the government’s annual allocation of around RM1 billion for Islamic schools, in addition to Majlis Amanah Rakyat's (Mara) RM2 billion allocation for its Bumiputera-only education institutions.
In April, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook said that the government has approved special assistance of RM15.75 million to 63 independent Chinese schools nationwide.
The funding request had been approved by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the finance minister following a written application from the Malaysian Chinese School Management Board Association on February 28.
Umno's own Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh had questioned the allocation in April this year, claiming each of the schools would receive double the amount allocated to religious institutions.
He also urged for Chinese schools facing financial problems to be absorbed into the national education system.
The Pelangai by-election slated for October 7 will see a three-cornered battle between Barisan Nasiona's Bentong Umno division committee member Datuk Amizar Abu Adam, Bentong PAS deputy president Kasim Samat for Perikatan Nasional, and former Umno member Haslihelmy DM Zulhasli as an independent.