Is the state government sincere in promoting free education?
KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor Government's proposal to sell off land belonging to Universiti Industri Selangor to enable it to assist its students proved it is a populist and at the same time incapable to fulfil its popular promises, said a State Umno leader.
Selangor Umno secretary Datuk Seri Zin Mohamed said if the PKR-led Selangor Government was really sincere in wanting to provide free education for its students, they should have prepared a concrete plan ever since they took over the administration in 2008.
Zin who is MP for Sepang said: "People can see that their plans to sell off the 500 acres of land was only made after the announcement that PTPTN loan was temporarily frozen for Unisel students.
'To have a Mentri Besar like Tan Sri Khalid (Ibrahim) who was a businessman, it is questionable for the state government to attempt to resolve the issue with a short-term plan," he said.
Zin also questioned whether such hasty decision capable of enough fulfilling their promise of providing free education.
"If this is their way to solve financial-related issue, I wonder what will they sell next - probably the whole university," he said.
In an article carried by The Malaysian Insider, the land has already been liquidated by the state government despite the Higher Education Ministry's decision to re-instate the loan on June 9.
According to the newsportal, some RM30 million collected from the exercise will be used to buy the university's hostel buildings, an effort the state government said will be helpful to ease students' burden on paying for their accomodation.
Zin also urged the state government to reveal the status of RM1.9 billion cash reserves, which he said the Selangor leadership had been bragging about.
Apart from that, Zin also wanted the State Government to explain on what had happened to financial aid for the students supposedly to be provided by Yayasan Selangor.
Blogger Din Hulu Selangor claimed that selling off assets; lands along with other things, have been a trademark of the current Selangor Government when they faced any financial problems.
He said Khalid Ibrahim’s public announcement on selling off Unisel’s land revealed the opposition have no detailed plans for each of their promises.
Meanwhile, Selangor Umno deputy chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the state government should not make free education as an excuse to sell off land.
In a news carried by Utusan Malaysia, Noh was reported as saying: "If Khalid Ibrahim is sincere in providing the best education to people in the state, he should have supported the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Serendah which in the end had to be shifted to Malacca".
Another blogger Angin Perubahan questioned the rational behind the selling of the Unisel when PTPTN had agreed to re-instate the study loans Unisel students.
In his article, the blogger had another theory on why the land was being sold - funds for the coming general election.
"Since January this year, three assets belonging to the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) - Kompleks PKNS, Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) and PKNS tower - were sold by Khalid's administration. Until now we have not heard anything about where the money was channeled to.
"There's another agenda behind these moves (selling off assests). They were politically-motivated," the blogger said.