RM 30mil Student Loan Fund established
MCA HQ, 14 Jun-Speaking to reporters after the Presidential Council (PC) meeting concluded, MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek informed that the PC has passed the establishment of an RM 30million Student Loan Fund which will complement the Chang Ming Thien Foundation and Kojadi efforts to enable more multiracial Malaysians pursue tertiary education.
Soi Lek informed that the interest free loans are available for post SPM students which includes STPM, UEC, pre university and students pursuing recognized degree courses.
The interest free loans have been divided into different categories i.e.
- RM 30,000 for students studying in local universities
- RM 50,000 for students in universities overseas
- Between RM 80,000 to RM 100,000 for post graduate students
He reiterated that while MCA is a Chinese-based party, “the interest free loans apply to all Malaysians. Same with the 1MCA Medical Foundation, MCA’s facilities are for all races.”
Grants for students studying in Sabah & Sarawak
In the course of MCA’s engagement with university students, it was alerted to MCA that many students from West Malaysia who study in Sabah and Sarawak have difficulty in terms of financing their flights.
Thus, it is the purpose of the RM30 million Student Loan Fund to disburse grants between RM 500 to RM 1,500 to each successful applicant. The amount given will depend on where the student is studying whereby the target number of beneficiaries is between 400 to 500 students.
The party chief stressed that these interest free loans and grants were “part of our effort to train more people so that the lack of financial resources should not be a handicap to people pursuing education.”
While a committee will need to go into detail on how applications are vetted as to the cut-off point, Soi Lek stressed that loans will be given based on needs.
MCA Secretary General Dato’ Sri Kong Cho Ha will chair the committee which consists of Vice Presidents Senator Dato’ Ir Donald Lim Siang Chai and Senator Gan Ping Sieu, MCA Youth National Chairman DAtuk Dr Ir Wee Ka Siong, Central Committee members Dato’ Dr Hou Kuk Chung and Presidential Council member YB Chua Tee Yong.
Servicing the MCA interest free student loan
A reporter had inquired on how MCA aimed to ensure loans are repaid considering that the government encounters difficulty in PTPTN loan repayment to which Soi Lek explained, “we have the Chang Ming Thien Foundation which never has had defulters.” He elaborated further that for Kojadi which has been around for 30 years, the rate of defaulters is less than 1% out of 9,000 recipients. “MCA has an effective mechanism to get back the loans,” the party President informed adding that “people have the awareness that the help comes from a political party or “insaf” as we say in Malay, (and know they have to return.)”
Complementing govt on education
The RM30 million MCA Student Loan Fund serves to complement existing avenues by the Government although not every student will be able to access such assistance. “No government in teh world can take care of the financial education needs. In the UK, there are lots of protests as the government cannot meet the expectation of students. MCA will help the students who cannot get help.”