SIBU: The Sarawak government has agreed to provide an additional allocation of RM750,000 for the University of Technology Sarawak (UTS) Scholarship Scheme as the current allocation has been fully utilised.
According to the Deputy Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Dr Annuar Rapaee, last year, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg announced the scheme with an 80 per cent tuition fees reduction for 100 Bumiputera and 100 non-Bumiputera students.
However, the allocation has been fully utilised with the number of students exceeding the quota given under the scheme.
The additional allocation would help to finance four years of study for 50 extra students who came from the B40 families.
“Currently, it is full and now there are 50 students which consist of our local children who have been left out of the scholarship scheme.
“However, yesterday I met with the Premier and he agreed to add RM750,000 for four years for the (tuition fees) of the 50 students,” he said when officiating at a Majlis Penangguhan Seminar Zakat at Sibu Islamic Complex yesterday ( Sept 19).
Accordingly, Dr Annuar also hoped that Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak (TBS) would be able to provide the same allocation for 50 ‘Asnaf’ students.
“If we can, for example, students who are orphans or from poor families, we can start with 50 people first. We only need RM750,000 for their expenses for four years at UTS.
“We don’t have to send them to study abroad or other places, and I assure you that sending your children to study outside of Sarawak will require higher costs. For example, in Kuala Lumpur, at least you need to have RM500 just to pay for their rented room a month,” he stressed.
On the event, the Nangka assemblyman commended TBS for their effort to raise awareness among the community about the function and the role of Baitulmal in managing zakat money through the seminar.
“Baitulmal has such a wide and big role in helping the Muslim community throughout the state. Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak is usually one of the first to help whenever there is a disaster such as fire and so on.
“However, their role sometimes is misunderstood by the public and they were accused of embezzling money which is not true at all.
“So, I hope this seminar will adequately explain the role of Baitulmal and most importantly gather the support from the Muslim community for a brighter future,” he said.
Also speaking at the event was the general manager of TBS, Datuk Abang Mohd Shibli Abang Mohd Nailie.