TARCian Alumni Association calls for a separation of politics

13 Jan 2019 / 19:28 H.

PETALING JAYA: The TAR college alumni association, known as TARCian Alumni Association (TAA) spoke up against the running of the TAR University College (TAR UC) in terms of accountability and transparency and has urged for a separation of politics in the running of the institution.

TAA president Datuk Yap Kuak Fong said the TAR UC’s assets are under a company known as the TARC Education Foundation (TARC EF).

TARC EF has 13 members and all of them are current or former MCA senior leaders. TARC EF is run by a board of trustees.

“The board of trustees is the highest authority of TARC EF that is empowered with major decision-making relating to all capital and operating expenditures. Thus, the board of trustees must be well represented and operate independently in a transparent manner at all times,“ he said.

He added that this is not the case as the eight-member board of trustees are also part of the 13-member TARC EF.

“Looking at the existing structure and nature of TARC EF’s set-up where it is dominated by single-political party members, it creates doubts on right representation, thus accountability and transparency issues of the foundation is questionable,“ he said.

Members in the TARC EF include among others Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Members in the board of trustees are the same minus five members.

He said there need to be a more equal representation in these boards as TAR UC gets funds from the public and community leaders and not just run by a single party.

“Most of the accumulated funds are donated by the public, community leaders and government grants/funding; thus the foundation should be rightfully owned by various representations from Malaysian Chinese Community or reputable organisation, not solely by senior leaders of MCA as evidenced from existing structure of TARC-EF,“ he said.

He said at least 50% of the total number of board of trustees must be third parties with no connection with the foundation or any of its founders.

“As TAR UC is a non-profitable education institution, public governance and compliance issue need to be properly addressed to ensure continual and sustainable operation of TAR UC,“ he said.

“TAA hopes that the foundation will review its current structure and representation to clarify and eliminate the above concerns. TAA supports the separation of politics and education and is willing to act as a bridge to transform TAR UC into a community university that continually provides quality and affordable tertiary education to all Malaysians,“ he said.

On Dec 6, it was announced in Parliament that the government will only provide the institution with a development fund of RM5.5 million but not the RM30 million matching grant.

The matching grant is a commitment made to MCA by the previous administration to ensure that the institution continues to offer quality education to the young.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng reportedly said MCA should break its ties with Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and TAR UC before the government could provide more allocation for the two institutions.