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Sarawak’s free higher education will be colour-blind, says premier

Posted on 27 Feb 2024
Source of News: The Borneo Post


Abang Johari speaks to reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 21, 2024. — Bernama photo

KUCHING (Feb 26): Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg has vowed that there will be no racial discrimination for admissions when the free tertiary education scheme commences in state-owned universities in two years’ time.

He said the only criterion would be for students to meet the academic requirements for admission.

“Whether they are Chinese, Malays, Dayaks, Bidayuhs and Penans, if they are eligible and qualified to enter universities, you can proceed and study,” he said at the Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions Chinese New Year dinner here.

“There will not be any racial discrimination when we implement free tertiary education,” he said.

“We, in the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), have calculated and we want to make our economy strong and we want to give back to the people because talent development is very important,” he said.

He said the state government wanted to ensure that Sarawakians were well-trained in the latest technology.

The state-owned colleges and universities include I-Cat University College, Kolej Laila Taib, University Technology Sarawak, Curtin University of Technology, Swinburne University of Technology and Centre of Technology Excellence Sarawak.

The premier also announced that RM15 million and five acres of state land have been earmarked for the relocation of Chung Hua School No.4 and a further RM5 million and three acres of state land for the school’s board of trustees.

He said the present site could no longer support further expansion of the school at Jalan Haji Taha as the number of students keeps on increasing.

“I have talked to the management of the school why not give good facilities to the school and since we want to give good education to our children, the state government has decided to allocate five acres of state land to the school,” he said.

He said the total allocation of RM20 million is a form of “angpow” from the state government to the school and students.

“Education is important and that is why I have discussed with the school management that there should be a good school with better facilities,” he said.

He said the state government will take back the present site, which is in the Satok state constituency, and turn it into a state heritage.

He said he knew about the school when he was the State Assemblyman for Satok before switching to Gedong and that he had annually provided funds to the school. – Malay Mail