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PETALING JAYA: Minister Wee Ka Siong has been accused of “playing with words” over the announcement that Public Service Department (JPA) scholarships for degree programmes have been suspended.

In a statement issued today, MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok took issue with Wee for a message he posted on Facebook last night denying he had said JPA had suspended government scholarships.

“I wish to advise Wee not to play with words but to focus his efforts to help resolve the plight faced by the students,” Kok said, adding that the fact remained that the scholarships had been suspended as reported and that several hundred students were now affected by the move.

She said the students and their parents were not interested in whether he had officially announced or confirmed the suspension but wanted instead to know what he would now do, in his capacity as minister, to help them.

Describing Wee’s denial as a “joke”, Kok argued that if at all there was no suspension of scholarships, the minister would have officially announced it straight away.

She said that since the matter had been taken up by the Cabinet, as claimed by Wee, she wanted answers on two issues, the first being on why it was the JPA and not the Cabinet that made the official announcement about the suspension of scholarships.

“Secondly, there were allegations that Mara scholarships would not be affected. Are these allegations true? Did he (Wee) raise the issue in the Cabinet meeting?” Kok asked.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Federal Government had made the decision to suspend scholarships by the PSD for degree programmes, and bursaries by the Education Ministry for pre-university courses.

However, Wee later clarified that only those who received scholarships in 2014 were affected by the suspension of bursaries.

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