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PETALING JAYA: Two DAP representatives today questioned Prime Minister Najib Razak’s motive in bringing up the fact that they were educated at MCA-funded institutions.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, who had studied Form Six in Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC), as it was known then, said most Malaysians viewed TARC as another institute of higher learning, similar to many state-funded public universities.

“When I enrolled for the course, I was never informed that MCA support was a requirement to enter the college.

“Why do PM Najib and MCA want to claim credit for our education in TARC and whack us for being ungrateful now?” she asked in response to Najib’s remarks today.

Najib, in his speech at the MCA annual general assembly today, had pointed out that certain opposition leaders were once students at higher education institutes, started and funded by MCA.

He said that these political figures had become “smart” because of the contributions of the MCA and Barisan Nasional (BN) in providing Malaysians with quality higher education.

Apart from Kok, Najib had named Rasah MP Teo Kok Seong and Penang state executive councillor and Padang Lalang assemblywoman Chong Eng, all from DAP, as among the former graduates from MCA-funded institutions.

He had said that the ruling BN coalition needed to remind these political leaders about the matter as the opposition was constantly attacking the government.

Kok said that many opposition elected representatives and supporters had studied in local primary and secondary schools and local universities, and questioned if that meant that they should support BN, “as the government had built and funded those schools and universities”.

“The money the BN government and MCA have are from the people. They are using the people’s money to build TARC and schools and universities.

“It is the duty of the government to provide education. MCA is part of the BN coalition government, and both are doing what a government should do for the people. Nothing for them to shout about,” she said.

Kok, who graduated from Universiti Sains Malaysia, said that many from TARC would like to question MCA on why the government had not recognised the college diplomas all these years.

As for Chong, she said she was well aware of the fact that she had studied Form Six at TARC, although she had graduated from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

The Bagan Lalang representative said her brother had helped support her in her studies at the college and she had given tuition as a means to fund her education.

“It is not a crime to be critical of the government of the day. In fact, it is the duty and the job of the opposition to provide a check and balance,” she said when contacted.

Chong said providing education was the government’s responsibility and said she certainly would not tell the people that they had to be grateful for their education.

“It is a service to the people,” she added.

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