PUTRAJAYA, Oct 29 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today launched the Yayasan Kebajikan Siswa Keluarga Malaysia foundation which will take on the role of assisting undergraduates in need.
As a start, he said the government will allocate RM5 million for the foundation, channeled through the Finance Ministry, as a sign of the government’s support to ensure continuity of operations and for the goals of its establishment to be achieved.
“The foundation will collaborate with all existing aid channels and foundations in higher learning institutions (IPT) to facilitate distribution of aid to students who need assistance.
“As such, I would like to remind all agencies and parties involved to expedite and make the application process easier so that aid can be immediately channeled to undergraduates in need,” he said.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the foundation on the Ministry of Higher Education’s official Facebook page, Ismail Sabri said the establishment of the foundation is proof of the government’s concern for the welfare of students as contained in Keluarga Malaysia’s (the Malaysian Family) concept of inclusiveness, togetherness and gratitude.
Also present at the event were Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad and Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
Following the foundation’s establishment, Ismail Sabri hopes that the management and coordination of student welfare affairs will be more integrated with the involvement of all parties, reflecting the concept of Keluarga Malaysia.
Elaborating further on the foundation, the prime minister said Yayasan Kebajikan Siswa Keluarga Malaysia, which has the status of an official body at the national level, is established under Act 258 and is regulated by the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department.
He also called on student representative councils and undergraduates to carry out their responsibilities in ensuring that none of their fellow students in need are left out in terms of aid.
“Like how it is in a family, each member in need must be assisted and such noble values must also be adopted by every undergraduate. It is very important for undergraduates to treat fellow students as part of a big family who needs each other’s support,” he said.
He said before the foundation was established, the government had introduced several aid packages for undergraduates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
These include the B40 data plan aid involving an allocation of RM24 million that benefitted more than 300,000 students and the B40 device targeted aid for almost 9,000 students through a RM13 million allocation.
“The moratorium on National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans which benefits 1.5 million borrowers was also given.
“And the latest is the e-Tunai contribution, through the e-Belia programme, for undergraduates aged between 18 and 20,” Ismail Sabri said, while adding that the assistance reflected the government’s commitment to ease the burden of campus residents.
Ismail Sabri also called on the 1.2 million undergraduates in the country to hold fast to the principle of togetherness regardless of religion, race and ethnicity.