Scholarships for Palestinians: Netizens slam govt’s move

Scholarships for Palestinians: Netizens slam govt’s move

PUCHONG: The public have taken it to social media to hurl brickbats on the government’s decision to offer scholarships to Palestinians to study in Malaysia.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that 12 local universities will offer scholarships to Palestinian students living in Malaysia.

“The government has decided to offer scholarships through the Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM) for Palestinian students to pursue Bachelor, Masters, and PhD courses in 12 established Malaysian universities,” he was reported saying.

The scholarships will be funded from RM11.47 million raised by the universities.

However, the decision did not go down well with the public.

“Why scholarship for outsiders but not for we Malaysians. So many of our own excellent students out there struggling to get a place in our university…why not them? So sad,” said Vivandra Raj.

Another Facebook user Arif Azis said, “Wow, helping others country citizen have money but Malaysians very hard to get scholarship somemore saying that no money for Malaysian students to be given scholarship.”

Facebook user Hasnor Khaidiah added,” I support Palestine but I disagree giving this scholarship for them. The govt should put the interest of the citizen first before helping the non-citizen.”

One called Irfan Azwardi, however, defended Mahathir saying that many developed nations like the UK and the US offer places and scholarships in their universities for those from war-torn countries.

However, one netizen named Jason Tea said,” Irfan Azwardi we don’t have to, we are a multi ethnic country. I don’t think we can or should imagine ourselves in the same league as US and UK, or learn from them simply because we are different. We cannot copy and innovate as there are certain political consideration that we cannot surmount.”

The conversation even took a racist turn when one Aswan Khamis said, “We opened up a space to share our land with you, now you dispute (us) when we share a bit of happiness with our Muslim brothers?”

Responding to this, social media user Victor Chan said,” Aswan Khamis shh, sleep early, tomorrow go work early with your non-bumi boss.”

The news report received 1,200 comments with over 500 shares.  

Recently, Education Minister Maszlee Malik came under fire by the opposition and members of his own coalition for defending the quota system by linking it to unequal job opportunities for bumiputra in the private sector.

He was backed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof who said that this was in line with the Cabinet’s decision.

However, Dr Mujahid said priority would be given to students from families in the low-income bracket (B40) which includes non-bumiputra students.

By G Vinod

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