Kota Kinabalu 18/12/2012: Universiti Institut Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sabah Rector, Datuk Dr Abdul Kadir Rosline, illustrated UiTM Sabah's need for financial assistance, Monday, stating that it now uses the MDAB's (Mengubah Destinasi Anak Bangsa) intake quota of other states.
He said this at a press conference after handing over financial assistance to MDAB students.
"This is the scenario here and it reflects Sabahans' desire to get education.
Among those keen include those from Pensiangan, Banggi Island and Kota Marudu."
Malays and Bumiputeras who are unable to further their studies due to financial difficulties have a chance through MDAB, he said.
The programme also assists those who do not meet academic merits at higher learning institutions.
Being poor with parents earning below RM2,000 is the basic requirement for a student to enrol into the Pre-Diploma MDAB course.
For those living in the city, even RM3,000 is not enough for parents to take care of five children, for example, said Abdul Kadir.
Therefore, this is being looked into so that those in this category would also be able to further their studies.
Sponsorship from corporate sectors were welcome by Abdul Kadir to accommodate students' needs.
There are about 4,500 students here, far better than only about 2,500 in the past.
"Since diploma holders have just registered, a new and official number has not been reported to me yet."
He added that the target for their campus is 6,000 students.
According to Abdul Kadir, the poor are keen on furthering their studies, but are unable to financially support themselves.
"This is the time for me to state that UiTM Sabah should receive assistance from the Government. UiTM has been around since year 1973."
"It's not that we are not satisfied with what we have and the assistance we have received, but we just think it's about time UiTM Sabah received more."
Meanwhile, UiTM Sabah's MDAB programme Co-ordinator, Dr Zamali Tarmudi, said the quota for poor students at UiTM Sabah is 500 students for every semester, which is 1,000 students a year (two intakes).
"Actually, there are 600 instead of 500 if you include the Saluran Perdana programme.
"There are so many poor Sabahans who want to study, but have no money to do so."
UiTM Sabah is facing difficulties in terms of getting students from rural areas to come and also getting financial assistance for students.
He estimated that RM1,700 is needed to put through one student for each semester. "Imagine, if parties like the State Government would come forward to assist us."
Dr Zamali also welcomed assistance from various parties and acknowledged that it is for the benefit of Sabahan people.
When asked about their efforts to go to the actual places in order to attract students to enrol in the MDAB, he said their efforts are limited due to lack of staff and finance. "It is also difficult to access very rural areas."
"Currently, the allowances are being borne by UiTM without additional allocation from the Federal Government."
"What about expenses related to student welfare, health and so on?"
There is no special allocation from the Government regarding this and when the school runs out of money, there is a possibility that MDAB will, sadly, no longer continue.
"Quota needs to be added due to our interest to help Sabahans who are academically capable but lacking in terms of finances.
Apart from that, Muis Deputy Chairman Aspah Abdullah Sani said Muis has helped a lot as far as education is concerned.
"About 180 students from Sabah were sent to Egypt."
However, he admitted that they were not fully sponsored by them.
"Half of the assistance comes from Yayasan Sabah and the State scholarship programme."
Those sponsored are not only pursuing their academic studies but are also required to take Islamic studies into account. For example, when one takes engineering as a major, he or she would take Islamic studies as the minor.
Among studies pursued include Islamic studies, medical and engineering.
Apart from studying in Malaysia, among other countries which students are being sent to are Egypt, Jordan and Indonesia.
"About 19 medical students who left Sabah in year 2006 are scheduled to come back early next year."
Also present at the event was the Sabah Mufti, Ustaz Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar.
The purpose of the event was to hand over financial assistance to MDAB students and to strengthen the existing co-operation between UiTM Sabah and Sabah Tithe Centre.