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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kapar MP claims local college shortchanging poor Indian students

Kapar MP G Manivannan today questioned alleged discrepancies in a local private college's distribution of federal funds meant to assist poor Indians in his constituency.
During a press conference at his office in Meru, Klang, Manivannan alleged the management of Kolej Bayu had shortchanged poor Indian students enrolled for its technical skills course, offered for free under the Prime Minister's Department Special Unit Program for Socioeconomic Development of Indian Community (Sedic).
"As we all know, courses offered under Sedic are meant for poor Indian youths and aimed at uplifting the overall socio-economic status of Indians in Malaysia.
"I welcome all efforts by any parties to uplift Indians in Malaysia. But at the same time, I believe there are elements of misappropriation of Sedic funds disbursed to Kolej Bayu," said the PKR vice-president who was accompanied by three students from the college who had lodged complaints against its management.
Among others, the students claimed they were shortchanged of a promised RM400 monthly allowance, with arbitrary deductions being made as payments for an additional course which is not sponsored by Sedic.
Having started their one-year electronic skills course in February, student representative Puspadewi Natarayan said the college management initially promised that students would be given an opportunity to obtain a second certificate for free.
"We are disappointed that the payments made were not as promised and the courses offered were not as proposed," she said, adding that several attempts to seek an explanation from the college management had failed.
From February to earlier this month, Puspadewi said she has only received RM600 out of RM2,000 in total allowance due, with cuts being made to pay for a weekly bridal make-up course or an electronic course.
As a result, she said a police report has been lodged against the college management on May 24, aside from raising the issue with Manivannan's office.
'Efforts made to resolve issue'
Contacted for comments, Kolej Bayu CEO R Loganathan said he was aware of the allegations but stressed that all efforts have been made to resolve issues raised.
"Just this afternoon I went to post the cheques with the students' outstanding allowances from February to May," he said, adding that each cheque amounted to RM1,000 or RM600 in recovered deductions as well as RM400 full allowance for last month.
Expressing surprise that the issue is being dragged further, Loganathan said the decision was made following a meeting with Sedic representatives in Putrajaya earlier this week after it was first highlighted by a local Tamil-daily.
Contrary to the students' claims, Loganathan said the college has informed them of charges imposed for an additional bridal make-up, air-conditioning repair or IT course offered and marketed by an appointed third-party.
"In late March we received 50 percent of funds from Sedic and in April I personally disbursed three months of allowance to the students.
"For those who enrolled in the Dual Programme, I explained the deductions made from the RM1,200 which they received. They clearly understand what happened," he said, adding the students had also signed a consent form before enrolling for the Dual Programme.

While declining to reveal the amount of funds received from Sedic, Loganathan said it was the first time Bayu College has accepted a grant from the Prime Minister's Department to sponsor 200 students.
On the students' police report, Loganathan said he had given his statement to Kapar police and furnished evidence which showed their signed agreement for deductions to be made.
With 17 years of experience and over 6,000 alumni, Loganathan said the college had never been subjected to such allegations and claimed that the students were reacting to incitement from an individual who has a personal grudge against the college.- Mkini

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