When people are the victims of power struggle — Lim Sue Goan
JUNE 8 — Members of the public have become victims of political confrontation and the best example here would be the recent move by the National Higher Education Corporation Fund (PTPTN) to freeze loans to students studying in Selangor-owned Universiti Selangor (Unisel).
Unisel students have not been able to get the loans since April, resulting in them being unable to pay their tuition fees and living expenses. Is this a so-called people first policy?
Earlier, Parliament had opposed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s open appeal to abolish the PTPTN scheme. How could Anwar call on students not to repay their loans since Pakatan Rakyat has not being elected the ruling party and Anwar is not the prime minister yet? It is equivalent to encouraging lenders to repudiate loan debts. It has also affected the confidence of businesses and banks in Pakatan Rakyat.
However, the move to freeze loans to Unisel students to prove that the Pakatan Rakyat does not have the ability to implement free education in its ruling states is indeed too emotional.
It is Anwar’s problem to make such remarks, and the consequences should not fall on the students. The PTPTN cannot prove that all 1,000 students are supporting Anwar’s free tertiary education idea. Even if they do, they should not be punished for that as it is contrary to the spirit of democracy.
PTPTN’s move would bring a negative effect as the affected students and parents would not think that they could not get the loans because of Anwar. Instead, they would accuse the government. Also, Pakatan Rakyat would take the opportunity to attack BN.
Using students as a bargaining chip is absolutely wrong. Just like the people of Selangor have become victims of the battle between the federal government and state government.
Selangor’s water restructuring plan has been delayed for more than three years. The plan to transfer water from Pahang to Selangor has not been able to be implemented and the state government did not approve the Langat 2 treatment plant on condition that the restructuring hurdle must be cleared first.
The problem is the demand for tap water supply has surged due to the rapid development of housing and industry in Selangor, but the supply has not been improved accordingly, causing a possible water shortage crisis in the future.
Selangor BN co-ordinator Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed has warned that Selangor might face a water shortage next year while Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said that among the 33 water treatment plants in Selangor, 62 per cent of them were not well managed.
Selangor residents can only hope that after the general election, regardless of who wins the election, it would still not too late to solve the water problem. Otherwise, not only the people would have to suffer, but manufacturers and businesses would also have to shut down and it would bring a direct impact to the national economy.
Unisel students have been turned into victims of political struggles but politicians would never wake up. They continue to calculate and find ways to beat their rivals, including playing with issues like the PTPTN loan, the Bersih 3.0 rally, Chinese education and the WWW 15 number controversy. When would they stop?
When the fight for power is placed in the middle, the people would be placed on both sides. Who would still care about social order and law? — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.