KOTA BELUD: Komulakan UPKO is of the opinion that scholarships should be maintained if the government revises the budget expected to be announced by the Prime Minister soon.The party hopes that education funding will be among the priorities.
“It has been widely rumoured that scholarship will be temporarily suspended in the upcoming budget revision due to the economic challenges currently being faced by the government.
“This has not gone well with students especially those who perform excellently in pursuit of the scholarship. They were de-motivated with such rumours,” said UPKO Komulakan chief, Ewon Benedick.
“Furthermore, I am of the opinion that scholarship is among the special rights accorded to the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution. This has to be maintained. I support the budget revision after considering the falling of our revenue and there are areas which budget can be reduced but not scholarship,” he added.
Ewon, who is also the Political Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, was speaking at the closing ceremony of SMK Narinang annual sports event at Kota Belud Sports Complex on Friday.
“Most students especially from the lower income group were trying very hard to pursue their education via scholarship. I’m grateful that I was among the recipient of the state scholarship because I knew then it would not be easy for my mother who is a single mother and her income was not consistent to support my tertiary education. With the falling of commodity price and increase in the cost of living, the parents find it extra hard to support education for their children.
“So on behalf of these students and parents, I appeal to the government to maintain scholarship. I have gone through it and I knew what it really means for those students,” said Ewon.
Officiating at the sports event, Ewon praised SMK Narinang for consistently exceling in both its academic and sports fields. The school will be defending its championship title for the 18th year in the upcoming district level which will be held in February.-Sayangsabah