Press Statement by Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching, Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen on 7 October 2020:
The #NolongSiswa initiative that was initiated by both DAP Members of Parliament YB Chong Chieng Jen & YB Kelvin Yii to help Sarawakian students who were stranded and affected by the “u-turn” and vague policy by the Ministry of Higher Education to postpone ongoing physical students intakes and, registrations has received overwhelming response from Sarawakian students seeking for help.
Such last minute and vague announcement has led to a firestorm of criticism online against the ministry, including causing much inconvenience to our students as many of them had already made travel arrangements to their respective universities including purchasing flight tickets from Sarawak to their universities in West Malaysia.
Due to the need to help the students through this tough time, this initiative was launched as a platform where students can seek for help in terms of advice as well as financial aid to help them either with the flight tickets back to Sarawak, or some pocket money to pay for food or temporary accommodations if needed in West Malaysia.
During such an unprecedented time of pandemic, such move has really affected the students especially the poor B40 students that have very little after travelling all the way to their universities.
Until today we have received more than 150 applications from students all around Sarawak including Kuching, Bintulu, Sibu, Kota Samarahan, Kapit and others requesting for aid. They are all from different backgrounds and race and study in different public universities all around Malaysia.
We sort through every applicant, contact them personally to request them to furnish documents for verification including a Student ID, university details, their flight itineraries. Etc, just to make sure those students who really deserve it get the needed aid.
Indeed, we discover some that “purposefully abuse it” by requesting for aid but when we requested them to furnish necessary documents, they failed to do so. Some we found out are not even students.
Even so, we tried our best to help them in their inquiries. Since we are no more in government, we do not have special allocations for this. Even though with our limited resources, we will try our best to help as many as we can as a majority our funds for this aid is either from our own pockets, or generous donations from public.
The aid has already been disbursed into the bank accounts of the students by batches.
We really hope that this small aid will help the students and their families through this tough time.
We also call upon the Ministry to be clearer on their policies and not burden not just the students, but also their parents and families due to their flip-flop policy that has created a lot of confusion. These students are our country’s future and the Ministry should be decisive and proactive in formulating policies to mould them into and better their education, not to burden them even further.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen,
Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching.