Earlier this week, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) proudly announced on Facebook that it had sponsored 215 students to study in the UK.
It also boasted of the students heading towards the Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh Airport.
However, it seems that the sponsorship program has a much darker side, as alleged on Twitter.
Netizen @callmefye, who participated in Mara’s sponsorship program to Australia (2014/2015), claimed that most recipients were either children of VIPs or Mara staff.
215 pelajar terbang ke UK di bawah tajaan Mara. Agaknya dlm ramai² ni brp yg betul² layak? Maaf sy pun under Mara (2014/2015) & waktu tu sy jmp brp ramai anak vip & anak staf Mara sdri tp di bawah tajaan Mara. “Jgn bgtahu org tau.” Kata anak² mereka di bumi Australia ketika itu. pic.twitter.com/NucTmnr9zx— fairuz.dan.alam 🇵🇸 (@callmefye) September 29, 2021
He further questioned the authenticity of these students’ application, claiming that they had misused their parents’ social status to get a free pass.
“Some of them had JPA scholarships, while others had parents working as diplomats. They were also proud to show off the tons of money given to them.
I was also dumbfounded to hear the staff speaking kindergarten-level English. How did they manage to land a job overseas?”
@callmefye also alleged that he was instructed to keep silent over the matter when he landed in Australia.
In the comment section, another netizen said that she was part of the cohort sent to the UK and revealed that that not all came from the B40 group.
The tweet has since gained 15.3k retweets and even got the attention of ex-Education Minister Maszlee Malik.
Hakikat yang penuh kepahitan… https://t.co/tBiWQELYmI— Maszlee Malik 🏴🇲🇾 (@maszlee) September 29, 2021
Another netizen expressed her frustration of having to go through endless interviews, only to discover that the spot had been booked for VIPs.
This is what i meant about the scholarship controversy. It’s not that the lower income class aren’t competent; no. It’s bcs we unknowingly went to interviews for an already booked slot for the VIP’s babies to make it look like they’ve work for the spot. Were swept and dusted. https://t.co/4FSG5Cpg6C— sarah – 🏴 (@Saralysis) September 29, 2021
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Proofreader: Sarah Yeoh