Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sabah to probe govt aid to children of non-Malaysians

The Sabah government views the disbursement of financial aid to children of non-citizens in Sabah as serious and wants urgent investigation on the matter.
Minister in charge of Sabah's education affairs Masidi Manjun said he was not aware that such aid is available to children of non-citizens in the state.

He was responding to an allegation by PKR that they had received complaints that aid that should have been given to Malaysian students from poor families in Sabah had instead ended up in the bank accounts of those not eligible for such assistance.

PKR supreme council member Ansari Abdullah earlier this week disclosed that the party had evidence that between RM450 and RM600 was being paid annually through the Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pelajar Miskin (KWAPM) to children non-citizens in the state.

"It is a serious allegation that merits thorough investigation by the department concerned," said Masidi in a reply to queries on his Facebook account. The state cabinet minister is currently on a working visit to Russia.

He said he wants the department concerned to explain how this has happened.

Last week Ansari showed copies of the documents comprising copies of the pupils' birth certificates and pages of their bank books to the media during a press conference to support his allegation.

The documents showed that the parents of the beneficiaries were non-Malaysians and their status was either recorded as 'temporary resident, not clarified or no information obtained'.

The majority of the children, whose parents are mostly Filipinos, had been born at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the state's main government hospital, and were staying in Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sepanggar and all along the west coast.

The fact that the bank had allowed these children to open saving accounts so that they could receive the assistance under the KWAPM scheme, even though the parents do not have identity cards has added to the confusion.

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