by BERNAMA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
PETRONAS’ education sponsorship assistance is given to eligible applicants in terms of merit and has no advantage including special quotas for the country’s major oil-producing states, including Sabah and Sarawak, the Dewan Rakyat was told here today.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Arthur Joseph Kurup said even so, the national oil company provides various other assistance in terms of infrastructure for educational development to balance the infrastructure differences between the two states and the states in Peninsular Malaysia.
“We know that the infrastructure in Sabah is not yet comparable to that in the Peninsular.
“With that, Petronas has various programmes such as building the MRSM (MARA Junior Science College) in Ranau and a rural day hostel,” he said at a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat.
He was replying to an additional question from Awang Husaini Sahari (PKR-Putatan) who wanted to know whether an advantage was given to students from Sabah and Sarawak when applying to the Petronas higher education sponsorship as he deemed the education infrastructure of the two states to be far behind, thus affecting the quality of student education and sponsorship opportunities.
Arthur also said that under the Petronas Education Sponsorship Programme, created since 1975, it has benefited more than 36,000 students involving expenses in excess of RM3 billion.
According to him, since 2010 a total of 3,426 students received sponsorship under the programme involving a cost of RM874 million.
Of the total, he said 17 per cent or 575 were students from Sabah and Sarawak, with sponsorship costs exceeding RM100 million.
“For Sabah, there are 245 sponsored students and out of that number,163 are studying at local universities while another 82 are at foreign universities.
“As for Sarawak, there are a total of 330 students who received sponsorship and out of this, 234 students are at local universities and 96 students at foreign universities,” he added.