PUTRAJAYA – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government welcomes and listens to the different opinions of university students.
“In each different view we need to find the essence which could be the common ground. However in putting forward such dissenting views there should be civility,” he said when chairing the National Student Consultative Council (MPPK) here yesterday.
Ahmad Zahid who is also Home Minister said MPPK was a platform for student leaders at institutions of higher learning (IPT) to voice issues, proposals and views to improve government policies.
He however advised leaders representing students at IPT to be cautious when putting forward their views and resolutions as the decisions made at MPPK could affect the future generations.
According to Ahmad Zahid, among the follow-up actions taken by the government at earlier MPPK sessions were aspects of volunteerism among students to form a caring community via the Gap Year programme.
The Gap Year programme, which began this year was implemented during the first year for students to explore programmes such as volunteerism, entrepreneurship and sports.
Ahmad Zahid said the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) had acknowledged MPPK of its views on the Goods And Services Tax (GST) on online business and economic issues especially those involving international trade agreements and cooperation with major powers in the world economy.
He said MITI would be inviting MPPK in related programmes in future.
On the proposal that 1Malaysia Student Discount Card (KADS1M) gave wider discounts, he said the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry had taken measures to increase the number of vendors in relevant sectors for students.
To date, there are 271 trade partners of KADS1M in 444 branches throughout Malaysia.
Ahmad Zahid said the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) was maintaining its lending rate so that PTPTN debt would not be raised based on the loan rate and eligibility.
The meeting which was also attended by Higher Education Minister Datuk Idris Jusoh, saw four papers tabled by IPT students.