RAUB – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the government will continue to safeguard the interests and status of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) as an educational institution that creates many Bumiputera intellectuals and professionals.
The Prime Minister said this was different from the stand of the opposition which he claimed did not have an agenda to safeguard the institution that was established in 1967 to enhance the socio-economic standard of the Bumiputeras in the country.
“I want to be frank. It has never crossed the mind of the other (opposition) side to ensure the interests and status of UiTM. Who do you want to trust, (DAP leaders) Nga Kor Ming, Lim Kit Siang? Neither can you trust any other person,” he said at the opening of the Raub campus of UiTM here.
Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and UiTM vice-chancellor Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Hassan Said, were also present at the event.
Najib said the setting up of the university had enabled many Bumiputeras to hold important positions in the public and private sectors and had helped social mobility regardless of background.
“Today, people in the most remote of villages also have the opportunity to study at UiTM, and a special programme of going down to the ground to the villages conducted by this institution has changed the destiny of many Bumiputera children.
“We seek out students who are unable to excel in their studies due to poverty and expose them to the importance of getting a good education for their future,” he said.
In this regard, he said, the people must choose the government wisely on polling day on May 9 to ensure the continuation of the benefits of education and educational opportunities.
“We must favour those who provide us with the benefits. What’s the point of winning battles but losing the war? We can elect anyone but the most important consideration is whether the chosen ones can provide us with a better life or otherwise.
“Which side can make a difference for us? Is it the DAP, Pakatan? Who looked after us over the past 60 years, who brought development? Was it not the BN government, from the time we were small until we grew into adults? And, UiTM. Who looked after UiTM? Who are the leaders who brought UiTM to this level, were they not the BN leaders?
Najib said UiTM had surged 23 positions to be the 158th among the outstanding universities of Asia, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Asia University Rankings 2018.
The report lists the institution among the 1.3 per cent of the top universities in Asia. UiTM has 170,000 students throughout the country and 700,000 alumni.
Najib, meanwhile, urged Malay voters in Raub to support the BN candidate, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, to ensure victory for the coalition in the election.
“I want to say that most importantly there is consensus in the BN. UMNO and the Malays support the MCA here, and in other places, MCA will support the UMNO candidates.
“I urge you to set aside minor differences. Let’s be open-minded. We don’t want small victories, we want to win the big war because we want to have a strong government,” he said. – BERNAMA