The Federal government today approved an allocation of RM3 million to Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to help solve water supply problems at the university.

In announcing this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said although the country was facing a national debt of RM1.5 trillion, he did not want the UMS students to face hardship while pursuing knowledge.

“We will channel the money to the state government in the next few days, don’t disturb the students, don’t disturb the staff, it is the responsibility of the Federal government,” he said at the Temu Anwar @UMS Kota Kinabalu (Meet Anwar @UMS Kota Kinabalu) event here today.

Also present were Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Yusof Apdal, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, UMS Board of Directors chairman Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan and UMS Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Kasim Mansor.

The Prime Minister, who is also the Finance Minister, said it was not easy for the allocation to be given but it is being provided because he understood the difficulties faced by the students, whom he considers his children.

He also said that the Federal government was committed to overcoming the problem of dilapidated schools as well as educational needs in the country, adding that it was, through the Ministry of Education, carrying out efforts towards resolving the issues.

“I ask the Education Minister (Fadhlina Sidek) to give me the amount needed (to repair) the dilapidated schools, damaged toilets and clinics… (they) need RM1.4 million. From my experience, I see a school with eight toilets, four will be broken, if it has four toilets, three will be damaged… do we want to train our children to queue up (to go to the toilet) like in the film Bujang Lapok?,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said Indonesian President Joko Widodo is scheduled to visit Malaysia next week.

Anwar said the purpose of the visit is to strengthen bilateral relations between both countries, including in trade, investment and education.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency