PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli today slammed Mara for making a U-turn on scholarships granted for 31 students to study medicine in the UK and Ireland, because it could not afford it.
This came after he received complaints from parents that Mara had changed its mind on the scholarships at the eleventh hour.
Thirty-one student had taken the course of International Baccalaureate (IB) at Banting Mara under its excellent students scheme, he said.
Rafizi (photo) added that they were originally offered scholarships for medical degrees at universities in the UK and Ireland if they had fulfilled certain criteria - scoring an average of 33 out of 45 points during the IB examinations and getting offers from the relevant universities sanctioned by Mara.
"I was told as soon as they passed the examination and fulfilled the criteria, they were informed that Mara could not afford to send them to the UK and Ireland to further their studies there," he said in a statement today.
Unfavourable currency exchange
Rafizi said the parents were also informed that Mara is facing financial problems due to the economic situation and the unfavourable currency exchange.
They were instead offered to study in India, Indonesia and Malaysia as the application for the universities in US, Australia, New Zealand were already closed, he said.
Rafizi added that the students and their families are unable to accept such excuses given Mara's dubiousproperty deals in Australia where a total of RM129 million was "swindled" out of the RM375 million property purchases.
"Mara and Putrajaya should keep their promises to send these students to the UK and Ireland as they had fulfilled the conditions.
"I will officially make a complaint to Nur Jazlan Mohamed, the chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and its members, so the issue will be brought up during the hearing on Mara's property deals in Australia," he said.
He also demanded Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal to resolve the matter swiftly.