SHAH ALAM, Malaysia - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has again been taken to task over his suggestion that the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) be abolished.
Querying him over the proposal, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also asked why the Opposition Leader had suggested that outstanding PTPTN loans be paid off with funds from Petronas.
"If we squeeze Petronas dry, what do we have? Do not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs," Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, advised Anwar and other opposition leaders who supported the idea.
Muhyiddin was speaking at a gathering of hawkers' associations here yesterday.
Several leaders from the Government and the Barisan Nasional had been annoyed at the suggestion, saying that it was made to win votes and would cause immense hardship to parents in educating their children, if implemented.
Meanwhile, at another event, Muhyiddin dismissed talk that the Government had sidelined vernacular schools.
He said the annual budget for these schools was similar to that given to national schools, adding that on average RM2.235mil was given annually to each Chinese school and RM1.99mil to each Tamil school.
National schools, on average, each received RM2.262mil annually, Muhyiddin told a gathering of vernacular school teachers here.
He said the United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong) had lied when it said the Government was not training enough Chinese school teachers and that the Government had also ignored the problem of teacher shortage for decades.
On infrastructure problems, Muhyiddin said both vernacular and national schools faced the issue and his ministry would rectify the problems accordingly.