Students expressed gratitude and relief over the increased Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) sponsored living allowance announced today by the Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
As this welcome news has been much anticipated behind the rising cost of living, especially for MARA-sponsored scholars abroad, it is expected to ease the financial burden of more than 60,000 students.
One of the beneficiaries, Putra Mohd Nor Ridzwan Azhar, 28, saw this increase in allowance as timely since students are also struggling to pay for higher living costs.
“MARA initially supported my diploma studies in 2012 until I pursued my double master’s degree at Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysia France Institute (UniKL MFI) and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands.
“This comes as a piece of good news and I appreciate the government’s consideration of the prevailing circumstances,” said him, after the Program Aspirasi Kecemerlangan Keluarga Malaysia, at the German-Malaysian Institute.
The new living allowance rate for local students has been raised from a minimum of RM650 to a maximum of RM950 per month, which will apply to all levels of education from diploma to professional and doctorate levels.
Overseas students, meanwhile, will receive the minimum rate of RM1,380 per month up to a maximum of RM7,600 depending on the level of study.
It was announced during Program Aspirasi Kecemerlangan Keluarga Malaysia, in front of 3,000 MARA Institute of Education (IPMa) students including from Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and a few groups of students watching from overseas.
For the record, at UniKL alone, more than 80 percent of its active students received financial support from MARA.
Wan Muhammad Luqhman Wan Mohd Affendy who is studying the Bachelor of Aircraft Engineering Technology in Mechanical at UniKL Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (UniKL MIAT) will also be entitled to the higher living allowance as he awaits for MARA loan application.
“When the Prime Minister announced the increased allowance, it resonated with much of what is happening today. It is very relieving, especially for those less fortunate,” he remarked.
Similarly, Muhammad Aiman Danial Mohamad Taha, 21, believes that students do not have to concern themselves with financial matters any further and are able to fully concentrate on their studies.
It is possible to allocate a greater percentage of expenses to study materials or books, said Muhammad Aiman Danial who is also studying Bachelor of Aircraft Engineering Technology in Mechanical at UniKL MIAT.