21 December, 2009

Utar turns down RM30m , what the F**k ?

KUALA LUMPUR – Plans by renowned philanthropist Koon Yew Yin, who has offered scholarships to Utar students to further alleviate their problems have hit a caveat.

Koon made a RM30mil donation offer in August this year to build hostels at the Utar Kampar campus to help students “because all the poor students who have taken my scholarships have been complaining that their room rental keeps going up and up.”

According to Koon, there are about 10,000 students in Utar Kampar and the university has no plan to build any accommodation for students.

In a letter to the media, Koon vented his frustration saying the Utar “was not willing to accept my RM30mil donation and to allow me to have control of a task force to oversee the spending of my money for building hostels within the Utar campus.”

“The housing developers are making hay while the sun shines. They just cannot build fast enough to meet the rapid increase of about 2,000 students per year,” said Koon.

As a result, room rentals in the campus town are going up with a twin sharing room going at RM420 a month, he claimed.

Koon who met MCA president Ong Tee Keat during a meeting earlier, said that the MCA leader was shocked that Utar was not willing to accept his RM30mil donation and to allow him to have control of the task force.

Koon said that Utar has 1,300 acres of land and he only requires 30 acres to build the hostels.

He alleged that Utar had insisted that he could build hostels to accommodate only 5,000 students so as not to “upset the current property rental market outside the campus.”

All terms agreed

Koon also said that he had accepted all terms by Utar, including donating the money directly to the university account.

However, Koon said in his letter that now, the Utar board of trustees chairman, Lau Yin Pin has written to him saying that they were willing to forego my RM30mil if he (Koon) insists on having control over the task force to manage the money he has donated.

“Their letter of rejection is disingenuous to say the least. In the first place, they are willing to accept my proposed donation (according to all except one) on the basis of the conditions that I have set out,” he said.

Koon said that the letter to him states that “the Trustees and the Council will ensure that your donation will be utilised specifically for the purpose stated by [me]” and “the returns from the hostel will also be utilised according to [my] wishes.

Koon wants 50 % of the returns to go to the Koon Yew Yin Scholarship and Loan Fund to be managed by Utar and the balance 50% of the returns for new hostel construction at Utar.

“However, in the same letter they state that ‘from the date of its inception on Aug 13, 2002, Utar has been receiving donations from various people and organisations including a launching grant of RM50mil from the Federal Government.

None of these donors have imposed any terms or conditions on Utar," said Koon.

Koon said that just because past donors have not insisted on conditions on their donations should not be used to reject his offer.

“This so-called tradition is being used to reject my condition for control of the task force and is quite frankly, absurd and unacceptable. It is clear to any observer that if the Utar management agrees to the other conditions I have set out, they are already breaking the so-called “practice and tradition” of unconditional donations.”

No vested interest

Koon insisted that his main concern in asking for control of the task force is to protect both the interests of the students and Utar.

“As a result, more students will be attracted to Utar Kampar which will also benefit the various property owners that are currently enjoying the benefits of the abnormally high rental market in Kampar at the expense of the students. “

In his letter of appeal to the MCA president, he urged the party and leaders to share his concern and to oppose “Utar members who may not be so scrupulous on observing their basic fiduciary duty to protect the interests of the students and university.”

In the mean time, I have to remind all the members of Utar Council and the Board of Trustees of their fiduciary duty.

Koon lamented that to stop him from building hostels on the basis of a “weak, illogical and unjustifiable pretext is surely against the interest of thousands of students and the university institution.”

“I would like to stress that the net income from the rental of RM30mil invested in hostels and associated facilities will help thousands of students. You must not forget that the net income will be recurring which will help many more future students,” said Koon.

- Malaysia Mirror



Blogger Jason Tee said...

Why author never mention the price range of single room? For those who don't know, the single room price range in Kampar is RM260-RM300/person and the double room price range is RM180-RM200/person. If anyone familiar with Kampar's property, he/she should know that supply is more than demand in Kampar. I hope Mr. Koon could revise his kind offer. Thank you.

December 22, 2009 9:34 PM  
Blogger Linken Lim said...

Thanks for the heads up, Jason.

December 22, 2009 9:52 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home