NIBONG TEBAL: Pakatan Rakyat will set aside RM5 billion from the country’s annual RM80 billion oil revenue to provide free education to all when it takes over Putrajaya.
Pakatan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said the coalition would give free education to all Malaysian students from primary school to tertiary education in public universities.
He said the government only needed to spend RM5 billion to fund the free education policy to once-and-for all end the argument over equal education opportunities for all Malaysian students regardless of the ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Noting that equal education opportunities and funds have become a major issue among poor Malays and non-Malays in the country, he insisted that free education to all was the right answer to end their woes.
He said the country would not go bankrupt as claimed by Barisan Nasional leaders, including Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, as the government would still have RM75 billion balance of annual oil revenue after spending for free education for the people.
Citing Turkey, he said the country provided free education for all despite not having oil revenue.
“So what’s the problem in spending our oil money to benefit the people?” Anwar asked an applauding mammoth crowd during a party rally in Taman Bersatu here last night.
He also reiterated Pakatan’s election promises to implement RM1,100 minimum salary, abolish the North-South Expressway toll and reduce the petrol RON95 rate if it helmed the federal government.
The Opposition Leader said a Pakatan federal government would exhaust all ways and means to reduce the cost of living of the people.
Anwar indicated that he may not contest Nibong Tebal federal seat as speculated because he did not want to desert his Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituents, who have loyally backed him, his family and PKR.
He recalled that his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail won the seat in 1999 and 2004 even though he was in jail.
But he promised that he would not bow to any pressure, and will field winnable and trustworthy candidates in Nibong Tebal and its two PKR-contested state seats – Sungai Acheh and Sungai Bakap in the next general election.
Previous PKR MP for Nibong Tebal, Tan Tee Beng defected two years ago to become BN-friendly independent parliamentarian.
“We must win clean sweep all our seats in Nibong Tebal,” he thundered his message to the crowd.
Earlier, Anwar received 500 membership forms, from a group of former IPF and Gerakan Indian members in Nibong Tebal, to join PKR.
He was also garlanded by the jubilant party newcomers.
A group leader, S Thenmathy, said that she decided to join PKR with 300 supporters because she felt more welcomed and appreciated than in IPF, which she served for 28 years.
Another R Jeganathan said he left Gerakan after 32 years because the party was so disorganised that he did not even know his branch and its leader.
In his speech, PKR’s Rembau leader Badrul Hisham Shahrin, better known as Chegu Bard, called on voters, especially Indians, not to be tricked by BN’s election goodies, hampers and cash gifts.
“During election season, BN would as usual come with goodies to lure Indian votes.
“Indians must not fall into this trap,” he cautioned.