Last month, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad was slammed by netizens for overseas trips to the United Kingdom (UK) to meet up with Malaysian student representatives there, which netizens claimed does not bring benefit the students here.
Despite the criticisms, Minister of Rural Development Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has done something similar where he visited students pursuing their undergraduate degrees in the UK.
The visit was led by the UMNO Clubs in the UK and Ireland chairman Muhammad Iman Irfan Yahya and attended by 9 student leaders of the clubs.
Menerima memorandum kajian peningkatan kos sara hidup dan cadangan penambahbaikan elaun sara hidup pelajar tajaan MARA daripada Pengerusi Kelab UMNO United Kingdom & Ireland, saudara Muhammad Iman Irfan Yahya dalam satu pertemuan khas di London semalam. (1/3)#KeluargaMalaysia pic.twitter.com/jFESggsbnV— Mahdzir Khalid (@MahdzirKhalid) June 14, 2022
Meanwhile, in a now-deleted tweet, Mahdzir shared that some of the students had to take a 9-hour bus ride from Glasgow, while others came from Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester and London.
While the visit seemed normal at one glance, netizens were quick to point out the fact that the minister was there to hear out the students’ concerns, but ignore the local student’s plea for better education or infrastructure.
One of the top comments by Malaysians was, “What concerns?”, as they referred to the fact that these students are in fact scholarship recipients who should not have any major concerns that would require Mahdzir to meet with them in person all the way in London.
Mati kelaparan ke student sana? Tido kat bwh london bridge ke? Naik sampan ke pegi kelas? Apa keluh kesah, they are blady adults la. Cerita susah macam kolej dalam hutan amazon— NinaRedz🏴 (@ninareza2806) June 15, 2022
“Are the students there dying of hunger? Are they sleeping under the London Bridge? or taking boats to class?… Talking about difficulties as if the college is in the Amazon forest,” said a netizen.
Netizens then asked if the Minister had considered listening to the concerns of our local students in rural areas who are facing a much more difficult time getting to school as those areas are usually severely underdeveloped.
“Have you heard out the concerns of the children of Sabah and Sarawak who go to school by boats, collapsed bridges and slippery red dirt roads,” said a user.
Abes tu keluh kesah student dlm Malaysia sape nk dengar?— Ayoi | Deasstore (@asrulaffendi13) June 15, 2022
Many also expressed their frustration and anger at the minister with sarcasm.
“Wow, the coverage is so wide that even the UK, which is overseas, is under the responsibility of YB? Amazing. Have you had time to visit Primark?” asked a netizen.
We hope that the ministers will spend more effort in helping the students in Malaysia as compared to those who are privileged enough to study overseas.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!