How budget cuts affect public universities

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Budgets cuts have affected the academic staff the most, where there is a hiring freeze of new academic staff while some seniors have to retire as they have not been offered a contract to continue.

University Malaya - file pic

University Malaya – file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 ― The austerity drive in public universities has resulted in a conundrum between providing quality education and working within a much tighter budget compared to previous years.

Under Budget 2017, public universities will see their combined operating budgets slashed by about 19 per cent, or RM1.5 billion, a bigger cut than last year’s budget, and out of the 20 public universities in Malaysia, 10 of them will be facing massive cuts ranging from over 10 per cent to over 31 per cent.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has reportedly said that public universities have become too dependent on government funding, and that a decade ago, it was a fraction of what was now given.

But what do the budget cuts mean? What is the feasibility of public universities sourcing out alternative funding? Will it compromise the quality of education being offered in varsities? Read more

Council: More dons ‘disappearing’ and it’s not good for our varsities

Source: The Star Online

Budget cut: Reduced funding may even see UM losing its prestigious research university tag. Pic form the Star Online.

Budget cut: Reduced funding may even see UM losing its prestigious research university tag. Pic form the Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: The letting go of staff is not isolated to Universiti Malaya alone.

It was previously reported that 156 out of 506 professors, aged between 61 and 70, at public universities did not have their contracts renewed last year, presumably due to budget cuts.

National Council of Professors CEO Prof Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose expressed concerns that such a trend might affect Malaysian universities’ ability to compete internationally.

“A great majority of our Malaysian professors are 55 years old and above. About 250 will be retiring or retired since middle of last year. Read more

Varsities hit hard by budget cuts

Source: NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Public universities are crying out for help as they struggle to sustain their operations.

Citing significant cuts to their operational budgets as the main source of their current woes, they are pleading against any more slashes to the government’s allocation for public universities in the 2017 Budget, as further cuts would pose a systemic threat to the institutions and their core functions.

University heads whom the New Straits Times spoke to, some on record, others choosing to present their case “off-the-record”, said the cuts that they were slapped with last year alone had led to a host of problems, which caused massive adverse cascading effects.

Their cases were supported by the Malaysian Academic Associations Congress (MAAC), which said many faculties had seen scores of their researchers abandoning their studies.

This, the congress said, was not only because of the tight university budgets currently available to them, but there was also not enough financial incentives for research assistants.

MAAC president Professor Dr Mohd Idrus Mohd Masirin said the escalating cost of materials that universities depended on for their research was also compounding the problem.

“With cuts made to the universities’ budgets, some (universities) are even forced to halt entirely their allocations for research. Read more

Suhakam budget cuts, a case of ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’? – Khoo Ying Hooi

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Over the past few months, when meeting up with some friends working in government agencies, as well as in my own university, one constant grievance in our conversation is budget cuts.

Similarly, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has met the same fate.

Suhakam’s funding was slashed by almost 50% in Budget 2016 from RM10,986,200 for 2015 to RM5,509,400 for 2016.

This raises the speculation whether the drastic budget cut was due to the commission’s voicing out against several government policies and laws that are deemed not human rights friendly.

In a recent human rights day event that I attended, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low, however, denied that Suhakam’s budget cuts were the result of their criticism against government policies and laws.

What indeed “amazed” me was his proposed solution, that is, to use the organisation’s fixed deposits of RM4 million to RM4.5 million.

Following up on that, in a response to the media recently, it was obvious Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam was deeply dismayed with the drastic budget cuts and with the suggestion made by the minister. Read more

Pengerusi Suhakam dedahkan simpanan RM4.5 juta tak cukup tampung operasi

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Pengerusi Suhakam, Tan Sri Hasmy Agam berkata, walaupun wang deposit tetap dan peruntukan daripada Bajet 2016 digabungkan, ia hanya mampu bertahan sehingga suku tahun ke-3 tahun depan. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 9 Disember, 2015.

Walaupun seorang menteri menyarankan Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) menggunakan deposit tetapnya berjumlah RM4.5 juta bagi menghadapi pemotongan bajet hampir 50%, ia masih tidak mencukupi untuk menampung keseluruhan operasinya sehingga tahun depan, kata pengerusinya.

Tan Sri Hasmy Agam berkata, walaupun digabungkan wang daripada deposit tetap dan peruntukan yang diberikan kerajaan untuk tahun depan, ia hanya boleh bertahan sehingga suku tahun ke-3 2016.

“Kami perlu mengeluarkan wang daripada geran, campur dengan apa yang kerajaan akan beri.

“Mengikut perkiraan kami, menjelang pertengahan tahun depan atau paling lama sehingga suku ke-3 tahun depan, kami akan kehabisan dana.

“Kemudian, mungkin pada masa itu, kami terpaksa mengemis, mengadakan protes jalanan, berarak ke Parlimen atau ‘tutup kedai’. Memalukan!” katanya kepada The Malaysian Insider menjawab saranan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Paul Low. Read more

Suhakam: Putrajaya has agreed to review our budget cut

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam Chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam - TRP file pic

Suhakam Chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam – TRP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) revealed today that the federal government has agreed to reconsider its budget for 2016, following its complaint that the drastically reduced sum would force it to operate on a deficit.

In a statement, Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said the commitment was given by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low during a meeting.

“The commission appreciates the valuable commitment made by the Honourable Minister and the assurance that the commission’s budget will be reconsidered so as to place human rights on the government’s list of top priorities,” Hasmy said in thanking Low for considering Suhakam’s complaint.

“This is important amidst concerns being expressed, both at home and abroad, that human rights is not being given the priority it deserves,” he added. Read more

Suhakam seeks answers from Putrajaya after drastic budget cut

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam says the halving of allocation for the rights commission would affect its operations and programmes. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 10, 2015.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will question Putrajaya over the decision to drastically cut its budget allocation for 2016, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said the commission was very concerned as it would mean that certain programmes planned earlier cannot be carried out.

Suhakam’s budget for next year has been cut by almost 50%, from RM10,986,200 for 2015 to RM5,509,400 for 2016.

“We are obviously very concerned about the drastic budget cut as it will adversely affect our planned programmes and activities,” he told The Malaysian Insider. Read more

Najib slammed for slashing Suhakam’s budget by half

Source: MalaysiaKini

The dramatic budget cut of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is proof that the government lacks political will to empower Suhakam, said Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy.

“The Malaysian government cannot in good conscience claim that they hold human rights and civil liberties in high regards when it is not reflected in the budget allocation for Suhakam,” he said in a statement today.

Suhakam’s budget allocation has been slashed from slightly over RM10 million this year to RM5.5 million for 2016. Read more