According to Batu Pahat PKR leader Syed Hamid Ali, Mara cancelled the overseas study loan offer made to his son Akmal Hakim, 17, because Syed Hamid was registered as an ‘Arab' at birth.
"I am 69 years old and that was before Merdeka. Our neighbour registered my birth so he must have assumed that since my name is Syed, I am an Arab.
"I registered my son's birth myself and in his birth certificate, it states that his father is Malay," he said.
Syed Hamid, who is the younger brother of former PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali, said his son received the cancellation letter via courier on June 23.
Part of the letter, which Syed Hamid posted on his Facebook page, states that one or both parents of Mara study loan recipients must be Malay or bumiputera.
"As such, the offer made to you for (the overseas study) programme is cancelled as you do not meet the requirement," the letter states.
Akmal Hakim's mother is ethnic Chinese.
The offer was made under the special convertible study loan programme open to 2011 SPM graduates, whereby loans can be converted into scholarships if the recipients do well in their studies.
According to the offer letter received at the end of May, Akmal Hakim was to get a loan to take up a business degree at an Ivy League university or any American university of the same standard.
Mara had asked him to register at INTI International University in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, for the preparatory course on June 28.
“If he is not qualified, why did they even call him in for an interview?” Syed Hamid asked.
He said that he had gone to the Mara office in Kuala Lumpur to appeal the matter on June 25, and spoke to deputy director, Nor Azwa Hassan.
“I asked her, 'Don't I sound and look Malay?'...She asked me to write an appeal letter and that they will be in touch. She said Mara will send someone to the house. Maybe to check if we eat with chopsticks,” he quipped.
He said Akmal Hakim had also emailed Nor Azwa to make a personal appeal and was told to “register first (at INTI) pending the final decision”.
“So he's registered, but not officially and the college is asking who's going to pay the fees,” Syed Hamid said.
He added that Mara has not gotten back to them since.
“I've put the letter up on my Facebook to seek opinion and advice, and will take action either legally or in other forms based on the advice,” he said.
Syed Hamid said he does not reject the possibility that the cancellation is politically motivated due to his involvement with PKR.
A student leader in the 1960s, he fled to evade arrest and joined the communist insurgency while on the run, returning to Malaysia in 1991 following the peace treaty.
Syed Hamid added that whether he is Malay or bumiputera should not be of dispute as he even holds Amanah Saham Bumiputera units, which are only available to bumiputeras.
“I wasn't so encouraging when my son wanted to apply for a Mara scholarship, but he's just a kid so I didn't want to weigh him down with political matters. Now this happens.
“He feels persecuted (and) is distressed. They are victimising a child. He has done nothing wrong. He is qualified. Why should his future be jeopardised over this bureaucratic matter?
He added that many are advising his son to apply for other scholarships including those offered by the Singapore government.
“So what happens then? Singapore gets the brain,” he said.- malaysiakini
MARA batal pinjaman pelajaran pada anak pemimpin PKR...
Tawaran pinjaman pelajaran kepada anak seorang pemimpin PKR ditarik balik apabila Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) mempertikaikan status bapanya sebagai seorang Melayu.
Menurut pemimpin PKR Batu Pahat, Syed Hamid Ali, MARA membatalkan pinjaman pelajaran ke luar negara yang ditawarkan kepada anaknya Akmal Hakim, 17, kerana Syed Hamid telah didaftarkan sebagai 'Arab' ketika dilahirkan.
"Saya berusia 69 tahun dan itu sebelum Merdeka. Jiran kami telah
mendaftarkan kelahiran saya, jadi mesti dia telah mengandaikan kerana nama saya Syed, maka saya adalah Arab.
"Saya telah mendaftarkan sendiri kelahiran anak saya dan dalam sijil kelahirannya, dinyatakan bapanya adalah Melayu," katanya.
Syed Hamid, yang merupakan adik kepada bekas timbalan presiden PKR, Syed Husin Ali, berkata anaknya menerima surat pembatalan itu melalui kurier pada 23 Jun.
Sebahagian daripada surat itu, yang disiarkan Syed Hamid di laman Facebook beliau, menyatakan seorang atau kedua-dua ibu bapa pemohon penerima pinjaman pelajaran Mara mestilah Melayu atau bumiputera.
"Oleh yang demikian, dimaklumkan bahawa tawaran saudara untuk program seperti di atas dibatalkan, kerana tidak memenuhi syarat seperti di atas," nyata surat tersebut.- malaysiakini