KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 – The Federation of Peninsula Malay Students (GPMS) today proposed to the government to limit the use of 1Malaysia Book Voucher to educational books only. Its deputy president, Ezaruddin Abd Rahman, said this was because some students had been found to have abused the voucher to purchase non-educational reading materials, such as novels, entertainment magazines and compact discs.
“The voucher should be used to purchase educational reading materials which may cost hundreds of ringgit. The government knows that not many students can afford to buy such books, that is why the voucher is given. So, it should be spent wisely,” he told Bernama.
Ezaruddin said what more disappointing was when food sellers were also found to have taken advantage and accepted the book voucher in exchange for food.
“I really hope that the government will carry out a review on the list of shops entrusted to accept the vouchers to prevent abuse,” he said.
Universiti Malaya Student Representative Council president Izham Ismail also advised students to be wise in spending the voucher.
“As students, we should appreciate the voucher given by the government by using it in the right way, so that we can benefit most from it,” he said. However, several students interviewed by Bernama disagreed with the proposal to limit the use of the voucher, saying that students’ educational needs went beyond educational books.
A medical student, Nur Sakinah Abdul Razak, 23, said some courses required the students to buy certain equipment, especially for their final year projects.
“I’m happy when the government announced that the voucher will be increased to RM250 from the original RM200, but if the use of the voucher is limited to educational books, it will not give as much help to the students as expected,” she said.
Norliana Muhammad, 22, said there was nothing wrong for students to use the voucher to buy non-educational reading materials, such as novels and magazines, because such materials also provided creative ideas to the readers.
“After all, we only spent 30 per cent of the voucher on non-educational reading materials,” she added.
Over 1.3 million students in institutions of higher learning, matriculation colleges and Form Six, had received the voucher so far involving an allocation of RM325 million.