1/98              FOR MEMBERS ONLY               JAN/FEB 
After experiencing the outbreak of Coxsackie and the haze incident which have affected our schools in Sarawak to quite a serious extent, people in Sarawak once again are facing another problem, i.e. the depreciation of Ringgit Malaysia. The depreciation of Malaysian dollar has not only affected every walk of life, it has also great impact on parents who have sent their kids overseas for further studies.

One of the unpopular announcements from the 1998 Budget will be the decision to withdraw the tax relief of twice the amount spent on children above 18 years and studying full-time abroad. The decision would further burden parents as they already have to contend with the weakening ringgit which has increased the cost of studies by more than 30%.

Dr Fong (Deputy Education Minister of Malaysia) said the message sent by the government was to reduce the number of students going abroad and encourage them to consider local institutions of higher learning.

However, we feel that parents sent their children abroad not by choice but because of the limited places at local public institutions of higher learning. If there was an alternative, most parents would prefer their children to study locally, we therefore urge the government to reconsider the move to withdraw the double tax relief for children studying abroad.

The government has also announced a tax rebate of RM400 for each family for the purchase of personal computers. The rebate can only be enjoyed once every five years and is limited to one computer for each family.

Dr Fong said the incentive would enable more teachers to be computer literate. "Our aim is to have every teacher owns a computer as it helps a great deal in their work," he added.

Indeed, we agreed that it is a good time for every teacher to own a personal computer.

STU has signed two MoU between TM-Touch and AMAL Assurance Bhd. to enable members to buy handphone set at a privilege package and to provide a special child education scheme respectively.

By K. C. Chai

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Advisors: Tay Jik Kaw
Ong Kheng Syn BBS
Editor: Chai Kian Chun
Sub-editor: Mary Ting
Co-ordinator: Richard Liaw