A new liberal arts institution is in the pipeline at Balik Pulau covering 40ha of land.
According to the Chief Minister, the federal and state governments are collaborating to facilitate the project, which is backed by Smith College, a private independent women’s liberal arts college in Massachusetts, United States.
Balik Pulau land for federal project
Posted on 5 July 2012
GEORGE TOWN (July 5, 2012): The state government today revealed that the plan for a liberal arts institution in the up and coming Balik Pulau township was a federal government project.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Asian Women Leadership University (AWLU) was an Entry Point Project (ETP) under the EducationNational Key Economic Areas (NKEA).
He made the revelation following protests by land owners over the acquisition of their land in Bukit Genting on Wednesday as well as criticism that the state was taking away their land.
Citing a letter dated June 12, 2012, from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Lim said the AWLU project was one of 21 new ETPs to transform Malaysia into a high income country.
He quoted the letter saying that the project was expected to bring in RM492 million worth of investments as well as creating 190 new high value jobs.
He said the state government has been requested to assist in transferring 40.46ha of land to the AWLU Malaysian Foundation.
“We believe the project will contribute in a significant way to transforming tertiary education in Malaysia as well as realise the plans for Malaysia as an education hub offering varied educational choices in the region,” he read from the letter.
Lim also moved to soothe fears over compensation saying that the state will abide by the valuations set by the Malaysian Valuation and Property Services Department under the Finance Ministry.
He said land owners unhappy with the compensation offer could also take to the matter to court.
“The state sympathises with the land owners and we will try our best to help them out,” he said while expressing that it was a hard decision to make but was made in the interests of education.
In addition, Lim said there had been an amicable dialogue with about 40 land owners on Tuesday and they understood that the land was to be used for a public project and not for private gain.
“Hopefully this matter will not be turned into a racial issue or be politicised as it is a collaboration between the state and the federal government,” he said.
It is envisaged that the annual tuition fee (for a four-year degree programme leading to a BA degree) will be US$15,000-US$20,000 per year. Scholarships will be provided for deserving students.
See the proposal here (.pdf file).
Photos of the site here.
If the federal government and state government can work together on this, surely they can also work together on public transport, no?