Industrial Development Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin has dismissed opposition claim that the distribution of education assistance under the Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pelajar Miskin (KWAMP) to students from poor families as “vote fishing” in the election. He said the assistance under the scheme had been introduced four years ago, so the question of “vote fishing” did not arise. Instead, it showed the BN Government’s sincerity and commitment in developing the education in the State, in particular in the rural areas where many of the locals are still relatively poor, said Ewon. “The education assistance is given to students who come from poor families, irrespective whether they are supporting the Government or not,” he said at the presentation of KWAMP assistance to students and opening of a gymnasium at SMK Matupang Jaya here yesterday. Later, Ewon, who is the BNUPKO incumbent for Paginatan state seat, also presented KWAMP assistance to students at SK Miruru. Ewon said the Government was able to provide assistance to poor students because its financial status remained strong and this had enabled the people to enjoy and share the fruits of development in the country. Apart from the KWAMP, the Government also provided other assistances such as school uniforms, textbooks and scholarship, tuition vouchers and diet supplements to students, said Ewon, adding that starting this year, the Government also abolished specific school fee to ease the financial burden of parents. Also present were BN-UPKO candidate Datuk Siringan Gubat for the Ranau parliamentary seat, senior education officers Azman Manaf and Jusli Jakaria, SMK Matupang principal and teachers as well as residents from the area.