The Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA; Malay: People's Trust Council) is a Malaysian government agency. It was formed to aid, train, and guide Bumiputra (Malays and other indigenous Malaysians) in the areas of business and industry. MARA was formed on March 1, 1966 under the Rural and National Development Ministry.
|Formed||March 1, 1966|
|Headquarters||Ibu Pejabat MARA 21, Jalan Raja Laut 50609 Kuala Lumpur|
|Parent agency||Ministry of Rural and Regional Development|
History and organizationEdit
The Rural Industrial Development Authority (RIDA) was established in 1951 by the British colonial administration as a program to provide economic assistance and support to Malay farmers and rural inhabitants. The organization expanded its scope and the Parliament of Malaysia converted it into the MARA in 1966. Although it is an autonomous government agency, it reports to the Minister of Rural and Regional Development, who appoints all the members of the MARA Council. Besides state-level offices in the 13 states of Malaysia and the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur, MARA operates three overseas offices in London, Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Egypt.
Among other activities, MARA offers loans to Bumiputera entrepreneurs. Such loans may be repaid either in the conventional Western manner or via Islamic banking, better known as the Sharia system.  MARA also offers business starter courses, vocational training, consultancy services, and marketing help for Bumiputra entrepreneurs.
Bumiputera entrepreneurs lend MARA infrastructure, such as shop-lots or factories, at a subsidized rate. These facilities are often built in smaller towns or underdeveloped areas to encourage economic development.
MARA operates several junior colleges or boarding schools and the University of Kuala Lumpur, a multi-campus technical university. Until 1976, Universiti Teknologi MARA was also operated by MARA, though it has since become its own entity under the Ministry of Higher Education. The junior colleges, referred to as Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MARA Junior Science Colleges, often abbreviated as MRSMs), are operated by the Education and Training (Secondary) Department of MARA. Their stated mission is to "produce Bumiputra students of potential in science and technology".
Until 2005, the MRSMs were only open to Bumiputra students. However, following the Barisan Nasional government's pledge during its campaign in the 2004 general election, a quota of 10% of all places in MRSMs was granted to non-Bumiputras. In admissions, preference is given to students from low-income families, rural areas, and/or those living in squatter settlements in the cities.
In addition to MRSMs and the UniKL, MARA operates vocational and professional colleges such as Pusat GIAT MARA and Kolej Kemahiran MARA. These vocational colleges provide a second higher education option to students who are unable to continue their studies in universities. Other colleges include Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi MARA, Institut Kemahiran MARA, Kolej Professional MARA, and Kolej MARA.
Scholarships are offered to Bumiputra students to attend local and foreign institutions of higher learning. Students are required to specialise in certain professions such as engineering, medicine, or accounting.
- F.I.T Center Sdn. Bhd. (FITEC)
- Universiti Teknikal MARA Sdn. Bhd. (Universiti Kuala Lumpur - UniKL)
- Pelaburan MARA Berhad (PMB)
- German-Malaysian Institute (GMI)
- Yayasan Pelajaran MARA (YPM)
- Pusat Pembangunan Reka Bentuk Sdn. Bhd. (DDEC)
- Kolej Poly-Tech MARA Sdn. Bhd. (KPTM)
- GIATMARA Sdn. Bhd. (GIATMARA)
- Asia Aerotechnic Sdn. Bhd. (AAT)
- MARALiner Sdn. Bhd (MLSB)
- Technology Park Malaysia College Sdn. Bhd. (TPM College)
- MARA Excellent Ventures Sdn. Bhd. (MEX)
- UniMARA Sdn. Bhd. (UniMARA)
- Rural Capital Sdn. Bhd. (RCSB)
- MARA Aerospace & Technologies Sdn. Bhd (M-AeroTech)
- YPM Realties Sdn. Bhd. (YPMR)
- MARA Incorporated Sdn. Bhd (MARA Inc.)
- Glocal Link (M) Sdn. Bhd (GLSB)
- MARA Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (MARA Corp.)
- Abdullah, Mustaza & Hj. Yahya, MatMarjani (1991). Kemahiran Hidup Bersepadu TERAS, p 108. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. ISBN 983-62-2316-9.
- Adam, Ramlah binti, Samuri, Abdul Hakim bin & Fadzil, Muslimin bin (2004). Sejarah Tingkatan 3, p. 134. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. ISBN 983-62-8285-8.
- "IMBASAN KEMBALI........" Archived 25 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- "MAKLUMAT KORPORAT" Archived 20 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- Abdullah & Hj. Yahya, p. 106.
- "Jenis Pinjaman MARA" Archived 17 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- "Bahagian Pembangunan Usahawan - BPU" Archived 5 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- "BAHAGIAN PEMBANGUNAN INFRASTRUKTUR PERNIAGAAN(BPI)" Archived 30 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- "Profile" Archived 21 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- Pua, Tony (2005). "Mara Junior Science Colleges: A Peek". Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- "PERATURAN KEMASUKAN KE MRSM" Archived 3 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- "PUSAT-PUSAT MARA" Archived 12 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 February 2006.
- "Bahagian Penganjuran Pelajaran MARA - BPP" Archived 22 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 16 February 2006.