BEING visually impaired did not deter two friends from excelling in their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) last year.
Crystal Neoh, 18, and Chew Sui Teng, 19, from St George’s Girls School in Penang were among five special needs students rewarded by the state government for obtaining excellent results in their SPM.
Crystal, who obtained 7A+, 1A- and 1A, was on cloud nine after receiving the award in the Excellent Student Award ceremony at the Caring Society Complex in Jalan Utama recently.
“I do not have any sight in the right eye while my left eye is partially blind, but it has never been an obstacle in my studies.
“This award is a great motivation for students like us to pursue our education and not to give up due to our disabilities,” she said, adding that she will be taking up the South Australian Matriculation studies at Taylor’s College.
Crystal added that she hoped to pursue her education in either music or a psychology related course.
Her friend Sui Teng said determination and hard work was the secret to her success.
Sui Teng, who got 5A+, 2A and 1B+, said that she wanted to be a teacher so that she would be able to help students like her to excel in their studies.
“Visual impairment has never been an obstacle but I did not expect to get such good results as well as being recognised by the state government,” she told reporters after receiving her award from Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
The two friends received RM300 and a certificate. A total of 402 students received cash prizes and certificates at the ceremony.
Another recipient of the special needs students award was Muhammad Faisal Ahmad Fadzil, 18, from SMK Alma.
He said he managed his studying time consistently as he stayed in the school’s hostel.
“People with disabilities need to have strong willpower, to fight their weaknesses and strive for excellence,” he said, adding that he aimed to be an accountant.
Others who were spotted among the crowd of students were twin sisters Lee Zhi Sen and Lee Zhi Jin, aged 18.
The sisters from SMJK Jit Sin said they were happy and proud to be recognised for their achievements.
“We are more motivated now,” said Zhi Sen.
Trophies and certificates were also given out to three schools that produced high achievers in last year’s SPM.
Also present were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy and Lim’s political secretary Wong Hon Wai.