Financing dreams of needy youths


RHB Banking Group chief human resource officer Jamaluddin Bakri (back row, fourth from left), Khairussaleh (back row, fifth from left) and Norazzah (back row, right) together with the 10 scholarship recipients during the awards ceremony. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

FOR an 18-year-old underprivileged youth, tertiary education had remained a faraway dream in her goals to pursue a chemical engineering degree course at a local university.

Despite the odds, Roslyana Ruslie was lucky to be selected as one of the 10 excellent students qualified for the RHB X-Cel Star Scholarship Award.

The RHB X-Cel programme has set Roslyana and nine others on the path to achieving their lifelong dreams.

“I am just grateful as this scholarship will support my studies, and I can achieve my dream to be a chemical engineer, ” said Roslyana, now a Universiti Malaysia Sabah Foundation in Science student.

Roslyana, who is the sixth of eight siblings, said her father had been doing odd jobs while her mother worked in a restaurant to support their family.

The former student of SMK Majakir Papar in Sabah scored 9As and 1B in her SPM examination last year.

At the scholarship award ceremony held at RHB Centre in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, RHB Foundation chairman and RHB Banking Group managing director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli congratulated the scholarship recipients for their achievements in the SPM examination last year.

“We want to celebrate the success of these 10 excellent students who are also the first batch selected to receive this scholarship from RHB Foundation, ” he said.

According to Khairussaleh, RHB Foundation launched the RHB X-Cel programme last year to assist selected Form Four and Form Five students from low-income families to achieve academic excellence and compete with other students.

Khairussaleh added that the scholarship award was a continuation of the RHB X-Cel programme, whereby 1, 000 Form Four and Form Five students had their tuition sponsored by the foundation last year.

“These students were selected from the B40 group as we want to help them to have educational exposure so that they can be independent.

“RHB X-Cel is a structured learning programme that does not only focus on academic performance, but also develops and nurtures the younger generation to become holistic young adults and Malaysia’s future leaders, ” he said.

Khairussaleh said 10 top performing students would be selected on a yearly basis for the scholarship award, and that RM2.5mil had been allocated to finance the RHB X-Cel programme between 2018 and 2019.

On top of that, he said RM2.4mil was allocated for the RHB X-Cel Star Scholarship Award for a four-year period to fulfil the aspirations of 40 RHB X-Cel students beginning from this year until 2022.

“I hope these students, graduates of various fields, will become assets to the country, ” said Khairussaleh.

RHB Foundation chief executive officer and RHB Banking group chief communications officer Norazzah Sulaiman said they had stringent criteria to select the students for the award, adding that each student would receive up to RM60, 000 to complete their matriculation or foundation up to undergraduate studies at private and public universities.

“RHB is the only banking group which gives scholarships for students from the B40 group, ” she said.

These students would be bonded for a minimum of three years with the bank upon graduation.

Another scholarship recipient, Tai Ji Zhang, 18, a Foundation in Science student at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said he was shocked upon being notified of getting the scholarship. He hopes to be a mechanical engineer.

Tai, from SMK Sungai Pelek in Sepang, scored 8As and 2Bs in his SPM examination last year. He said that his father, who is a general worker, was the family’s sole breadwinner.

Another scholarship recipient, Sharwen Siwabalan, 18, who scored 9As, 1B and 1C for his SPM examination last year at SMK Merbok in Kedah, said he aimed to be a mechanical engineer.

“I feel very happy to get the scholarship as it is not easy. This will reduce my parents’ financial burden, ” said Sharwen, whose parents run a retail shop.

Besides that, he said the programme was beneficial as it also provided a job opportunity upon completion of their studies.

The RHB X-Cel Star Scholarship programme allows underprivileged students to pursue various fields of studies such as engineering, actuarial science, accounting, finance and computer science.

The scholarship covers course fees as well as allowances for books and living costs over the full duration of the course of their matriculation or foundation and undergraduate studies.

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