Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) has announced its commitment to create equal education opportunities in Malaysia by awarding 560 scholarships and bursaries worth RM25 million for the year 2020/2021.
Kicking off the sponsorship this year, the foundation presented scholarship and bursary awards worth RM10mil to the first batch of 121 recipients at a YSD Scholarship Award Ceremony at Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
The theme of this year’s event was “Celebrating the Diversity of YSD Scholar Recipients.”
The recipients consisted of outstanding youngsters from various socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, 11 of whom were differently-abled students.
The scholars will be able to pursue their tertiary education at top universities in Malaysia, China, Papua New Guinea and the UK.
In his speech, Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said 88% of YSD scholarship and bursary recipients were students from low-income backgrounds and the support would ensure that they had access to quality higher education.
He also shared inspiring stories of two recipients — Gowri K. Marappan and Mohd Farhan Bryan.
While Gowri received a YSD Special Needs Bursary to pursue a degree in business administration at Universiti Putra Malaysia,
Mohd Farhan received the YSD–Sime Darby Berhad Excellence Scholarship Award for a two-year Cambridge A-Level programme leading to a top global university placement.
“I have high hopes that Gowri, Farhan Bryan and the other recipients will realise their full potential with life-changing opportunities and secure a better future for themselves and their families, ” Tunku Imran added.
Guest-of-honour Ras Adiba Radzi presented certificates to
the differently-abled scholars
as well as the YSD Chairman’s Award recipient Amirul Hakim Noor Haizat, who completed his master’s degree in business
administration from Oxford University, and YSD Inspirational Award recipient Joel Koitaka, a UKM graduate from Papua New Guinea.
Guest speaker and former YSD scholar Nadeera K. Vasu, who is a Youth Advocate for Malaysian Rare Disorders Society and finalist of the Miss Amazing Malaysia 2020/21 beauty pageant for differently-abled women, shared her experience and journey in hopes to empower the new YSD scholars and society at large.
“I graduated from school with flying colours, obtaining an award for being the best-performing OKU (persons with disabilities) student in Johor.
“After that, I pursued a degree in psychology at the University of Nottingham.
“I received the Special Needs Bursary from YSD in the final year of my degree, after numerous attempts to obtain a scholarship.
“Being differently-abled should not stop one from achieving their goals.
“I wish to express my gratitude to Yayasan Sime Darby for its support, ” she added.
Through its scholarships and bursaries, the foundation has benefited 4,581 students so far.
Students can apply for YSD’s scholarships and bursary programmes, which will be opened in March 2021.