TWO SPM school-leavers from poor families in Raub, Pahang, are all smiles and looking forward to furthering their studies very soon with the help of “Uncle Ti”.
Chang Kit Yi from Kampung Sungai Ruan had initially given up hope and was thinking of looking for a full-time job.
She did not want her parents to use up their hard-earned savings to fund her studies at an institution of higher learning, so she intended to forgo her ambition to be an accountant.
But all was not lost, it seemed.
MCA vice-president and Deputy National Unity Minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker got to know about her predicament through a school teacher and paid Kit Yi a visit to encourage her.
Without her knowing, he made arrangements with a private university and obtained a full scholarship for her to study there.
The good news was then delivered to Kit Yi.
She cried tears of joy when she received the offer letter from SEGi University & Colleges in Kuala Lumpur.
She will be leaving home later this month to pursue a diploma in accounting under a full scholarship for three years.
She will be away from her family for the first time in her life and understandably, has mixed feelings about her departure.
Another student, Tushan Mohan, was facing a similar dilemma due to poverty.
But he refused to give up hope as he knew a good education could change his life for the better.
Not wanting to burden his family, Tushan took a job as a promoter, hoping to save enough for his studies in the future.
But the Covid-19 pandemic dealt him a blow — he was retrenched.
The resourceful young man then found another job as a waiter in a cafe.
However, the ongoing lockdown badly impacted the cafe, which resulted in his monthly income being affected.
When Tushan’s story was brought to his attention, Ti did not hesitate to assist.
He managed to get Tushan an offer to pursue a degree in business management at the SEGi campus in Kuala Lumpur for the September intake.
Ti said he wanted to help both students as education was key to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty.
He said the efforts to help the students were made possible through Kelab Harmoni Malaysia.
It was set up last year to help residents in Raub under a pilot project called “Biasiswa TLK” (TLK Scholarship).
‘’So far, RM1mil has been raised to help sponsor poor youths who wish to pursue tertiary studies,” said Ti.
‘’Applicants can submit their particulars to the club for vetting.
“Approval will be given on a case-by-case basis.”
Ti said youths needed to be encouraged and given motivation to complete their education as they are the next generation of leaders.
“We need the young to contribute to nation-building and also foster national unity,” he said.