THE prestige and the freedom to further studies in their chosen university were the two main criteria that attracted last year’s five top Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) students to choose Bank Negara Malaysia as sponsor for their scholarships.
The central bank recently awarded the five with the prestigious Kijang Emas scholarship to pursue their tertiary education.
One of the recipients, Alifah Arina Md Khambari, quipped: “I am really happy to receive this award. There are very few scholarships like this that do not bound the students to a company.”
The former student of SMK (P) Sultan Abu Bakar in Muar, Johor, planned to pursue architectural studies in the United Kingdom.
Bank Negara Governor, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Aziz in her address at the award ceremony said that recipients of the Kijang Emas Scholarhip Award are given the freedom to choose their preferred field of study in any country and university of their choice.
“Bank Negara does not imply any obligations or bonds to these scholarship recipients. The only requirement is that they should return to Malaysia upon their graduation to offer their services to the country,” she said at the award ceremony held at the central bank building in Kuala Lumpur.
Another recipient, Mohd Zulikhwan Ayub of Malay College Kuala Kangsar, Perak, said that he was attracted to the scholarship for he was free to choose where he wished to study.
“I want to specialise in cardiology in the future, hence I need a very solid medicine background,” said the 18-year-old student.
Zulikhwan hoped to pursue medicine in Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
The third recipient, Kedah-based student G.Muneswaran of SMK Ibrahim in Sungai Petani said: “I am aware of the Kijang Emas scholarship as top scorers have been awarded since 2005,” he said.
“My aim was to join the league of these top scorers; so I am really proud to be chosen and it is a great honour to receive the award from the Governor herself.”
The other two recipients were Nik Nur Madihah Nik Mohd Kamal of SMU (A) Maahad Muhammadi (P) in Kota Baru, Kelantan and Sarawak student Ho Ming Chuen of SMK Sacred Heart, Sibu.
The Kijang Emas Scholarship Award is an initiative by Bank Negara to honour and support top SPM achievers in this country.
Aside from academic excellence, other consideration for the award include the student’s drive for excellence, expression of self-confidence, emotional maturity, team leadership and ability to work in teamwork spirit.
This is the fifth year that the Kijang Emas Scholarship Award has been awarded to top SPM students in the nation.