FIFTY three Heriot-Watt University Malaysia students have been awarded the Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarships.
YTL Corporation Berhad managing director Datuk Victor Yeoh Seok Kian presented the 53 students with the Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship awards at the university’s campus recently.
The scholarship was launched earlier this year.
Victor, an alumnus of Heriot-Watt University, was accompanied by his wife, Datin Lim Lee Lee and daughter, Yeoh Pei Teeng, at the event.
Also in attendance were YTL Foundation staff members, the principals of Hin Hua High School, Klang, and Methodist College Kuala Lumpur, as well as the proud parents of the scholarship recipients.
Heriot-Watt University Malaysia deputy provost Prof Dennis Wong and chief operating officer Janice Yew were also present.
The £1mil (RM5.5mil) was gifted by Victor earlier this year, in honour of his father, the late Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, a renowned Malaysian businessman and philanthropist.
Tiong Lay completed his secondary school education at Hin Hua High School in Klang. Although he was not able to pursue higher education, he worked tirelessly, with a determined focus and unwavering perseverance, to form the YTL Corporation in 1955.
In recognition of his hard work and achievements, he received many accolades and titles including an honorary doctorate in Engineering from Heriot-Watt University in 1988.
“Education is one of my greatest passions.
“Education moulds minds, inspires achievements and, ultimately, builds nations. This was instilled in me by my late father, who emphatically believed in the value of education and worked diligently to ensure that his children and grandchildren would have this opportunity.
“Growing up with a role model who was a philanthropist and regularly committed to and supported education programmes, I myself, wanted to honour this tradition and help widen access for Malaysian students, ” said Victor.
The Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship was launched in tribute to his father’s extraordinary life and success, and honours his belief in the importance of education and how it transforms lives, he said.
The university conferred an honorary doctorate on Victor in 2017 for his immense contributions in the field of construction and his staunch support of educational development.
The scholarship will provide Malaysian students with wider access to quality higher education by contributing to the cost of tuition fees for their undergraduate studies at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, subsequently creating opportunities for them to make a positive impact in the world.
Fifteen students will also be selected to spend a year at the Heriot-Watt University campus in Edinburgh.
The scholarship recipients expressed their gratitude at being able to pursue their dreams.
“This means that I am able to obtain an education that will help me move up in life, ” said Kishen Manirajan, an Actuarial Science student.
His course mate and fellow scholarship recipient, Ph’ngJia Xin concurred.
“The scholarship means a lot to me and my family; it really helps my family by reducing our financial burden, ” she added.
Her father, Ph’ng Chee Keong, said he used to work in China, adding that his daughter lived there as well. She studied there for 13 years.
“I am excited and proud that she was able to receive this scholarship, ” he said.
R. Ragunathan, the father of Tetisya Ragunathan who received a scholarship to pursue Psychology, echoed Ph’ng’s sentiments.
“I am very happy that YTL and Heriot-Watt presented this scholarship to my daughter, ” he said.
Sharifah Bakar, the mother of Muhammad Zaki, another scholarship recipient, echoed the wish for a brighter future for her son.
“I hope that Muhammad Zaki will pass with flying colours and achieve the goals that he has always dreamt of, ” she said.
The donation extends to another 21 scholarships to be awarded to those who sign up for the Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s January 2020 intake.
Working together, Heriot-Watt University and the YTL Foundation aim to impact lives by empowering students to be catalysts of change.