PUTRAJAYA: There is good news for the 714 bright students who scored 9A+ and above in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) last year.
All the SPM 2015 students who scored 9A+ and above will be given bursaries to do pre-university programmes locally, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Depart-ment Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The programmes offered include Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, Matri-culation, Asasi Sains and A-Levels.
Dr Wee added that the Cabinet decided on this during its meeting here yesterday.
On Tuesday, the Public Service Depart-ment announced that only 250 of the SPM 2015 students with 9A+ and above would receive bursaries to study locally, leaving the other 464 out.
“The Cabinet decision today is a huge relief for all our students and their parents,” said Dr Wee.
“We must thank the Prime Minister for this very inclusive decision.”
He said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had ordered a review of the earlier decision and parents were thankful for the latest Cabinet directive.
He described the latest decision as a “very important and best decision” under the present circumstances.
In Johor Baru, MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai also thanked the Prime Minister and Cabinet for granting the approval.
“This will help these students to continue to excel at the tertiary level education and serve the country upon completing their studies.
“They are young and valuable assets to the country,” he said.
Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon described the Cabinet’s decision as a recognition for the students’ achievements.
“It also shows that the Government still gives students’ welfare top priority even in the midst of financial challenges,” he said.
Changes to the national bursary came after the announcement made by Najib during the Budget recalibration in January.
The Prime Minster announced then that the 744 students of SPM 2013 under the bursary programme would only be sponsored locally and would no longer be sent abroad despite securing places from world top-ranking universities.
Meanwhile, candidates from SPM 2015 were kept in the dark about the status of the bursary since they received their results early March.
They were only told of the limited places available on Tuesday. The top 20 SPM scorers for 2015 and 2016 will still be sent overseas for their studies.