STPM: Disability not a barrier to work hard, say top scorers

SELAYANG: Determined not to let autism hold him back, straight-A student Ooi Xie Lam has dreams of becoming an economist or a geologist, careers he deems "interesting".

The 20-year-old from SMK Telok Air Tawar, Butterworth, Penang, said he does not mind studying in any university as long as it is accessible and accommodates his learning needs.

"I was surprised when I found out that I scored straight As in the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) exams.

"My eldest brother is my role model. He achieved a CGPA of 4.0 too and my aim was to follow his footsteps and honour my family name and school," he told reporters when the results were announced here on Thursday (July 13).

Ooi, who was named as one of the top STPM 2022 students under the special category (autism), said proper time management was his secret to success as it allowed him to revise more effectively.

Despite his disability, Muhammad Amir Faris Mohd Firdaus, 20, who lost his vision at age six due to a tumour in his nose, scored 3As and one A-.

The St John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur student, who was presented with a learning aid by the Malaysian Association of the Blind during the event, said he never used his disability as an excuse not to achieve his goals.

"I tell myself to be brave and to never be afraid of moving forward to explore opportunities," said Muhammad Amir Faris, who has four siblings.

"I hope to enrol in Universiti Malaya and major in Malay language studies.

"It is not impossible to achieve your goals. Perseverance is key. Never give up," he said.

Best friends Tong Jing Yen and Chung Lian Zhi were among 11 of the nation's top STPM achievers.

The duo from SMJK Katholik, Petaling Jaya, said understanding the syllabus by attempting past year exam papers was key to scoring.

The science stream students said they owed their success to the support they received from each other and to the guidance from their peers and teachers.

"It also boils down to a lot of hard work and dedication," said Tong, 20, who aspires to be a software engineer.

Chung, who wants to be a doctor, advised future STPM candidates not to be worried about talk of the exams being difficult.

Having patience and initiative helps make learning easier, he said.

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STPM , Disabilities , Autism , High Achievers


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