TAR UMT funds helping ease the financial burden for many

Helping hand: Chan (right) chatting with (from left) Wong, Ng, Lee, Chan Wah Kiang and TAR UMT students after the press conference yesterday. — ONG SOON HIN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Eighteen-year-old Muhammad Razique Hairizam is the epitome of someone who works hard for his money, rather than waiting for help to land on his lap.

He had to work part time practically every evening to pay for his tuition fees at the Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology (TAR UMT).

However, his days of having to toil is now over as he was selected as a recipient of the student loan fund provided by TAR UMT.

The foundation student at TAR UMT said he used to work until midnight after his classes in order to reduce the financial burden on his parents.

“I started my part-time job way earlier, after SPM. In 2019, my father fell sick when he had a mild stroke.

“After he got sick, he couldn’t work so my mother helped with the family expenses.

“With my part-time job, I could help my mother and ease her burden by contributing towards my expenses,” he said when met at the TAR UMT Student Loan Fund press conference here yesterday.

Muhammad Razique said since he was awarded the financial assistance, he could now devote full attention to his foundation studies in business, and is hopeful he would be able to pursue his dream of studying human resource management overseas after he finishes his pre-university studies.

“The loan helped me a lot. I don’t have to think about the fees, instead I can focus more on my studies and my future,” he added.

Gerald Wong Yi Jia, 18, was also grateful for being selected as a student loan recipient as he could finally study more comfortably.

“The loan definitely helps me and my family a lot. Covid-19 really hit my family hard, and money has been really tight.

“Without this fund, I don’t think I can study as comfortably as I am now. I really appreciate the donors who have helped us out,” said Wong, who is working part time in a game arcade.

He said he will continue to work when he has time to defray his daily expenses.

Muhammad Razique and Wong were among many other students who have benefited from the TAR UMT Student Loan Fund that was initiated in 1979.

Since then, a total of RM57mil in loans have been awarded to close to 15,000 students through 60 funds.

TAR UMT Alumni Council chairman and board of governors member Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy said demand for the loan has increased significantly, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said following the fundraising effort that was announced in March, the number of donors increased to 127, with new student loan funds amounting to about RM23mil.

“This is a very encouraging start and I’m sure the donors are pleased to know that their donations are in good hands.

“Their financial support is also making a difference in the lives of the younger generation,” he said in his speech, where he added that the objective of the loan was to help selected students to study without the distraction of financial worries.

Also present at the press conference were TAR UMT member of the board of governors and donor, Wong Cheng Siung, alumni council member Roger Ng Tuoh Ming, TAR UMT president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei, and founder member of Ajiya Group of Companies, and TAR UMT student loan fund donor Datuk Chan Wah Kiang, among others.

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