THE philanthropic arm of Sime Darby Plantation, Sime Darby Berhad and Sime Darby Property – Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) – has reaffirmed its commitment to providing inclusive and quality education for all with the Scholarship Award Ceremony (SAC) 2023.
Held at the Sime Darby Plantation Auditorium in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, on Aug 23, the event celebrated 83 outstanding Malaysian scholars who received scholarships and bursaries totalling over RM14.5mil.
Themed “Celebrating Diversity and Promoting Inclusion”, the SAC 2023 coincided with the National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations as a true reflection of the foundation’s commitment to fostering inclusivity within the country’s educational landscape.
This year’s scholarship and bursary awards symbolise YSD’s dedication to extending equal opportunities to all students, regardless of their background and abilities.
Among the remarkable recipients is Muhammad Firdaus Abu Hassan, a visually impaired scholar who secured his third scholarship from YSD to pursue a PhD in Disability Equality Training at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.
Firdaus, who became totally blind at age 14, is resolute in bridging the gaps in disability understanding and fostering inclusivity for persons with disabilities (PWD) in Malaysia. He was awarded a YSD Special Award Bursary during the ceremony.
Another 30 PWDs also received scholarships under the YSD Special Award Bursary.
Additionally, 20 more scholarships from the Excellence category were awarded to exceptional students embarking on studies at prestigious institutions in Malaysia, Australia and the UK.
YSD chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar and OKU Sentral president Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi graced the scholarship award ceremony.
Tunku Imran stressed the potential of YSD scholars as ambassadors of the foundation to effect positive change.
“YSD recognises the academic excellence of individuals of diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities, to thrive and contribute to society,” he said at the event.
“Each scholarship and bursary awarded today represents an investment in the future of individuals and a collective investment in the future of a more sustainable Malaysia.”
In line with the foundation’s mission to provide equal access to education, 29 Sime Darby employees’ children, each hailing from different backgrounds and bearing inspiring stories, received education bursaries from YSD to pursue tertiary education.
Among notable recipients were Azwanieza Vanda Alladin from Sabah, Marcella Jabah Anak Dagang from Sarawak, and Muhammad Afiq Ahmad Faizal from Selangor.
The ceremony also spotlighted the support extended to eight Sime Darby employees – three of whom will pursue the Executive MBA Programme at the Asia School of Business, in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Recognising the growing significance of vocational skills in bolstering the nation’s economic and educational strategies, YSD has supported 1,481 talented individuals through RM38.9mil in bursaries since 2007.
The foundation will be awarding 366 more bursaries for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) under the YSD Skill Enrichment Programme to youth from B40 families by the end of 2023.
In addition to the scholarships awarded, YSD scholars are given access to the YSD THRIVE Programme as a comprehensive learning experience unique to the foundation.
Through the holistic approach of soft skills training, mentorship support, resilient leadership development, industrial internships, volunteerism opportunities and access to an e-learning platform, all YSD scholars are empowered to excel academically and professionally as all-rounded and socially aware graduates.
Since 1982, the foundation has awarded more than RM374mil in education scholarships to 5,817 deserving students.
This year’s scholarship awards, rooted in the spirit of unity and inclusivity, positions YSD as a cultivator of a sustainable cadre of industry leaders to drive Malaysia’s economic and industrial growth.
Interested students who meet the criteria are encouraged to visit YSD’s website and apply for scholarships and bursaries, which will be open for new applications in March 2024.
For more information, visit www.yayasansimedarby.com.