60,000 GET STUDY OFFERS
Programme is govt initiative to give them a second chance, says DPM
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ALMOST 60,000 underprivileged Bumiputera youth have been offered the chance to study in higher learning institutions this year, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
He said they were given the opportunity under a government programme called “Jelajah Pendidikan Bumiputera”.
“This is a remarkable achievement. It shows that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the government are committed to giving a second chance to these students,” he said at the programme’s closing ceremony at SMK Hutan Melintang here yesterday.
Zahid said the two-month nationwide programme was aimed at giving underprivileged schoolleavers a chance to study at the tertiary level.
He said the programme was not held based on any political interest or as preparation for the next general election.
“We have conducted this programme for almost five years. The education agenda cannot be a political agenda... Education is for all. Students who have received offer letters or secured places in educational institutions should be thankful to the prime minister.”
Zahid said the programme was not only being mobilised by the government, but also by non-governmental bodies.
He said no other country could implement such a huge effort for education as Malaysia had done.
“We do not think of getting any reward by organising this programme. We do it for the sake of the younger generation.
“One of the greatest satisfactions, to me, is to see someone from a poor family become successful. When the students have enrolled in educational institutions, be sure to excel and secure jobs later.”
Zahid said upon graduating, the students should help their families and serve the country by becoming skilled workers.
He said the government envisioned that the country would be among the top 20 countries in the world by 2050.
“Kalau saya tak padam ketika itu (If I am still alive), I will continue to support the 2050 National Transformation programme. This is not for me or the prime minister… but for the sake of future generations.
“By 2050, the government wants at least 50 per cent of Malaysians to have a diploma or degree so that the country will at Maahad Johor Baru. But, his devotion towards Umno led to him being selected by the party to contest in the Johor Lama byelection in 1973.
Yusof won the by-election uncontested and moved to Kota Tinggi, where he devoted his time and energy to his constituents.
He gained the respect of Kota Tinggi voters when he won the post for Kota Tinggi Umno division chief in the party election.
He defeated senior party member achieve developed-nation status.”
SMK Hutan Melintang schoolleaver Safiah Ahmad, 20, said she hoped the programme would get her into university.
“It has always been my dream to further my studies at a university or college. But, as my Sijil Pe-lajaran Malaysia examination result was not good, I did not have the opportunity.
“I want to change my family’s financial situation and I realise that I need education to do that. I will study hard and get a good job.” Tan Sri Sayed Jaafar Albar Hassan Albar, who, at the time, was known as the “Lion of Umno”.
With the upcoming 71st Umno anniversary, Yusof hoped the party would strive to strengthen its relationship with the community by always being available to the people.
He said a lesson he learnt from his Umno peers was that people in the party might come and go, but the spirit of the party would live on forever.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi handing over offer letters to students at the closing ceremony of the ‘Jelajah Pendidikan Bumiputera’ programme at SMK Hutan Melintang in Bagan Datuk yesterday.
Datuk Yusof Malim Kuning holding an old photo of himself at his home in Kota Tinggi recently.