60,000 GET STUDY OF­FERS

Pro­gramme is govt ini­tia­tive to give them a sec­ond chance, says DPM

New Straits Times - - News -

ZAHRATULHAYAT MAT ARIF BA­GAN DATUK zahratulhayat@nst.com.my

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.

BER­NAMA PIC

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.

PIC BY MOHD AZREN JAMALUDIN

Datuk Yusof Malim Kun­ing hold­ing an old photo of him­self at his home in Kota Tinggi re­cently.

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