Education for empowerment


HAILING from a middle-income family, whose father is a driver and mother a housewife, M. Gowri, 29, is determined to complete her medical studies soon before she can fully embark on her mission of serving the needy and instilling in-depth medical knowledge to the people.


She said this after being awarded a scholarship by the Persatuan Kebajikan 88 Kapten Pulau Pinang (88 Captains) at Eastern and Oriental Hotel in George Town earlier today.


Gowri, currently in her fourth year pursuing a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at AIMST University in Kedah, was among the nine recipients who attended the brief awards ceremony, which was graced by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.


It is learnt that this is the first scholarship awards ceremony held by 88 Captains after it was formally introduced in April last year.


During an interview with Buletin Mutiara earlier, Gowri, who is also a keynote speaker, plans to use this added skill to her advantage by holding medical-based campaigns and talks in the future.


“Educating the public on the significance of maintaining good health in this modern era is essential.


“Leveraging my experience as a speaker, I am confident in sharing the wealth of knowledge I have accumulated over the years.


Chow (sixth from right) posing with the recipients and the 88 Captains members.


“Many, if not all, resort to Google to keep themselves informed and updated on medical-related issues.


“While there are reliable sources online, there is also a potential for misinformation to circulate.


“Finding equilibrium between fact-checking through physical means and online resources is crucial,” Gowri said.


In addition to AIMST University, students from various institutions, including Universiti Sains Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology (TAR UMT) Penang branch, and UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College, will also reap the benefits of this scholarship programme.


It is learnt that a total of RM500,000 has been allocated by 88 Captains for these students to complete their studies.


During his speech, Chow commended the association for its unwavering commitment to its cause, providing financial aid to academically outstanding students and playing a crucial role in sustaining talent development for Penang.


“Your dedication to fostering talent in Penang and the northern region, demonstrated by providing financial aid to deserving students, showcases the type of collaboration that enhances our community.


“Education extends beyond knowledge acquisition. It is about shaping character, nurturing innovation, and cultivating leaders who will guide our society toward a brighter future.


“As scholars, you are bestowed with the responsibility to use your knowledge and skills for the greater good of the community.


“Carry out this responsibility with humility, integrity and a relentless pursuit of excellence.


“Embrace the challenges and opportunities that come along your way, and always be guided by a sense of purpose and a commitment to contribute positively to society,” Chow said.


Datuk Seri Dr Ooi Eng Hock, the chairman of 88 Captains, emphasised that the association transcends being merely a non-governmental organisation (NGO) centred on financial aid.


“It stands as a platform offering career guidance and ensuring fitting employment opportunities for each of its scholars.


“We sought not only academic excellence but also a dedication to community service, leadership qualities and a strong character.


“This scholarship programme is a stepping stone towards greater achievements.


“Dear scholars, embrace this opportunity with both hands and make the most of it.


“Continue to strive for excellence but also remember to give back to your community and be a force of positive change,” Dr Ooi said.


To conclude this significant occasion, 88 Captains arranged gift packets (RM1,000 each), and Chow was bestowed with the honour of distributing them to the recipients during the final stages of the ceremony.


The other eight recipients are Ermieda Syamimi Mohd Hilmi (USM), Thum How Yi (USM), Beh Jun Hui (USM), Koay Fu Sheng (USM), Jeffery Chang Kwong Yeap (UOW), Daniel Theng Cheng Sheng (UOW), Eugene Teh Yin Jie (TAR UMT) and Yeoh Jun (TAR UMT).


Among others present during the ceremony were 88 Captains advisory board member Datuk Ong Eng Bin and secretary-general Datuk Jimmy Ong Chin Keng.


Story by Kevin Vimal
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Darwina Mohd Daud