FTC World Championship: Pasirian Rex gears up with Jabil’s additional sponsorship

e9b8a549 bf48 4b7b 83ea d34979c42b83

JABIL has extended its corporate sponsorship by an additional RM50,000 to SMK Permatang Pasir’s robotics team – Pasirian Rex.


The funds will be used to cover part of the team’s travel expenses to allow them to compete in-person at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship to be held in Houston, Texas, United States next month (April).


Pasirian Rex was named the Champion of Alliance in FTC Malaysia, earning the team the opportunity to represent Malaysia in the finals in Houston.


Representing the team are high-schoolers – team leader Arash Badlishah Huzainol Hisham, Kash Damia Maira Mahadzir, Kash Dania Aydina Mahadzir, Ainur Amylia Md Isa and Muhammad Akmal Farish Effendy.


7c7431f3 d566 454b 95fa 3511e73beef4
Arash Badlishah (right) giving details about the robot to Chow, Tan (fourth from left) and other guests after the event.


They will be accompanied by the team’s FTC teacher and mentor Sarisah Anjang, as well as Jabil volunteer and mentor Thavan Subramaniam.


Other mentors from Jabil who have guided the team were Ribeshini Rajagobal, Hasbul Hadi Ishak, and Niwat Puthichote.


Arash Badlishah said this was the first time that the team managed to qualify for the FTC World Championship.


“Our school has taken part in three seasons and this time, we finally made it to the world championship.


“It has been a challenging experience so far, but this is just the beginning of an exciting journey to the world championship.


“Our team will be leaving for Houston on April 13, although the world championship will be held from April 17 to 20,” Arash Badlishah said.


Sarisah said the students would train for the competition during the weekends.


“As they are from different classes and forms, it is harder for them to come together and train as a team during school hours.


“Hence, the team usually trains on weekends from 10am to 5pm.


“The training includes researching, coding and teamwork,” she said.


Jabil Penang managing director SJ Tan highlighted the FTC as a globally recognised competition designed to spark students’ interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers.


ea8cbd4a 07dc 4baf b5f8 a59c7fd80e28


“It encompasses challenges in designing, building, programming, and operating robots for head-to-head challenges, aiming to inspire innovation and exploration in the field.


“This is Jabil’s third year of sponsorship. We have allocated RM80,000 to sponsor school teams which include SMK Permatang Pasir, SMK St Xavier, and SMK Penanti.


“It is truly been an incredible journey! Over the past six months, these students have dedicated themselves to preparing and refining their ideas, with invaluable support from our Jabil Cares volunteers who have mentored them every step of the way.


“I have been informed that the dedication and innovation demonstrated by these teams have been nothing short of inspiring. We can all learn a great deal from their perseverance, hard work, and collaborative spirit,” he said.


Tan added: “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to team Space Saints 2 and Penanti Bot for their outstanding efforts.”


“Space Saints 2 from SMK St Xavier secured the Finalist Alliance Award (Silver), while PenantiBot from SMK Penanti earned the Innovate and Think Award.


“To us, every team member is a winner!”


Tan said Jabil understood that the increasing costs of living might pose a financial obstacle for traveling to the United States, including purchasing flight tickets, obtaining visas, arranging accommodations, and covering meals.


“Therefore, we are delighted to announce an additional sponsorship of RM50,000 to help alleviate some of the team’s travel expenses.


“Our aim is to ease any financial concerns so that you can wholeheartedly focus on representing your school, state, country, and most importantly, yourselves, to the best of your abilities,” he said.


Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow extended his congratulations to all Penang participating teams, including team Pasirian Rex.


ac30dc23 5ebc 44af a2fd f120b0c713c6
Chow delivering his speech.


“It is essential to acknowledge the significant contribution of the Penang Science Cluster (PSC) in bringing this opportunity to Penang.


“As a non-profit organisation, PSC has been instrumental in nurturing both current and future talents, thereby fostering sustainable talent pipelines for industries in Penang and across Malaysia.


“Indeed, this year, we anticipate a more pronounced intensification of the US-China strategic competition, driven by escalating tensions arising from trade sanctions, embargoes, and the forthcoming United States presidential elections.


“Investors worldwide, from both sides of the rivalry and beyond, will likely adopt ‘plus one’ policies and strategies to protect their economic interests, secure their supply chains, and mitigate the risks posed by this competition.


“Nevertheless, this situation presents a strategic advantage for Penang and Malaysia due to their neutral position in this competition.


“Leveraging Penang’s extensive reservoir of knowledge, leadership, and industrial expertise cultivated over the past five decades will enhance our attractiveness and competitiveness in the Southeast Asia region.


“Consequently, this positions us favourably to attract strategic investments into Penang, further solidifying our reputation as the Silicon Valley of the East,” Chow said.


He additionally advocated for initiatives aimed at igniting the curiosity and enthusiasm of young children in STEM fields.


Before ending his speech, Chow pledged RM10,000 from his allocation to aid Pasirian Rex in the world championship.


Also present at today’s event in Jabil Penang, Bayan Lepas, were PSC chief executive officer Datuk Ooi Peng Ee and Jabil operations vice-president Choon Yien Low.



Story by Christopher Tan

Pix by Siew Chia En

Video by Alissala Thian