State government hands out RM2.2mil aid to tertiary students


THE Penang state government will be spending over RM2 million to assist students who are pursuing their tertiary education for the 2018-2019 intake.

Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman said a total of RM2,226,200 would be handed out to 2,218 students from Penang who are undergoing studies at the diploma or degree levels.

Each student studying in Peninsular Malaysia gets a one-off aid of RM1,000 while those who go to Sabah and Sarawak get RM1,200 each.

“One thousand ringgit may not be much to some quarters but to the lower income group or average wage earners, it can mean a lot and is something they look forward to,” Ahmad Zakiyuddin told the parents who turned up at Dewan Sri Pinang today to collect the cheques on behalf of their children.

Some of the parents who received the cheques on behalf of their children awaiting their turn to shake hands with Ahmad Zakiyuddin and other assemblymen.

The parents were representing the majority of the 493 students from the North East District who qualified for the aid as they are studying at their respective universities.

The district covers Padang Kota, Air Itam, Air Puteh, Batu Lancang, Batu Uban, Datok Keramat, Kebun Bunga, Komtar, Paya Terubong, Pengkalan Kota, Seri Delima, Sungai Pinang and Tanjong Bungah.

“This gesture is the state’s appreciation to all residents of Penang. It’s to help the students gain knowledge so that in future, they can contribute back to the state’s development,” said Ahmad Zakiyuddin, who was representing Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

Ramachandran and Agnes said it was a privilege to get students’ aid from the state government.

“Penang has no natural resources. So, it’s imperative we look to other fields for development. The Penang2030 vision is to move Penang forward by achieving a family-focused, green and smart state that inspires the nation.

“The plan does not just focus on material development but also on harmony and family welfare.”

He also spoke on the importance of using the Industrial Revolution 4.0 to drive Penang to greater heights.

Also present were assemblymen Daniel Gooi (Pengkalan Kota), Ong Ah Teong (Batu Lancang) and Joseph Ng (Air Itam) and assistant district officer Nurshamshinaz Shamsuddin.

Lee said her family is blessed as both daughters are now taking up medical studies at UKM besides receiving the one-off monetary aid from the state government for their higher education.

Boutique owner Lee Mei Ling, who was present to receive the cheque on behalf of her daughter Ooi Shi Ley, commended the state government for the aid. Shi Ley, 19, is following in the footsteps of her elder sister Shi Pey, 24, by taking up medical studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

“Thanks a lot to the state government. We’re indeed very happy,” said Lee, whose husband Ooi Soo Hooi, 55, is a carpenter.

Housewife Rohana Nayan, 54, said the monetary aid for her daughter Hawa Najwa Abdul Rashid would lighten the burden of her family of four children. Her husband, a former labourer, is now on pension. Hawa Najwa is taking up finance studies at UiTM, Merbok in Kedah, the same university that her elder siblings – Mohd Fitry, 26, and Mohd Zairi, 25, went to.

Rohana delighted after receiving the cheque for RM1,000 on behalf of her daughter as it would help lighten the family’s burden.

M. Ramachandran, 50, an electrical chargeman at Penang International School of Uplands, and his wife Agnes P. Soosai, who is attached to the nursing unit at Island Hospital, were present to receive the cheque on behalf of their eldest daughter, Ruthra Mary.

“We appreciate this privilege and we want to say thank you to the state government,” said Ramachandran, whose daughter is taking up Asian Political Science at Universiti Malaya (UM).

Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi