PETALING JAYA 12 OCTOBER 2018. Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Community Scholarship receiver, Muhamad Sarizal Suhaimi during Sunway University Scholarships and Awards Ceremony at Sunway University Bandar Sunway. NSTP/ AZIAH AZMEE
PETALING JAYA 12 OCTOBER 2018. Sunway University Chancellor, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Chua hand shakes with Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Community Scholarship receiver, Muhamad Sarizal Suhaimi, together, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Hannah Yeoh during Sunway University Scholarships and Awards Ceremony at Sunway University Bandar Sunway. NSTP/ AZIAH AZMEE

SUNWAY CITY: The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) has disbursed RM72 million worth of scholarships to more than 3,000 students this year.

It’s the biggest scholarship disbursement amount since its inception in 2011.

This year’s scholarship awards bring the total amount awarded to RM402 million.

Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah exhorted graduates to live for a higher purpose.

”It is my hope that you will make full use of this opportunity. I trust that when you graduate, you will leave campus not just with a scroll in hand but also with a commitment to give back to society,” he said at the JCF Scholarships Awards Ceremony 2018 at Sunway College today.

He added that education was close to his heart as it provided a route out of poverty.

He said it was his goal to disburse more than RM1 billion worth of scholarships in his lifetime.

JCF was launched as the first-of-its-kind, non-profit foundation in 2010, with Sunway Group founder and chairman Cheah gifting his equity in Sunway Education Group’s 16 educational institutions to the foundation.

The gift, which was valued at RM720 million then, is now worth more than RM1 billion.

JCF, which was governed by an independent board of trustees, is Malaysia’s largest education-focused social enterprise.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh commended Cheah’s efforts to make quality education more accessible and affordable.

”Sustainability encompasses not just addressing environmental concerns. It’s imperative that we help establish progressive, prosperous and vibrant communities,” she said.

“For, ultimately, sustainability is about people – the well-being of our communities, our families, our society.

”This is something that he (Cheah) understands very well. He has consistently affirmed his belief that education offers the optimum route out of poverty, and that an educated populace is one that can maximise its potential.”

She said education was a long-term investment for recipients and their families.

”Education is investment in human capital. Scholarships are a great help that lightens the burden and impacts the whole family. Hence, parents can use their savings for their retirement.”

However, Yeoh reminded students to come back home after an overseas education, as Malaysia needed them to help rebuild the country.

Sunway Sports Scholarship recipient Natania Tai Li Suet, 18, received a full scholarship worth RM80,000 for her participation in fencing competitions, to complete her three-year psychology degree.

”I’ve been fencing for eight years and even participated in the Southeast Asian games last year. It’s an honour and blessing to be able to use sports as a platform to get a great education at Sunway.”

With this scholarship comes great responsibility to my parents and the college. So many people are investing in me, hence I don’t take this gift lightly.

”My parents spent a lot on my fencing training. So, I’m glad to be able to lighten their burden with this scholarship,” added the youngest of three siblings from Subang Jaya.

For 21-year-old Muhamad Sarizal Suhaimi, losing his mother at the age of 16 and helping his ailing father, has brought about many challenges.

”Getting RM60,000 through the JCF Community Scholarship will help my family tremendously. I’m planning to put all my efforts into academics and the debate team.

“My family was very proud of me when I scored 8As and 1B in my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination. I don’t plan to let them down in pursuing my accounting and finance degree,” said the lad from Puchong.

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