PUTRAJAYA, Dec 20 (Bernama) — A total of 330 students who excelled in the 2009 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examinations received RM16 million in financial assistance and academic grants from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak handed over the offer letters to the recipients at a ceremony held at the Public Service Department (PSD), here Monday.
Also present was Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The financial assistance and academic grants were offered for the first time as a result of cooperation between the Education Ministy, PSD and 1MDB.
Three hundred top students in the SPM were chosen to receive the 1MDB SPM financial aid based on their obtaining a minimum of 10A’s and their family income.
These students will receive RM7,500 to RM15,000 each annually for the duration of their course, based on the higher learning institution they enrol in and the course chosen.
The selection of the SPM high achievers was made using a comprehensive methodology encompassing the evaluation of their household income and that they must come from various races in the country.
As for the 1MDB STPM academic grants, 30 students who scored 5A1’s will receive the annual grants of between RM15,000 and RM20,000 throughout the duration of their chosen course.
In his speech, Najib said the government would continue to balance meritocracy with social justice in giving recognition to students who excelled academically.
He said in the effort to make Malaysia a high-income economy, recognition was not only given to students who excelled in their studies but also to those with moderate academic performance.
“Don’t we deny the right of the moderate achievers to obtaining financial assistance…those from middle-income and poor families, especially from the rural areas, or from families of civil servants in the support group.
“We are proud of our education system, whereby all students, regardless of their backgrounds, will succeed if they study hard. We will give equal opportunities to all the communities in this country,” he added.
Source : Bernama