Petronas study awards for 34 students
Published on: Saturday, June 30, 2018
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Kota Kinabalu: Eighteen-year-old school leaver, Randy Philip, had to teach while at the same time study for his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exam so he could earn some pocket money to go to school.Although the Keningau lad comes from a small family of three siblings, he was aware that the hard earned income of his lorry driver father was barely enough, hence his decision to start his own tuition class to help lighten his financial commitment to his family.

"I ran a tuition class for a small group of students who were my juniors. I did it so that my father would not have to worry about giving me pocket money," he said.

Despite having to teach and study at the same time, Randy scored 9As in the examination last year, an achievement that later earned him a scholarship from the national oil company, Petronas, to continue his studies in chemical engineering at Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) in Perak.

He was one of 34 outstanding school leavers from the state who were awarded the scholarship under the company's long running education flagship programme in a ceremony held here, Friday.

Another school leaver, Mohd Syukri Atika Lakadir from Tawau, had to juggle time between studying and helping his mother in running her small business to supplement the family's income earned by his father who works as a labourer.

He also scored 9As in the exam and earned a place in UTP to study the same subject as Randy's.

Unlike Randy, who hopes to graduate and become an engineer, Mohd Syukri aims higher.

"I hope to become Petronas Vice President or higher than that," said the ambitious teenager.

Petronas Chairman Tan Sri Sidek Hassan said during the ceremony that the company has sponsored 418 Sabahan students since 2003 to pursue their studies in petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, geophysics, finance, law and other industry-related courses at the number of universities abroad as well as UTP.

He said RM113 million is allocated for the programme nationwide this year.

Since its inception in 1975, the programme has benefited 36,000 students in the country with an estimated investment value of RM3 billion.

During the ceremony, the oil company also presented sponsorship to 42 Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) Sabah students and 63 trainees currently undergoing technical training under the Vocational Institutions Sponsorship and Technical Assistance (VISTA) programme.

A total of 237 MRSM students and 2,683 VISTA trainees have benefited from the respective programmes to date.

Last year, Petronas announced two major education initiatives in Sabah, the construction of an MRSM in Ranau for 450 students and a hostel known as Asrama Harian Lura Bandar in Pulau Balambangan off Kudat which are expected to be completed in 2021 and 2019, respectively.

The ceremony was officiated by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal who commended Petronas for its contributions to education in the state.

"I see the PESP as an enabler that enables excellent students to pursue higher studies in local and international universities. It provides the resources to enable our students to have the best education," he said.

His speech was read by Sabah Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusuf Yacob. - Leonard Alaza


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