Sarawak Unity Education Fund to offer scholarships for deserving students

Lee (second right) speaking to reporters during a press conference after the fund’s first committee meeting held at the Sarawak Club on Jalan Taman Budaya in Kuching on Oct 10, 2023. Also seen from left are Gerawat, Abdul Aziz, and Wee.

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Oct 10: The Sarawak Unity Education Fund is a newly formed education fund that aims to provide support for financially disadvantaged students from Sarawak who wish to pursue higher education, with the application process beginning next year.

According to founder and organising chairman Datuk Richard Lee, the fund is a private sector initiative aimed at offering scholarships to students throughout Sarawak, with the goal of nurturing these students into becoming future leaders for the State.

“In conjunction with the 60th anniversary of Malaysia and the successful transformation of Sarawak into a high-income state, it’s timely that we have the private sector come out with some programme to support the development of the State. So we decided to start this Sarawak Unity Education Fund.

“We are very lucky and very honoured to have the support of Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg who has agreed to be the patron of this fund and we have to worked very hard to make sure that this project is ongoing, sustainable, and benefiting the State in the future,” Lee told reporters during a press conference after the fund’s first committee meeting held today at the Sarawak Club on Jalan Taman Budaya here.

Meanwhile, the Sarawak Unity Education Fund’s advisor, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain, who is also Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) chairman, mentioned that RM1.6 million has been pledged for the fund so far.

“Our target is RM2 million in order to kickstart this project, commencing next year once the fund is launched.

“We hope that members of the public, especially entrepreneurs and the business community, will be able to give us the support and donate generously to this fund to help poor and needy students to further their education,” Abdul Aziz noted, adding that the fund is open to all Sarawakian students regardless of race or religion.

“As long as they need it and qualify, we will offer them the scholarship,” he remarked.

Furthermore, Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Labour, Immigration, and Project Monitoring) Datuk Gerawat Gala, who heads the fund’s selection committee, commented, “Basically, the objective in terms of eligibility is for those students who are needy, but at the same time, we have to fulfil the entry requirements of the various universities, because there are some scholarships where they give it to very bright and outstanding students with the hope of getting the students to work for those organisations. This is different.

Also present was the fund’s secretary, Dato Wee Yiaw Hin. — DayakDaily