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(Front row, from left) One for the album as Deepa, Goh, Pei Teeng, Lim, Mushtak, Victor, Yew and Wong pose together with the recipients of the Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship.

15 December 2019

FIFTY three Heriot-Watt University Malaysia students have been awarded the Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarships.

YTL Corporation Berhad managing director Datuk Victor Yeoh Seok Kian presented the 53 students with the Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship awards at the university’s campus recently.

The scholarship was launched earlier this year.

Victor, an alumnus of Heriot-Watt University, was accompanied by his wife, Datin Lim Lee Lee and daughter, Yeoh Pei Teeng, at the event.

Also in attendance were YTL Foundation staff members, the principals of Hin Hua High School, Klang, and Methodist College Kuala Lumpur, as well as the proud parents of the scholarship recipients.

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia deputy provost Prof Dennis Wong and chief operating officer Janice Yew were also present.

The £1mil (RM5.5mil) was gifted by Victor earlier this year, in honour of his father, the late Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, a renowned Malaysian businessman and philanthropist.

Tiong Lay completed his secondary school education at Hin Hua High School in Klang. Although he was not able to pursue higher education, he worked tirelessly, with a determined focus and unwavering perseverance, to form the YTL Corporation in 1955.

In recognition of his hard work and achievements, he received many accolades and titles including an honorary doctorate in Engineering from Heriot-Watt University in 1988.

“Education is one of my greatest passions.

“Education moulds minds, inspires achievements and, ultimately, builds nations. This was instilled in me by my late father, who emphatically believed in the value of education and worked diligently to ensure that his children and grandchildren would have this opportunity.

“Growing up with a role model who was a philanthropist and regularly committed to and supported education programmes, I myself, wanted to honour this tradition and help widen access for Malaysian students, ” said Victor.

The Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Global Scholarship was launched in tribute to his father’s extraordinary life and success, and honours his belief in the importance of education and how it transforms lives, he said.

The university conferred an honorary doctorate on Victor in 2017 for his immense contributions in the field of construction and his staunch support of educational development.

The scholarship will provide Malaysian students with wider access to quality higher education by contributing to the cost of tuition fees for their undergraduate studies at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, subsequently creating opportunities for them to make a positive impact in the world.

Fifteen students will also be selected to spend a year at the Heriot-Watt University campus in Edinburgh.

The scholarship recipients expressed their gratitude at being able to pursue their dreams.

“This means that I am able to obtain an education that will help me move up in life, ” said Kishen Manirajan, an Actuarial Science student.

His course mate and fellow scholarship recipient, Ph’ngJia Xin concurred.

“The scholarship means a lot to me and my family; it really helps my family by reducing our financial burden, ” she added.

Her father, Ph’ng Chee Keong, said he used to work in China, adding that his daughter lived there as well. She studied there for 13 years.

“I am excited and proud that she was able to receive this scholarship, ” he said.

R. Ragunathan, the father of Tetisya Ragunathan who received a scholarship to pursue Psychology, echoed Ph’ng’s sentiments.

“I am very happy that YTL and Heriot-Watt presented this scholarship to my daughter, ” he said.

Sharifah Bakar, the mother of Muhammad Zaki, another scholarship recipient, echoed the wish for a brighter future for her son.

“I hope that Muhammad Zaki will pass with flying colours and achieve the goals that he has always dreamt of, ” she said.

The donation extends to another 21 scholarships to be awarded to those who sign up for the Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s January 2020 intake.

Working together, Heriot-Watt University and the YTL Foundation aim to impact lives by empowering students to be catalysts of change.

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(from left) Global Teacher Prize finalist 2019 and India Early Childhood Association vice president Swaroop Rawal, Varkey Foundation policy and advocacy manager Nicholas Piachaud and educationist, consultant and trainer, Puan Sri Sherina Aris at the Leaps of Knowledge 2019 conference as keynote speakers.


LEAPS of Knowledge Conference is back for the seventh year focused on core values of “HEART, ” an acronym for “Here To Make A Difference, Enjoy What You Do and Who You Do It With, Act With Integrity, Reach For Perfection and Think Ahead and Out Of The Box”.

The theme addressed current issues, trends and initiatives in the education landscape.

About 600 participants attended the event organised in Kuala Lumpur by FrogAsia Sdn Bhd and YTL Foundation to inspire teachers, educators and education advocates.

FrogAsia Sdn Bhd executive director Lou Yeoh said the conference was held to give educators the space to learn, be inspired, to reimagine and to be reminded of what was possible.

Among the speakers was Varkey Foundation policy and advocacy manager Nicholas Piachaud, who revealed that the occupation of a secondary and primary school teacher was in 10th and 11th place on the list of the most respected jobs in the world.

“Based on our research across the world, teachers are taken for granted, their social status is very low and they do not get the recognition they should get, ” he said.

But Varkey’s research found that Malaysia was among the countries that honoured teachers and considered a teacher as important as a doctor.

“We should look to Malaysia where its people see teachers as equal to doctors. The esteem of educators in this country should be an example to the rest of the world, ” said Piachaud, adding that this conference allowed teachers to speak up and engage in discussions.

Veteran educationist, consultant and trainer Puan Sri Sherina Aris shared about the situation in Malaysia today.

“The reality is that many people become teachers due to a lack of opportunity, ” she said, adding that the profession was among the last options for jobseekers.

Sherina cited as example that a number of engineering graduates had to undergo training to become a teacher because they could not get a job in their area of study.

“The ministry should be getting the best people for the right job and by that, we should look into increasing the wages for teachers, ” she stressed, adding that it would make more people be willing to become teachers in the future.

One of the keynote speakers, Global Teacher Prize finalist 2019 and India Early Childhood Association vice-president Swaroop Rawal said it was important to spread positive stories of educators to leaders, parents and advocates.

“Besides teaching, you need to talk about your teaching experience and journey, ” said Swaroop.

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By Murniati Abu Karim -

Outstanding teachers and schools nationwide were honored for their efforts in adopting technology and raising the bar in 21st century education at the YTL Foundation Awards Night recently.

The awards, organised in collaboration with FrogAsia, acknowledged those who have transformed education and made extraordinary contributions in school administration as well as community engagement.

Exemplary educators were given recognition through the Frog Teachers Awards, Frog World Championships, Global School Leaders Malaysia Awards, Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay Transformational Awards, Puan Sri Kai Yong Yeoh Book Prize and YTL Foundation Schools Awards.

The Frog Teacher Awards winner for the Gamechanger in Edutech category, Mohd Fadzli Ishak hoped to inspire more teachers to go the extra mile for the sake of educating the future generation.

A strong advocate of education technology, the Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Bukit Indah in Nusajaya, Johor teacher revealed that his pupils look forward to learning when he integrates technology into it.

“Pupils nowadays learn differently. The use of technology allows teachers to be more creative in the classroom while providing an exciting learning experience for the pupils.

“Despite my pupils being in primary school, I decided to introduce basic coding to them. As a result, they managed to do their own coding and so became inspired to be digital creators,” he said.

Mohd Fadzil added that this type of exposure is needed to produce future-ready learners, those that are ready for digital learning.

Kamariah Awang of Sekolah kebangsaan Gong Balai in Marang, Terengganu clinched the Most Exceptional Educator category under the Frog Teacher Awards.

For Kamariah, her pupils are her inspirations.

“The kids always have new ideas when it comes to activities that we can do in the classroom. Their enthusiasm to learn is what keeps me motivated.

“I believe that learning is experiencing. In my lessons, I try my best to involve the pupils in the process. For example, we carried out Skype sessions with other schools across the globe to inculcate cultural awareness and understanding of others’ traditions and values.

“We also went to multiple class trips to provide the kids with real world experiences,” she added.

Meanwhile, Sekolah Menengah Ampang Pecah, Selangor was awarded RM20,000 in grant money under the YTL Foundation Schools Awards for its compelling and sustainable proposal to create change in the school community.

Saemah Sahir, who teaches basic Computer Science at the school, said the school carried out the #eratperpaduan campaign throughout the year to foster unity, improve inter-racial interactions and establish greater understanding among the school community.

Present at the award-giving ceremony were FrogAsia executive director Yeoh Pei Lou and YTL Foundation programme director Datin Kathleen Chew.

In her opening speech, Chew said that teaching is a noble profession that shapes character and calibre and contributes to the future of an individual. However, not many realise the sacrifices teachers have to make to ensure that students are learning at their full potential.

“Teachers are the backbone of our society because they are educators for the nation. Hence, every year, we celebrate these teachers for their efforts and dedication in elevating the education standards in Malaysia.

“We want to celebrate those who have worked hard behind the scenes to propel their students forward and have seen the fruit of their labour.

“Teaching is a challenging profession as educators deal with different kinds of students, requiring them to be dynamic and agile in using different teaching approaches. It takes special individuals to achieve excellence in this career,” Chew added.


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Raja Azureen (centre) hitting the gong to launch Lottie’s Culture Splash at Lot 10 while Chew (left) and YTL Foundation Board of Trustees member Datuk Yeoh Soo Min look on.

MALAYSIA’s multicultural heritage was celebrated by children from several schools in Selangor.

Themed “Lottie’s Cultural Splash” the event was organised by YTL Foundation and Pusat Kreatif Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainun and took place at Lot 10 Kuala Lumpur.

The students were from SMK Ampang Pecah, SK Convent Sentul 1, SK Convent Sentul 2, SK Bandar Baru Sentul, SJK(T) Thamboosamy Pillai, SJK(T) St Joseph, SMK Assunta and SMK La Salle.

The three-day celebration was launched by Pusat Kreatif Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainun chairman Raja Datuk Seri Azureen Sultan Azlan Shah and YTL Foundation programme director Datin Kathleen Chew.

Chew said the event was to celebrate Malaysia’s diversity and to send out a message for all to embrace it and not take it for granted.

“More importantly, we want Malaysians to be proud of their heritage because cultural heritage provides a sense of belonging and unity.

“We see this event as a great opportunity for children and the public to get acquainted with the many different aspects of our cultural heritage like traditional dance, musical performance, art and even games,” added Chew.

Raja Azureen called for children to be exposed to such events to ensure local arts, heritage and culture is preserved and passed down to future generations.

For three days the children of Pusat Kreatif Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainun participated in special performances and workshops, such as gamelan and angklung, games like congkak, coconut bowling and crafts workshop like paper art cutting.

“There were nine booths at Lottie’s Cultural Splash including a Chinese ink painting exhibition, a sago worm eating exhibition and live calligraphy demonstration,” said Chew.

A donation corner was set up so visitors could give away their pre-loved toys to Toy Libraries Malaysia.

The collected toys will be sent to underprivileged children in rural areas.


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YTL Foundation was founded in 1997 on the belief that education is the basis on which every society progresses. By improving education, empowering future generations and building tomorrow’s leaders, YTL Foundation aims to empower individuals and communities to be catalysts of change.

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