Johor Bahru, 17 March 2016 – The UTM Because We Care Chancellor’s Fund is an assistance scheme mooted by HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, the UTM Chancellor.
The fund is specific in the type of assistance provided to UTM students, focusing on UTM students’ basic daily needs, comprising daily meals, food and sundry items, and toiletries. The fund will also cover contingencies and unforeseen circumstances, such as medical expenses which go beyond the scope covered by existing financial assistance schemes available at UTM.
In her speech, HRH Zarith Sofiah expressed her concern with regards to the wellbeing of students in general, and UTM students in particular.She believes that students should concentrate on learning, and interacting with their peers and faculty members, instead of worrying about their next meal. They should enjoy their time in the university, acquiring knowledge, values and worldviews that would transform them into better human beings. Those needing help, particularly in relation to basic needs, must be given access, and assisted through all available channels and resources.
The urgency in setting up this fund is based on the statistics that 5,502 out of 11,365 UTM undergraduates are from the Bottom 40% of Malaysia households (B40) families with a household monthly income of less than RM2,500. And what is even more alarming is the fact that 60% of the B40 undergraduates come from families with monthly household income of less than RM 1,500 per month.
Despite getting scholarships, some students from these B40 families are sending home part of their scholarship to cater for their family needs. This sacrifice has resulted in them having to skip their meals in order to make ends meet.
The fund will thus provide a sense of security to UTM students as they pursue their interests and fulfill academic responsibilities. It will also send UTM students a message that we care about them, and we are here to help them.
The Because We Care Chancellor’s Fund will be managed by a Board of Trustees, who are tasked to ensure that all fund raising, disbursement and investment activities are conducted sustainably with the best interest of the fund in mind. A working committee, consisting of UTM staff and student representatives, is also appointed to facilitate the university in identifying students who require assistance through this fund.
In support of this initiative, HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah has contributed a start-up fund which will be used to initiate groundwork on the establishment of the fund. What is even more gratifying is the generosity of various parties in coming forward with their contributions during the launch amounting to more than RM1.7 Million.
Among the biggest contributors were His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, the Sultan of Johor who contributed RM500 thousand; Country Garden Pacific View, RM500 thousand, Datuk Daing A. Malek Daing A. Rahman, Datuk Othman Yusof and Mr Tan Chee Yow, who contributed RM100 ribu respectively.
UTMSpace, Jurukur Datuk Dr Abd Majid A Kadir contributed RM50 thousand respectively, while Datuk Patrick Lim Soo Kit and Datuk Tan Seng Leong contibuted RM30 thousand each.
The Johor State Chief Minister YAB Datuk Mohamed Khalid Nordin, as well as several Sttae Executive Council members, namely , YB Tn Hj. Md Jais Sarday , YB Datuk Hj. Ayub Rahmat and Datuk Tee Siew Kiong contributed RM20 thousand each.
Executive CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes also came forward with a RM20 thousand contribution, in addition to attractive AirAsia package open to less fortunate UTM students.
UTM hopes more people will come forward to contribute generously to the fund and in ensuring that the fund remains sustainable in providing assistance to more underprivileged UTM students.
For more information with regards to the Because We Care Chancellor’s Fund, please contact:
Pn Nor Sita Zakirai @ Zakaria, Tel: 07-553 40513, Email: email@example.com
Pn. Norizan Salleh, Tel: 07-5530009, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pn. Azliana Azlan, Tel: 07-553 40168, Email: email@example.com