Malaysian unity helped me reach USM - youth

Last update: 02/09/2019

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 2  -- Had it not been for a video that went viral and moved Malaysians to act as one in kindness and compassion, Muhammad Izzat Ibrahim would not have been able to land in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang and pursue his chosen programme. 

"I can see for myself now how united Malaysians are actually, because regardless of race and religion they reached out to me financially and in kind to enable me to enter university. I am so grateful to them for helping me even though they do not know me," expressed the 20-year-old and third of 12 siblings.

He had initially decided to defer his studies as his family could not afford to fork out the money even for the university admission fee. Putting his aspirations on the back-burner, he continued to help his mother to sell 'petai'.     

The rest is history as Muhammad Izzat has already registered for the Bachelor of Science (Housing, Building and Planning) programme, on his way to hopefully achieve his ambition to be an engineer, thanks to generous Malaysians.

Another student from the bottom 40% household (B40), Sylvester Ranggie Anak Rentap, 20, shared that he was able to register with USM on his savings from working at a supermarket and with some help from his elder brother.

"I want to change the mentality of the youths in my village who thinks that a Form Five education was sufficient to get them a job. Actually, the hardship is due to lack of education," he said, adding, he planned to get a part-time job while in USM but would ensure it would not affect his studies.

Meanwhile, USM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail said the university was ready to assist dropouts and underprivileged students to further their education.

"A total of 370 candidates from this group have been selected via the central university admission unit (UPU) system and also direct intake.

"To help these students, the USM Foundation and USM Waqaf and Infaq Zakat Offices (ZAWAIN) will  provide appropriate assistance," she told a press conference here today.

According to her, USM also provides opportunities for differently-abled students to accomplish their dream of getting a degree.

She said the university has 70 rooms to accommodate the special needs students, and basic amenities such as toilets, platforms, special parking, food assistance, ground floor classrooms, peer assistance, and transportation (van) to facilitate their movement to the class and curriculum activities.