Malay Singaporean students at Singapore Management University (SMU) can now apply for a scholarship meant just for them.
Mercu Learning Point, the education and training arm of the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), and two Singaporean donors have contributed a total of $600,000 for the scholarship, for full-time undergraduates.
With the Government matching it dollar for dollar, the total sum of $1.2 million will fund three $12,000 scholarships each year.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information as well as Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, presented the scholarships to three recipients yesterday at SMU.
They are law undergraduates Nur Amalina Saparin, 22, and Khairul Ashraf Khairul Anwar, 23, as well as business student Muhammad Hafiz Kasman, 22.
At the event, Dr Yaacob told reporters that the scholarship allows Malay students to focus on their studies without having to worry about their finances.
He added: "I hope this will also inspire others to come forward and to consider giving what they have, not just to students in SMU but also to those from other institutions."
The scholarship is open to full-time Malay Singaporean undergraduates in their second to fourth year at the university.
It will fund a year of their school fees and other expenses, such as for overseas exchanges.
SMU president Arnoud De Meyer said the scholarship will help ensure no deserving Malay student misses out on studying at the university because of financial need.
"I have no doubt it will also help SMU attract more talented Malay youth," he said.
Mr Hafiz, who is in his third year at SMU, said the scholarship will help to fund expenses, such as for an overseas exchange stint he hopes to go on next year.
He said: "It's a good reminder to keep doing good and giving back to society," said the youngest of five children, whose father is a chauffeur, and mother, a housewife.
"It's also important to improve the Malay demographic in the fields of business, corporate law, accountancy... economics and information systems," he added.