Singapore Malayalees S$500,000 Bursary for needy students was presented to NUS on Saturday 9th January 2016 at the Orchid Country Club Ballroom where SMA hosted a dinner to thank its donors.
The Guest of Honour for the event was Mr. Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Senior Minister of State for Defence.
The idea for the bursary was conceived under the guidance of Ambassador-at-large Mr. Gopinath Pillai, during the SG50 carnival, which brought together many Malayalee organisations in Singapore to work towards a common cause. S$500,000 was raised as part of the SG50 celebrations last year, inclusive of the government supported matching grant. This amount will form part of a bursary to fund tertiary education for needy students here.
The funds have been placed in the Singapore Malayalee Endowed Bursary, and will be disbursed by the National University of Singapore. Those eligible for the bursary include needy Singaporeans and permanent residents – but students who are ethnically Indian will be given preference. It has been heartening to note that the generous donors are not just those from the Malayalee community. Donations have come from across different communities and races as well!
In the coming years, the association hopes to double the bursary's amount to $1 million, Mr. Jayakumar N BBM, President of SMA stated. This ambitious target of raising the target amount to $1 million doesn’t seem unachievable given the momentum achieved by the initial success, the encouragement of the society at large and the effort put in by the members and Management Committees of the many Malayalee organisations in Singapore.