Cagamas Scholarship Programme (CSP) played a pivotal role in my tertiary education at the University of Malaya. Being selected as a CSP scholar was a priviledge to me and relief all in one. Priviledge because my achievements and hard work were recognised and acknowledged; a stepping stone towards realising my dreams. Relief because with all expenses related to my university programme taken care of, the burden for my family to finance my education was significantly lessened. With CSP support throughout my three years in university, I was able to sharpen my focus towards excelling and accomplishing more academically, while rounding out my university experience with meaningful extracurricular activities.
I joined a handful of academic competitions on diverse subjects which allowed me to broaden my knowledge while joining a student exchange programme gave me new capabilities and perspectives. A proud moment for me was being awarded the Dean’s List in one of the semesters. All this would not be possible had I not been a CSP scholar. Frankly, I never thought I’d be able to venture so far in so many areas of my student life. I am very fortunate in this sense.
CSP also has a mentorship programme with Cagamas Berhad management; a support system to help scholars equip themselves for the working world. I was fortunate to have had two mentors, the CEO/ President of Cagamas, Datuk Chung Chee Leong and Mr Badrul Bahaman. Datuk Chung, in particular, took special interest in my love for Law and put me in touch with industry practitioners so that I would be able to gain insights into my future career. A small gesture which meant the world to me, and I’m deeply grateful to Datuk Chung for this. Together with my mentors and CSP coordinators, I’ve forged a relationship with them which I hope will extend beyond my student days. Each of them had a role in gently guiding me through my university whether as my counsellor, cheerleader or coach. Above all, everybody at Cagamas trully wanted me to be the best version of myself.
Having experienced this with Cagamas and the CSP, my key takeaway from being a CSP scholar was the importance of paying it forward and giving back to the society. Whilst personal success in one’s career is remarkable, being able to help others who are in need is more fulfilling and that feeds a person’s soul.
The impact that CSP had on my life was significant. The learnings and the awareness gained from my university and mentors will be lessons that I will bring with me throughout my life. My hope is that CSP continues to make an impact on other deserving young Malaysians studying in local universities. As my former mentor, Datuk Chung said, “Education has a great impact on not just making an individual’s dream come to life, but it has the power to transform a families and build a nation”.