July 03, 2012 | The Star | By Joseph Kaos Jr |
KUALA LUMPUR: Growing up in hardship spurred 19-year old Johorean Ong Yong Kang, a former student of Chong Hwa High School in Kluang, to excel in his studies.
His father, Ong Cheng Hai, 53, is a construction worker while his mother is a fulltime housewife. Cheng Hai’s meagre income is barely enough to feed a family of five.
Not wanting to face the same fate, Yong Kang worked hard in his studies and eventually scored 10As in the 2011 Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
When he was offered a chance to pursue an engineering course in Singapore, his father was worried.
“I thought I would have to borrow from others and I was not keen to do so,” he said.
However, his worry was resolved when Yong Kang was selected as one of 50 outstanding students from Chinese independent high schools to receive the Yayasan 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) Academic Grant. Yong Kang will receive RM15,000 a year for the next three years to fund his studies.
“My father never grew tired of telling me to study hard so I do not have to work so hard like him. I am grateful for his sacrifices and I vow to repay him,” said Yong Kang after the award ceremony.
Yong Kang aspires to be a successful material engineer and hopes to help his siblings. His father was overjoyed.
- Excerpt reproduced with the permission of The Star, Malaysia