Thursday, September 9, 2010

Merit-based scholarships not fair??? My @r$e lah.....

I read something that made me furious few days ago... Didn't thought of blogging bout it till now!
Was scrolling through Maxis fan page in Facebook and saw our little award ceremony being posted there with a few pictures of our Scholars...
Then I happily click on it and look through the comments written by other fans...
Not sure if some people out there are just plain pain-in-the-neck or they are just jealous of us cause one comment that I read really pissed me off! It goes like this (I am not afraid of showing his identity! Berani buat, berani tanggung lah!):

Robin Stanislaus Is there any really really deserving and needy recipient? Or it all went to rich people's children? 
Just a thought.
03 September at 19:11
I was like what the hell??? Hello.... that is like a total insult! Now I am NOT being biased towards Maxis, I mean yes...they provided me scholarship but it is solely my opinion as a Malaysian, a normal citizen on merit-based scholarships!! How can he say that?? Maxis Scholarship for Excellence is solely based on merit and they consider your co-curriculum activities and assess your soft skills through 2 to 3 rounds of interviews... NEVER once they asked me about my parents' income because I believe, it is their principle to acknowledge students' achievements regardless of race, religion and family background!

I had had my bad share of scholarships that they think is "fair" because they only award them to the poor or more financially difficult students... I've got interviewer saying that "My family is not poor enough so no matter how good you are, we can't offer you the scholarship"!!! So, is that FAIR??? A student's biggest accomplishment would be recognition of his success! Good students who are "not so poor" are left to fend for themselves but not so good students who are poorer gets the chance to be pampered!!!

I mean yes....poor family needs help! But the majority of the society should not neglect the so-called-better-off-ones!! Besides, I can say more than half of the rest of the "poor" applicants for the previous scholarship don't even look poor!! They were donning branded stuff and just because they managed to prove that they are poor..... it is decided immediately that they are offered the chance! Come on!!! Who in the world doesn't know that businessman can fake their salary slips if they want to??!!! I am not saying all the rest of them have businessman parents but I know a handful of them are! And unfortunately my parents aren't running their own business, so the proof that I got are just plain honesty! Too bad for me lah....

Sigh....and we have people like that blurting out their so-called-inequality in a social website!
Every family has their own problem, including mine. Even though my parents may earn more than average, but little do you know, that they have their own liabilities which the accumulated incomes are barely enough!! E.g. medications due to chronic diseases, personal loans and debts, etc.

So I would say to organizations like Maxis who are providing merit-based scholarships to the people, A JOB WELL DONE!!! Do continue doing so. There are lots of hopefuls out there who just need your help!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Maxis Scholarship for Excellence 2010 Award Ceremony

Finally!!! The grand finale!! I've been dying to upload all the photos taken in the studio...Hahaha! And now together with the award ceremony....this means MORE photos to be shown!!! Woot! Woot! :P

So yesterday, 3rd September 2010, was the much awaited day for all Maxis Scholars - it's OUR big day!! The ceremony was held in Hilton KL. Official time was 9 am but recipients were required to come at 7 am for a rehearsal before the real thing!!!

I woke up at 5.30 am that day and start walking to the LRT station from UM at 6.30 am! was pitch dark I tell you! But kinda cool lah.....cause there were still stars and the wind was chilling! I didn't even break a sweat! :P I didn't wanna drive cause I don't know the way and besides, Hilton KL is just opposite KL Sentral! And I get to save on parking too.... Read somewhere that it was RM5 per hour!!! *horror*

Thought I can reach there on time....but was 10 minutes late! Darn! >.<

It was great to meet up with the Scholars once again that day!!! Sure missed them a lot since the photo shooting session! And you bet there were much yada yada yada and I TOTALLY LOVE their company!

Had had a few runs and finally a trial group photo shoot (again) and you bet, chaos! Hahaha.... they were trying to squeeze 29 of us into a camera frame..... I felt like sardines honestly! :P But thankfully..... the camera woman is satisfied after almost 15 minutes of arranging us! LOL!

Among the VIPs that were present were Dato' Joseph Salang, Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Culture; Mr. Sandip Das, CEO of Maxis; and 3 other members of the senior management board! I must say Mr. Sandip's speech was really inspiring and funny! I can see that he's very attached to his company and have a close bond with his staffs... It would be incomplete if we, Scholars, were not given a chance to give a speech... but of course lah.... 1 representative from each category. Siti Sarah represented the Postgraduate Scholars while Amelia represented the Undergraduates. Both were really good and Amelia's ALMOST made me cry! *Whoops.....shouldn't have said it out loud!* Hahaha.....

Then it was the individual certificate presentation! The doctors, surgeons and pharmacists of tomorrow went first... then followed by Business peeps and others. After I took my cert, as I was heading back to my seat, a reporter (I think) from don't what media approached me for a short interview.... asking me on how was I feeling that day? Where did I got to know about this scholarship? Why did I choose dentistry? And another bummer.. How does this made me a better Malaysian? (HUH??!!! Why all interviews have bummer questions wan?? Sigh... I just told him that Maxis Scholarship for Excellence being merit-based has made me see Malaysia as a fair and unbiased country giving equal chances to everyone to achieve their dreams!)
After the rehearsed group photo session, we had tea and packed food (cause it was still puasa month....tak baik lah kalau makan depan kawan-kawan Muslim)... Good sandwiches though! And the cheese cake was not bad! But why no buffet????? :P

We had lots and lots of cam-whoring!! Maxis also provided free Polaroid photos to everyone who was present that day! Haha.....and we took advantage of it, every pose we made we asked them to snap 5 to 6 times cause each of us wants one photo for our own! We caused them to change film packets twice and even ran out of batteries once! LOL!!! XD

It was a great ceremony..... but somehow I felt sad cause this means it's the end of everything! All the excitement and great moments have ended... I felt kinda reluctant to leave actually... Cause somehow I know we won't be seeing each other in the near future! And to all Maxis staff and the secretariat you guys are GREAT!! Thanks for all the care and attention you have given us! Special thanks to Wye Yee, Kenny and Shi Ying!! You guys ROCK!!! I hope there'll be more chances like this for us to interact with the scholars, meeting up with you guys (the secretariats) again or even be a talent for Maxis! (I'm so thick skin!) Hahaha... XD

Then, a few of us went for a gathering at Mid Valley mega mall - had lunch, movie and dinner together! And you bet! I had loooottttssssss of fun!!

Now let the pictures do all the talking:
1. The photo shoot!!! @ TTDI, KL - 18th August 2010

Getting pretty - make-up time!

Studio being set up

Various poses during individual shoot

Group shoot set up

Group shoot preparation

The results

Previously, Scholars were told to write down their dream statement in an A3 manila card. And this was mine - drawn and written by me after getting Maxis approval.
But right before the photo shoot, we were told that hand-drawn posters are not needed anymore cause for fear of being illegible, instead Maxis will superimpose a digital one on the plain boards we were holding as shown in the photo shoot above. Noticed that in the end, Maxis changed my statement to "To use reconstructive dentistry to help people injured in accident"? Which totally deviates from what I wanna say.... Hmm..... :/ *shrugs*

2. Award ceremony @ Hilton KL - 3rd September 2010

Group photo run

The Ballroom

Official group photo

Being interviewed by a reporter

With mom and dad

3. Random shoots with AWESOME Maxis Scholars!!! I really REALLY love them - LOADZZZ!!!

With (back) Gurpreet, Eu Jhin; (front) Yong Jian, Darshini, Vims and Ye Han
With Ai Lin
With U Jean
With Yi Koon
Sam Ye Han - the other future dentist from IMU

Maxis ROCKS!!! Maxis Scholars ROCK EVEN MORE!!! 

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