MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Former stateless child gets offer to study in UTeM


Rohana Abdullah, whose father is said to be a Malaysian and who was abandoned by her Indonesian mother, is able to achieve her dreams of pursuing higher education as Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) offered her a place to do a diploma in computer science today.

Rohana, who has accepted the offer, obtained her citizenship status and an identity card last April after her life story went viral on social media and caught the attention of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Rohana, who has been cared for by her Chinese ex-teacher, Chee Hoi Lan, said she will work hard to complete her studies with excellence so that she can contribute back to the local community.

"I don't know how to say ‘thank you’... I am very grateful for the gift God has given me because this is something I have been dreaming about for a long time.

"Thank you also to UTeM. Although I am more interested in the field of medicine, computer science is my second choice and 'laoshi' (Chee) is also supportive of it. So I will do my best to repay her," said the former student of the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato' Ibrahim Yaakob, Kampung Batu.

Reporters met with Rohana after she received her study offer letter from UTeM vice-chancellor Massila Kamalrudin at Chee's house at Batu 5, Jalan Ipoh today.

Rohana said she will leave with Chee to Malacca tomorrow as the UTeM registration for admission to the course is on Monday.

She said she still had lots of preparations to make as she only learnt of the offer last Saturday before confirmation today.

"There are several things I need to buy and at the same time need to find help a housekeeper to take care of laoshi (Chee) when I am not around.

"Lately, she cries whenever she thinks of our separation. Therefore, it is better to find someone to be with her at home while waiting for my return on the weekends," she said.

Meanwhile, Chee said this will be the first time she will be separated from Rohana and hopes the girl will be able to look after herself well for the duration of the course.

"I hope she (Rohana) will not forget me, and whenever she has free time to come back to see me. When she finishes studying, I hope she can become an internet (information technology) expert," she also said.

Massila said Rohana is among three individuals chosen to participate in the pilot project of Program Anak Emas UTeM that has just begun.

Massila said the programme provides opportunities to outstanding students from less fortunate families to continue their studies at UTeM, with the funding cost fully covered by Yayasan Tun Chancellor.

"Rohana is the first student in this programme. She meets the desired characteristics of being from the needy group such as single children and B40s and has excellent Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exam results," she said.

Rohana's story came to light when it went viral. She was raised by Chee since she was two months old after being abandoned by her biological mother who returned to Indonesia.

Due to no identification documents or an identity card, Rohana had a difficult life as she was unable to continue her studies at university.


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