Johor queen helps 100 M'sian students abroad cope with falling ringgit
Her gesture drew Malaysians' attention and warmed her countrymen's hearts.
Those studying abroad are struggling with rising living costs as the ringgit continues to plummet against major currencies.
As of Oct 1, RM1 is worth just US$0.23 and £0.15.
So when Johor queen Raja Zarith Sofiah Idris wanted to know how she could ease Malaysian students' financial burden by reaching out to the public on Facebook, people gave their ideas.
Now, the Zarith Sofiah’s Initiative for Educational Financial Assistance is providing US$500 (about S$712) or £500 (about S$1,079) to 100 Malaysian students studying in the United States and the UK.
One of the recipients is Mr Razlan Rashid (below), a third-year Malaysian PhD student from the University of Sussex’s School of Media, Film and Music.
Malaysian PhD student Razlan Rashid is among the 100 students abroad that the Johor Queen's foundation is helping as the ringgit plummets. PHOTO: YOUTUBE SCREENGRAB
He lauded the initiative as an effort to help Malaysians overseas who are feeling the pinch of a declining ringgit and rising costs.
Mr Razlan also said in a Facebook post on Sept 21:
“Feeling blessed. It’s been a very emotional morning for me today as I was one of the selected recipients of Zarith Sofiah’s Initiative for Educational Financial Assistance.
"May this Foundation be blessed by The Almighty. Verily in hardship there is ease. Indeed.”
Mr Razlan, who is from Selangor, had to work as a delivery man to cope with rising costs.
He told The Malaysian Insider it was heart-warming when a member of royalty would make such a gesture to “ordinary people” like himself.
Datuk Dr Muhammad Ridzuan Salleh, chairman of the Raja Zarith Foundation, said private individuals and corporations donated the fund.
The foundation also plans to work with restaurants in the UK and the US to issue food stamps for Malaysian students there.
He added that about 400 Malaysian students applied for the financial aid advertised on both Raja Zarith’s and the foundation’s official Facebook pages.
Upon receiving the applications, Raja Zarith wrote to private and government-linked companies to raise funds for the students, he added.
Ten recipients received funds in the first phase while the rest would receive theirs at the end of October, November and December.
Mr Ridzuan said the foundation would also form an alumni group made up of the beneficiaries to continue helping other students abroad.
Sources: The Malaysian Insider, YouTube, Malay Mail Online