Kanthan, Perak, 15 July 2006
Hard work and sheer diligence in studies paid-off for 18 students from six schools in Kanthan, Perak, when Lafarge Malayan Cement (LMC) recognised their efforts and achievements through the Academic Excellence Awards programme this year whereas another 48 students from needy families were granted bursaries.
These deserving students received a total of 48 bursaries worth RM400 to 500 each and 18 excellence awards in the form of cash and certificates at the award ceremony held at LMC's Kanthan Plant today. The event also saw the distinguished presence of Works Minister and Member of Parliament for Sungei Siput, Y.B. Dato' Seri S. Samy Vellu, who officiated the ceremony and presented excellence awards to the top students on behalf of Lafarge Malayan Cement.
The Academic Excellence Awards is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme initiated by Lafarge Malayan Cement to recognise students with outstanding results in their UPSR and SPM examinations, and to help lessen the burden of deserving students from needy families. Over and above its social obligations, LMC hopes to instil the importance of academic achievements and the spirit to pursue excellence amongst the younger generation.
According to J.R. Kim, Senior Works Manager at LMC's Kanthan Plant, "the programme was first initiated in 1997 to promote academic excellence and to enhance relations with communities that we operate in. It now extends to all our plants in Langkawi, Rawang, Pasir Gudang and here in Kanthan/Sungei Siput".
He added: "In 2002, Lafarge Malayan Cement started to introduce a single award presentation ceremony for schools from each region surrounding the four plants. Since then, we have been holding Academic Excellence Awards Day for schools in Kanthan, Langkawi and Rawang every year. Schools in Pasir Gudang will be having their first single award presentation ceremony this year".
In appreciation of Lafarge Malayan Cement's corporate philanthropic efforts and in praise of the students' outstanding achievements, Y.B. Dato' Seri Samy Vellu said, "I commend Lafarge Malayan Cement's noble efforts to reach out to the communities it operates in. You have set a good example to other companies in the private sector by contributing to the community and Malaysia's development in a meaningful way".
To date, this annually sustained effort has helped over 1,500 deserving children from needy families, and a total of over RM1.3 million has been provided to academic excellence award and bursary receivers over the last nine years.
"We hope that LMC will continue its good effort in helping students in the four regions where it operates," added Y.B. Dato' Seri.
Among the recipients of excellence awards was Lovinia Sugunasilan of SM Methodist who scored eight (8) A1s in last year's SPM examination. With an ambition to become a medical doctor, Lovinia believes that every student has the potential to excel in studies so long as he or she has a deep interest in education and realises its importance for a bright future.
"I aim to be an all rounded student and believe in striking the balance between studies and sports. In school I am as passionate in my academic work as I am in my co-curricular activities and this helps me attain a balanced state of mind that is conducive for learning," said the vibrant 15-year old.
Reaching out to underprivileged families, the programme's bursaries are aimed at reducing the financial burden of lower income parents who find it hard to meet their children's educational needs. 12-year-old Kastury Ravichandran was one of the deserving students from these needy families selected to receive the bursary. Kastury obtained seven (7) As in the UPSR examination last year.
In appreciation to the financial aid received from LMC, Kastury's father, Mr. Ravichandran, a lorry driver, said "LMC's bursary will provide financial means to maintain quality education for our children's future and for that, I am sincerely thankful to the company."
Over the years, the programme is increasingly being regarded by participating schools as a pillar of support in their endeavours to interest and encourage their students to excel in their studies. Evidently, the programme has assisted in garnering better results from students through its supportive role of instilling enthusiasm and pride in pursuing academic excellence.
The six schools covered in Kanthan/Sungei Siput are SM Methodist, SRJK (C) Rimba Panjang, SRK Haji Mahmud, SRK Methodist, SRJK (T) Ladang Dovenby and SRJK (C) Chong Hwa. This was the fourth time a single award presentation ceremony was held for all of these schools to give greater recognition to the award recipients.
In addition to Kanthan, Perak, the other schools under the annual Academic Excellence Awards programme are those surrounding LMC's plants in Rawang (Selangor), Langkawi (Kedah) and Pasir Gudang (Johor). A total of 277 students from 28 schools from these districts will benefit from the programme this year; in which a total of 84 excellence awards and 193 bursaries amounting to RM100,000 will be offered to deserving students from needy families.
About Lafarge Malayan Cement Berhad (LMCB)
LMCB is the leader of the Malaysian cement industry and a major player in the Asian export market. It was incorporated in 1950 with its first cement plant built in Malaysia in 1953.
LMCB is today the parent of a group of companies in Malaysia and Singapore whose core businesses are in the manufacturing and sale of cement, ready-mixed concrete and other related building materials.
LMCB currently employs 2000 people and operates a nationwide network of facilities, which include 3 integrated cement plants in Langkawi, Kanthan and Rawang, one grinding plant in Pasir Gudang and distribution channels by road, rail and sea.
Additional information is available on the website at www.lafargemalayancement.com.
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all four of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. With 80,000 employees in 76 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 16 billions in 2005.
Lafarge has been committed to sustainable development for many years, pursuing a strategy that combines industrial know-how with performance, value creation, respect for employees and local cultures, environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources and energy. Lafarge is the only company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the 2006 ‘100 Global Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. To make advances in building materials, Lafarge places the customer at the heart of its concerns. It offers the construction industry and the general public innovative solutions bringing greater safety, comfort and quality to their everyday surroundings.
Additional information is available on the web site at www.lafarge.com.
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