“M’sia rejected me,” Local netizen shares how JPA denied her a foreign scholarship even after she scored 9A+ in SPM

Among some of the most pressing issues to plague the future of Malaysia is arguably the state of brain drain that we are currently witnessing among young professionals. As Merriam-Webster explains, brain drain is a phenomenon created by the departure of educated, professional individuals from one country to another, in seeking for better economic opportunities or living conditions. 

Such is the case with many local nascent hopefuls who have decided to turn to beyond the border in light of racial inequity and slim pickings where employment opportunities are concerned, as local digital creator Jessica Sin explains. 

M’sian shares how JPA rejected her application for foreign scholarship despite excellent SPM results 

Taking to her TikTok account, she shares her own personal experience in applying for a foreign scholarship via the Public Service Department (JPA). According to Jessica, her application was eventually denied, in spite of the fact that she managed to score an incredible 9A+ for her SPM back in 2010, while balancing a litany of other leadership positions in extra-curricular activities. 

While she does acknowledge the special rights allotted to Bumiputeras in Malaysia, Jessica points out that it should not give due cause for the achievements of other races in the country to be overlooked. 

Eventually, this led her to apply for foreign scholarships abroad, and she eventually received offers from both the United States as well as in Australia. Speaking to WauPost on the matter, Jessica said she chose to complete her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Queensland, where she obtained a full scholarship that also includes a 3-year living stipend with no bond. The only stipulation in maintaining her scholarship was that she had to meet the minimum CGPA requirement. 

‘Achievements of other races should be acknowledged’

On a related note, she clarifies that JPA had turned down her application for a foreign scholarship to fund her studies abroad, but offered her a scholarship with a local university that came with a 6-year bond period instead. And yet, Jessica alleges that Bumiputera candidates with poorer results were afforded with full-fledged foreign scholarships. 

Jessica alleges that Bumiputera candidates with lesser results were granted full-fledged foreign scholarships by JPA. Photo for illustration only. Image credit: BERNAMA
Jessica alleges that Bumiputera candidates with lesser results were granted full-fledged foreign scholarships by JPA. Photo for illustration only. Image credit: BERNAMA

For those hoping to apply for similar foreign scholarships, Jessica advises to work hard and keep an outline of how they would like to reach their goals. Beyond academics, it’s also crucial to get involved in as many co-curricular activities as possible, while taking up leadership positions to bolster your experience beyond the classroom. 

As for government policy in combating brain drain, she hopes that the Malaysian administration will look towards providing equal opportunities to all locals, and acknowledge as well as appreciate their achievements and contributions without taking into account their background.

“From education and career perspective, the Malaysian government should try to retain talent by providing Malaysians equally with opportunities and incentives to stay and contribute to the country.” she said.

Should institutional changes be made, she said that it would likely stop locals from seeking out for better opportunities in other countries and improve retention of talent.

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Also read: M’sian netizen with 3.95 CGPA fails to land a spot in public unis, but gets accepted into two UK universities

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