Over $1 Million Raised to Establish the Sang Nila Utama Scholarship at SIT

New endowed scholarship aims to nurture first movers who will drive growth areas of the economy

A new scholarship named after the 13th-century Palembang prince who according to tradition founded the Kingdom of Singapura has been established at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). At least two students at SIT will be supported annually by the Sang Nila Utama Scholarship, which is valued at $15,000 each.

The scholarship has been made possible by a group of five individual and corporate donors thus far, whose generous giving (together with the Enhanced Government Matching Grants that their gifts have attracted) have resulted in an endowed fund of more than $1 million that will support this scholarship in perpetuity. 

The Sang Nila Utama Scholarship at SIT is open to undergraduates who are pursuing a full-time degree in Engineering, Infocomm Technology and the Health and Social Sciences, who have achieved outstanding academic results and have made contributions beyond academic studies to their university or the community. 

Mr Adley Michael Pereira, one of the first two recipients to be awarded the Sang Nila Utama Scholarship, is a final-year Mechanical Engineering student who is currently doing his Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) at Lumileds as a Process Integration Engineer. “I feel very honoured to have been selected for this scholarship, and grateful as well,” he said. “It has allowed me to replace my seven-year-old computer for a new one to create 3D drawings, CAD drawings and fluid simulations in my studies.” 

He has already taken the step to contribute back to the community through Magical Hearts, his co-curricular activity at SIT that organises community outreach programmes with Aphasia SG, among other organisations, to perform and teach magic tricks to beneficiaries to help them communicate. Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that occurs after parts of the brain controlling language are damaged, for example after a stroke. “I hope to hone my leadership skills and grow to become the kind of leader who can understand the issues my peers face and help them through it,” he said. 

Said Mr Bahren Shaari, CEO of Bank of Singapore, who has been championing the fundraising initiative, “The intent is to make possible a scholarship that will nurture budding professionals who will be first movers in the community as well as the growth areas of the industry.” 

“The gift of education is the best gift that we can give someone. I believe that there is a need for us to champion equal opportunity, and especially to create opportunities for young people to realise their aspirations. I am pleased to be able to help,” he added. 

Said Professor Chua Kee Chaing, President, SIT, “On behalf of SIT, I wish to thank all the donors who have supported the Sang Nila Utama Scholarship. We are very grateful for their inspiring philanthropic leadership to nurture the values of initiative, dynamism, and service. We very much look forward to seeing more donors joining them in supporting this scholarship.” 

*This event was held in accordance with existing safe management measures as of January 2022.