PETALING JAYA - Billionaire T Ananda Krishnan and the Usaha Tegas Group have launched the Yu Cai Foundation (YCF), which will principally focus on giving grants to educational institutions which promote the study of Mandarin and English.
Seed funding of RM50million (S$18.66million) has been provided for YCF, while Pan Malaysian Sweeps Sdn Bhd, which operates the 'Big Sweep' sweepstakes, will donate its surpluses to the foundation.
YCF chairman Chan Chee Beng said it was committed to improving education and making opportunities accessible so every student had a chance to succeed.
"Everyone has potential, they just need to be nurtured and supported," he said in a statement yesterday.
YCF, whose name means "nurture talent" in Mandarin, has the vision of enabling deserving students to achieve their fullest potential in academic and vocational goals through education.
Besides giving grants, it will provide scholarships for deserving Malaysians of all races who are pursuing studies in Mandarin-based schools.
The foundation will also support the goals of schools to develop physical facilities, including laboratories, to improve the teaching and learning of science and technology.
Grants will also be provided to learning institutions or individuals involved in scientific, artistic, technical, vocational or advanced academic pursuits that contribute to Malaysia's socio-economic development.
"YCF will also play a role in encouraging collaborations within the Malaysian education community to develop the role of Mandarin-based schools in producing and funding qualified students for undergraduate and post-graduate studies here and abroad," it said in the statement.
The foundation is the latest addition to the existing ones under Ananda and Usaha Tegas, with the others being Yayasan DayaDiri (YDD) and the Malaysian Community and Education Foundation (MCEF).
YDD supports bumiputra causes in the areas of education and community development, while MCEF focuses principally on the educational needs and welfare of the Malaysian Indian community.
At the launch ceremony yesterday, Chan presented cash prizes to the top-three winners of the YCF logo competition, with first-prize winner Ong Cai Bin from Dasein Academy of Art being awarded a cash prize of RM10,000.
Her logo, which was judged to best reflect YCF's aims, originated from the Chinese character for "person" and the Chinese proverb "it takes 10 years to grow a tree but 100 years to nurture a person".