Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation

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Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation
Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation logo.png
Founded 1966
Type Foundation
Focus Higher education, Student financial aid
Area served
Method Scholarships, grants and awards
Key people
Chairman of the Board
Mohamed Khaled Nordin
Website http://www.yayasantar.org.my/

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation (Malay: Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman) is a non-profit public foundation incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1966. The primary aim of the foundation is to recognise and encourage the development of youths who show excellence in both academic and extra-curricular pursuits through the provision of scholarships for higher education.

The current Chief Executive of the foundation is Tengku Abdul Aziz Tengku Zainal.


On the occasion of the 63rd birthday of the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, on February 8, 1966, the Malay language newspaper, Utusan Melayu, launched a fund-raising exercise to set up a proposed education fund to provide for the higher education of Malay youths. Initially named the Tunku Abdul Rahman Education Fund (Malay: Tabung Pendidikan Tunku Abdul Rahman), it gained the support of a broad segment of Malaysian society.

As a result, the federal government of Malaysia decided to formally establish a national foundation and open the fund to Malaysian applicants regardless of their ethnicity or creed. This was made possible with the passage of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation Fund Act 1966 [1] by Parliament on July 28, 1966.

Mohd Khir Johari was appointed as the first chairman of the board of trustees upon the establishment of the foundation. On April 16, 1974, the cabinet decided that the seat of the chairman would be held by the office of the Minister of Education. On March 26, 2004 the jurisdiction of the foundation was transferred from the Ministry of Education to the newly devolved Ministry of Higher Education.[2]

Disbursements, awards and prizes[edit]

Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation Scholarship[edit]

The scholarship (not to be mistaken with other Tunku Abdul Rahman scholarships) was established in 2006 to replace a previous financial aid program that was in the form of a loan.[3]

The awarding of the scholarship is the main endowment by the foundation and is open for applications annually. Applications for the scholarship is open to academically outstanding Malaysian undergraduates below 25 years of age who meet specific criteria set by the foundation.[4]

Recipients of this scholarship are known as Tunku Scholars.[5]

After several batch of scholarship recipients, Tunku Scholars Association Malaysia was established in fostering network and bonding among current scholarship recipients and alumni. More information can be found on the Association's official website.[6]

Tunku Abdul Rahman Chair of International Law[edit]

On January 5, 1985, the foundation gave an endowment of RM 1,000,000 to the University of Malaya to establish an academic chair in the Faculty of Law. This became known as the Tunku Abdul Rahman Chair of International Law. In June 1985, the Senate of the University of Malaya appointed Ian Campbell MacGibbon as the first holder of the chair.[7] The current Tunku Abdul Rahman Professor of International Law is Herbert Victor Morais.[8]

Other awards and prizes[edit]

Apart from the two main disbursements described above, the foundation also grants the following awards and prizes:[9]

Tunku Abdul Rahman Medal[edit]

This award is in the form of a gold medal, a certificate, and a unit trust certificate from Amanah Saham Gemilang worth RM 3,000 awarded to one graduate from a local institution of higher education annually. Nominations are received from the respective institutions and selected based on specific criteria set by the foundation.

Tan Sri Khir Johari Award[edit]

This award is in the form of a certificate and a cash award of RM 2,500 and is awarded to one academically excellent student who has fulfilled specific academic criteria despite personal infirmities or disabilities.

Student's Benefaction[edit]

This benefaction is awarded to foundation sponsored students who successfully attain a First Class Distinction in an academic year.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation Academic Prize[edit]

This was a cash prize of RM 500 awarded to the best first year undergraduate student of the Faculty of Human Ecology a Universiti Putra Malaysia. The prize is no longer awarded.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Higher Degree Scholarship[edit]

This was a scholarship awarded to academically excellent students intending to pursue postgraduate education. The awarding of this scholarship is currently suspended.


The foundation is governed by a board of trustees made up of the following:

  • The Minister of Higher Education as chairman
  • One representative from the Ministry of Higher Education
  • One representative from the Federal Treasury of Malaysia
  • Six members appointed by the chairman
  • The Chief Executive of the foundation

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Attorney General's Chambers: Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation Fund Act 1966
  2. ^ Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman: Latar Belakang (in Malay)
  3. ^ The Star: Tunku scholarships increased to 50
  4. ^ Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman [1] (in Malay)
  5. ^ List of Tunku Scholars [2] (in Malay)
  6. ^ Tunku Scholars Association Malaysia
  7. ^ Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman: Kursi Tunku Abdul Rahman (in Malay)
  8. ^ The Star: Big boost for brain gain
  9. ^ Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman: Hadiah-hadiah YTAR (in Malay)