KUCHING: The state government has offered Sarawak’s dive queen Pandelela Rinong Pamg a full scholarship to pursue her studies in any university of her choice in Australia.
This was announced during the special investiture ceremony at the Astana here.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, however, said the state government was giving Padelela the choice.
He said if Padelela wanted to study in Australia, the state government would sponsor the full course for her, which may take three to four years.
“Four years in Australia is something quite good.
“During this time, she can pursue her education and at the same time get continuous training and probably doing a bit of coaching in diving because we want to see continuity in the sport,” he told reporters after the investiture ceremony yesterday.
Asked if there was any plan to give Pandelela a sustainable reward, Taib said the Federal Government had given her something.
“But if she (Pandelela) doesn’t want to go to Australia, she can trade that offer and opt for something else, may be some shares in ASSAR (Amanah Saham Sarawak),” he said.
Pandelela said she was seriously considering pursuing her education to a higher level.
“At the moment my priority is on training. But because there will be no major games after the Olympics I will focus on my studies,” she said.
Pandelela said she could only focus on her studies if there was no major international competition.
However, she had yet to decide what field to pursue, saying: “I have an interest in a few fields, only not in additional mathematics.”
Last week Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak presented Pandelela with RM300,000 (RM100,000 under the National Sports Council (NSC) prize scheme and RM200,000 in Amanah Saham Wawasan shares).
The token amount was to honour her achievement in the 2012 Olympics where Pandelela won the bronze in the 10m platform diving.
Najib also awarded a full government scholarship from the Cemerlang Foundation to enable the Pandelela to pursue a degree of her choice at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak.