Monday, September 27

SM Min Lit short of RM300,000

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KUCHING: SM Min Lit Batu Kawa records an annual deficit of RM300,000 despite the continued support of the Chinese community and various organisations here.

Its Board of Management chairman, Penghulu Thien Shin Fong, said the school had a major fund-raiser every year besides receiving regular and special funds, all of which were still not sufficient to meet its annual expenses.

He could not offer the total annual expenses at the school offhand.

“We have been trying to bring down our expenses by keeping spending as minimum as possible. The board used to organise fund-raising dinners, which come with a higher cost.

“For a change to principally cut cost, we have singing competition as part of our annual fund-raising events.

“The board needs to fork out only about RM2,000 for the competition,” he told journalists after permanent honorary advisor to the board Datuk Yong Khoon Seng launched the computer-aided teaching at the school in Batu Kawa Old Bazaar here yesterday.

Thien pointed out several organisations including Sarawak Timber Association (STA) and Kuching Hakka Community Association had contributed to the school on a regular basis.

He added the board was also given donations by either family members at funerals or couples celebrating their wedding anniversaries.

“From funerals and weddings, we collect about RM30,000 a year. As for the contributions from various associations and education funds, I cannot recall the figures.”

To chip in, Yong, who is former Deputy Works Minister and former Stampin MP, gave a personal donation of RM30,000.

“I pledged the amount last year and today I am fulfilling my promise by dipping into my own pocket,” he said, adding he would keep up his contributions.

Yong recalled the first time he was invited to the school, he saw only about 90 students. He was glad to note the number of students had now increased to 156.

He urged parents in Batu Kawa to send their children to SM Min Lit, an institution where the young ones would be assured of quality education.

“There are 10 Chung Hua primary schools in the vicinity of Batu Kawa. If 20 per cent of these students enrol for SM Min Lit, the number will be very encouraging.”

Set up in 1967, SM Min Lit Batu Kawa is running six classes for 156 students. Supported by the board, it has 14 teachers.

A joint venture with the International Tuition School (ITS), the school offers English language lessons from 3.30pm to 6.30pm every Monday to help students and children in the area improve the international language.