SINGAPORE - The alumni of Xinmin Secondary received a pat on the back from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as he held up BreadTalk founder George Quek for giving back in a big way to his alma mater.
He also cited businessman Chua Kee Teang of Mukim Investment who, with Mr Quek, is a driving force in raising the money to build a $4.5 million creative arts complex for the school.
"After graduating, they did not forget to give back. Both of them willingly returned to help their alma mater. This is extremely worthy of praise," PM Lee said at a thank-you dinner last night for donors to the arts complex.
Speaking in Mandarin and English, he hailed the alumni for "contributing in big ways and small".
Mr Lee noted that the school has come a long way since its founding in 1945 to become "a well-respected school" with good academic results and strengths in the creative and performing arts.
"All your Express students go on to JC (junior college), and all your Normal Technical students go on to ITE (the Institute of Technical Education).
"Your students win awards in the band, choir, drama, guzheng, Chinese dance, and many more go on to distinguished careers," he said of Xinmin, which is sited in his Ang Mo Kio GRC.
The building of the arts complex is part testimony to the role the arts has played in Mr Quek's accomplishments in building a chain of bakeries and restaurants.