Close to $1m raised to help families of Sabah earthquake victims

Close to $1m raised to help families of Sabah earthquake victims
Tributes for victims of the Mount Kinabalu earthquake in June. Adventure learning programmes will go on as they help to “bring up a generation who will grow up tough and able to work closely together”, says PM Lee.
PHOTO: The Straits Times
  • Money will be paid out progressively over the next few months
  • Part of the fund will go to affected mountain guides in Sabah

SINGAPORE - Almost $1 million has been raised for a fund that was set up to help the families of victims who lost their lives or were affected by the Sabah earthquake earlier this year.

In a statement on Wednesday (Dec 9), the Ministry of Education (MOE) said that individual and corporate well-wishers had contributed a total of $982,000 to the Sabah Earthquake Fund, during the collection period from June 23 to Aug 31.

The fund was set up after the tragedy for the dependents of Singaporeans who lost their lives, as well as the trainers and guides in Sabah who lost their lives or had their livelihoods affected, MOE said.

The earthquake at Sabah's Mount Kinabalu on June 5 killed 19, including 10 Singaporeans. The 10 comprised seven pupils and two teachers from Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS), as well as an adventure camp guide attached to the school.

According to MOE, a committee comprising representatives appointed by the ministry and Temasek Foundation managed how the donations were allocated or used for beneficiaries specified by the donors. Donations with no specific beneficiaries were allocated based on the needs of the families.

Singapore investment company Temasek matched donations from its staff dollar-for-dollar, which will go towards insurance policies that provide sustainable financial support for the dependents of the families of Mr Mohammad Ghazi Bin Mohamed, Mr Terrence Loo and Mr Muhammad Daanish Bin Amran.

Mr Ghazi and Mr Loo were the TKPS teachers who lost their lives, while Mr Daanish was a Camp Challenge instructor.

MOE also revealed that $100,000 in donations will be disbursed equally between Mountain Torq trainers and Sabah mountain guides.

$50,000 will go to Mountain Torq, the operator of the Via Ferrata trail on Mount Kinabalu. The recipients include the five trainers who had accompanied the TKPS group, including the families of the two, Mr Valerian Joannes and Mr Ricky Masirin, who lost their lives in the earthquake.

Meanwhile, the remaining $50,000 will be channelled to the Mount Kinabalu Earthquake Disaster Fund, which was set up by Sabah Parks to support the Sabah guides whose livelihoods have been affected by the earthquake.

A cheque presentation ceremony to Sabah Parks and Mountain Torq will take place early next year.

MOE said that the money will be disbursed progressively over the next few months, after which it will be closed and audited.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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