Over $560,000 for Sabah quake fund

Over $560,000 for Sabah quake fund
Tributes left for victims of the Sabah earthquake at Tanjong Katong Primary School on June 11, 2015, the last day for members of the public to pay tributes.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

More than $560,000 has been donated to the Sabah Earthquake Fund set up by the Ministry of Education (MOE) last month to help the families of three Singaporean breadwinners who died in the June 5 disaster on Mount Kinabalu.

Also, the deadline for making donations has been extended by over a month - from July 22 to Aug 31 - after a recent collaboration with DBS Bank to make it more convenient for people to donate money.

The fund will provide financial support to the families of the late Tanjong Katong Primary School teachers Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed and Terrence Loo, and Camp Challenge instructor Muhammad Daanish Amran.

Mr Ghazi, 35, is survived by his wife Khalidal Huda Sukaimi, a teacher at East View Secondary School, and three children, the youngest just a year old.

Ms Khalidal is expecting her fourth child.

Mr Loo, 29, leaves behind his parents and elder sister, while Mr Daanish, 22, is survived by his parents and two younger siblings.

The fund will also help rebuild the lives of the mountain guides and trainers whose livelihoods have been affected by the quake, including trainers from Mountain Torq that operates the Via Ferrata trail on Mount Kinabalu.

Two of its trainers, Mr Valerian Joannes, 27, and Mr Ricky Masirin, 28, died while guiding the pupils.

MOE is in charge of collecting the donations, which will be administered by philanthropic organisation Temasek Foundation.

Panellists picked by both groups will oversee how the money is used.

One of them is Mr Gerard Ee, chairman of the Charity Council. He told The Straits Times that it was encouraging to see many people wanting to donate.

He said there were many requests for a more convenient donation method - instead of via cheque, or going to the MOE building in Buona Vista to give cash.

"We managed to have a tie-up with DBS, then we decided to extend the deadline so there is more time for people to donate," he said.

The public can now donate through the various DBS self-service channels, such as ATMs, and mobile and Internet banking.

Mountain Torq marketing director Quek I-Gek said the fund will help the families of its two trainers who died. They each have at least five siblings, some of them still schooling.

Ms Quek said: "We are grateful for any kindness from members of the public in Singapore. The setting up of such a fund also reflects the generosity of Singaporeans."

For more information, go to the website www.moe.gov.sg/sabahearthquakefund

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