Malay MPs from the People’s Action Party yesterday donated S$15,000 to three student bodies to fund programmes that help improve the welfare of the community. Their donation is an annual tradition during this holy month of Ramadan.
The recipients are: the National University of Singapore Muslim Society (NUSMS), the Nanyang Technological University Muslim Society (NTUMS), and the Creative Muslim Youth Kakis (CMYK), a Muslim society for students and graduates from the two arts institutions in Singapore: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Lasalle College of the Arts.
Last year, the donation from the 11 MPs went to non-profit organisation Club Heal, which helps people with mental illness reintegrate into society.
In his opening speech last night, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who is also Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, said student bodies in tertiary institutions run many programmes to benefit the wider community.
This, he added, is “part and parcel” of Singapore’s education system.
This year alone, the NUSMS conducted a camp to help madrasah students hone their leadership skills, while CMYK and NTUMS have both reached out to needy Muslim families.
The MPs’ donation is a way to pay tribute to the efforts of these student bodies, said Dr Yaacob.
“(It) is also important for us to signal to the student bodies that you are an important part of the Malay/Muslim community. You contribute in your own way to uplift our community by inspiring madrasah students, by working with low-income families,” he told about 40 members from the student bodies at the cheque presentation ceremony.
“I look forward to seeing you as professionals one day giving back to the community... and hopefully one day take over the leadership of some of the initiatives we have in our community.”
Such student-led initiatives, Dr Yaacob later told reporters, can help groom students to take charge in the future. “This is an important part of their education process... because we’re always interested in leadership succession.”
This article was first published on July 16, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.