$4 million SMU bursary launched

Bursary recipients (from left) Ng Bing Xian, 26, and Leong Jia Qin, 19, before the Hotel 81-Choo Chong Ngen Bursary ceremony at SMU yesterday.
Bursary recipients (from left) Ng Bing Xian, 26, and Leong Jia Qin, 19, before the Hotel 81-Choo Chong Ngen Bursary ceremony at SMU yesterday. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Third-year accountancy student Ng Bing Xian became one of the first beneficiaries of a new $4 million bursary at the Singapore Management University (SMU) yesterday - and is already paying it forward.

Mr Ng was one of 24 undergraduates to get $5,000 from the Hotel 81-Choo Chong Ngen Bursary, which was launched yesterday.

Budget hotel magnate Choo Chong Ngen, founder and executive chairman of the Hotel 81

chain, donated $2 million, with the Government matching his amount dollar-for-dollar. The money will help needy students pay their tuition fees.

Mr Ng is president of the Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Workshop, which conducts financial literacy workshops for students.

"I have benefited from various scholarships and bursaries throughout my education," he said. "It is my responsibility to contribute back to society however I can."

Ms Leong Jia Qin, 19, another bursary recipient, also hopes to "help people" by working in fund-raising.

Mr Choo's $2 million gift is believed to be the largest single bursary contribution to SMU from a single donor. In 2012, he donated $2 million to an educational bursary for students at Nanyang Technological University. He also donated $2 million to the Singapore Institute of Technology in 2013.

He said: "Through this bursary, I hope that motivated and deserving students are able to realise their aspirations and potential, through a quality university education, without the burden of financial obstacles."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2015, with the headline '$4 million SMU bursary launched'. Print Edition | Subscribe