Almost $1 million raised for Sabah quake fund

Nearly $1 million was raised for the Sabah Earthquake Fund to help the families of three Singaporean breadwinners who died in the June 5 earthquake on Mount Kinabalu and others.

The fund, set up in response to requests from the public, received a total of $982,000 from individuals and companies during its collection period from June 23 to Aug 31.

Part of the fund will also go to the 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. The money will be disbursed progressively over the next few months, after which the fund will be closed and audited, the Ministry of Education and Temasek Foundation said in a joint statement yesterday.

Most of the money will go towards helping 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 and three children. The family is expecting a fourth child.

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

The donations have been channelled into endowment policies for immediate family members, thus providing them with sustainable financial support.

From the donations, $100,000 will be split equally between the Mountain Torq trainers and Sabah mountain guides. Mountain Torq marketing director Quek I-Gek said the fund will also help the families of its two trainers Valerian Joannes, 27, and Ricky Masirin, 28, who died while guiding the pupils.

Ms Quek said: "We are very touched by the big hearts of our Singapore friends, for their thoughts and their generosity.

"The donations will be able to help the trainers rebuild their homes, which were affected by the quake, and also financially support their families' needs."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2015, with the headline 'Almost $1 million raised for Sabah quake fund'. Print Edition | Subscribe