Sabah earthquake fund raises $560,000, deadline for donations extended to Aug 31

Tributes and flowers sit at a tribute site set up in Tanjong Katong Primary School, for the victims of the Sabah earthquake, on June 9, 2015.
Tributes and flowers sit at a tribute site set up in Tanjong Katong Primary School, for the victims of the Sabah earthquake, on June 9, 2015.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE- A fund set up by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to help Singaporean victims of the Sabah earthquake has raised about $560,000 to date.

The closing date for donations has been extended to Aug 31 from July 22 to allow more people to contribute to the fund.

The "Sabah Earthquake Fund" was set up in June in response to requests from the public to help the families of the late Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) teachers Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed and Terrence Loo, and Camp Challenge instructor Muhammad Daanish Amran.

They were among 10 victims from Singapore, mostly TKPS pupils, who were killed during the quake.

The fund may also help mountain guides and trainers whose livelihoods were affected by the June 5 quake, including trainers from Mountain Torq that operates the Via Ferrata trail used by the TKPS group.

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. The family is expecting a 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.

MOE handles the collection of donations to this fund, which will be administered by the Temasek Foundation. MOE and Temasek Foundation also set up a committee to oversee how funds are allocated.

Donations can now also be made through DBS self-service channels, internet banking, mobile banking, DBS/POSB ATM and DBS Paylah!.

All donations received via the DBS self-service channels will go to "General Donation", which the committee will allocate to the beneficiaries, MOE wrote on the fund's website.

Previously, donations could only be made by cheque or going personally to the MOE building in Buona Vista.

Committee member Gerard Ee told The Straits Times that the deadline has been extended to allow members of the public to make use of the more convenient methods to donate to the fund.

Mr Ee, who is chairman of charity governance organisation Charity Council, said he is heartened by the donations that have poured in.

"Singaporeans have shown their generosity. The donations have mostly been from individuals," he said.

For more information, go to ww.moe.gov.sg/sabahearthquakefund.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg