Sabah quake: More than $43,000 raised for family of late Tanjong Katong Primary teacher

Friends of the late Tanjong Katong Primary School teacher Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed have set up an online fundraising drive to help his family. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GIVEASIA.ORG
Friends of the late Tanjong Katong Primary School teacher Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed have set up an online fundraising drive to help his family. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GIVEASIA.ORG

SINGAPORE - A website set up by friends of the late Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) teacher Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed, has raised more than $43,000 in less than 24 hours.

All proceeds from the "Remembering Ghazi" page will go to Mr Ghazi's wife, who is also a teacher, and their three children, with the youngest being just a year old.

The organisers have decided to end the campaign early on Thursday at 3.30pm so that they can keep the donations "within a manageable amount".

The administrative aspects of the fundraiser will be managed by a colleague of Mr Ghazi's wife, Mr Chua Wee Nam, who is the Head of Department for Discipline at East View Secondary School.

The group also hopes "to direct this positive energy to a formal charity organisation" to collect donations for others affected by the Mount Kinabalu tragedy.

They also requested the public to respect the privacy of the family.

The campaign was started by a group of about 20 hockey and football players who knew Mr Ghazi, 35, through school, university or clubs, said one of the campaign organisers, Mr Hoirul Hafiidz.

The group had kept each other updated via a mobile group chat when news broke that Mr Ghazi, who was leading pupils up Mount Kinabalu when the 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck, was missing.

When Mr Ghazi's body was identified on Wednesday through fingerprinting and personal belongings, they "decided to do something to help instead of just talking about it", Mr Hoirul said.

Mr Ghazi was remembered by friends, former students and colleagues on Wednesday at the TKPS tribute centre.

He was an avid hockey player who coached the TKPS hockey team, influencing at least one student to take up the sport and later become a national player.

The June 5 earthquake that struck Sabah claimed the lives of 10 people from Singapore - seven pupils and two teachers from TKPS, and the adventure guide who accompanied them on their learning journey to Mount Kinabalu.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat expressed his condolences in a Facebook post on Wednesday, and said that the opening hours of the tribute site at TKPS will be extended by two hours to 9pm. Thursday (June 11) is the last day for members of the public to pay their respects to the victims of the earthquake.

 

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nadiahmn@sph.com.sg