SINGAPORE - Malay MPs from the People's Action Party donated $15,000 today to three student bodies to fund programmes that give back to the community.
Their donation - a yearly Ramadan tradition - will go to 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 Singapore's two arts institutions: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Lasalle College of the Arts.
Last year, the money went to non-profit organisation Club Heal, which helps people with mental illness re-integrate into society.
In his opening speech this evening, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said student bodies in tertiary institutions run many programmes that go beyond the classroom to benefit the wider community. This, he said, is "part and parcel" of Singapore's education system.
In May this year, the NUSMS held a camp for O-level students from Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah to give them tuition in their academic subjects, and opportunities to hone their leadership skills.
CMYK lent Mendaki its creative talents for the self-help group's Project Joy this month. During the mini-carnival for needy Muslim families, they provided entertainment at their face-painting and puppet-making booths.
As for the NTUMS, it worked with Darul Aman Mosque to organise Project Yusra for almost 100 low-income families. They mostly live in Eunos and Bedok.
As part of the project, the society visited the homes of needy families to find out what aid they need. A mini-carnival was also held in June this year, with talks on financial planning for parents.
The donation from the 11 MPs is a way to pay tribute to the efforts of these student bodies, said Dr Yaacob.
"This effort 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 three bodies at the cheque presentation ceremony at Furama City Centre in Chinatown.
Such student-led initiatives, Dr Yaacob later told reporters at the event, can help groom students for leadership positions in the future.
"This is an important part of their education process...Because we're always interested in leadership succession in our community," he said.