New four-storey RM3 million SJK (C) Kin Kiau Kinarut building launched

 

By PAUL MU

KINARUT: The new four-storey SJK (C) Kin Kiau building here costing RM3 million was officially launched yesterday.

The new building named after prominent property developer and philanthropist Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen would now replace the ageing 89-year-old single storey buildings which could not cope with the increasing number of pupils.

The new building officiated by Consul General of China in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide consisting of 12 classrooms for primary one to six can fit 400 pupils and 27 teachers. The old building would now be used as a pupils’ counselling and rehabilitation centre.

Susan, who is also the managing director of WSG Group and has developed the new Kinarut township with housing and commercial centre, said the school was founded by the Chinese community at Kinarut in 1930.

“In the early days, the Chinese population in Kinarut township was very small but they were determined to establish the school despite their poverty and hardship because they wanted to keep the Chinese education and culture alive.

SJK Kin Kiau is the hope and future of the local Chinese community to preserve our mother tongue education. “The school has sustained to this day owing to the donations and effort of the Chinese people,” she said.

The Chinese consulate has also sponsored RM20,000 to build the teachers’ room in the new school block.

She said the consulate’s support reflected the recognition of China towards Chinese education undertaken by overseas Chinese.

“It signifies the strong friendship between China and Sabah, particularly with the coming 70th anniversary celebration of the founding of China on Oct 1,” she said.

Susan said the new building served to provide a more conducive learning environment for the pupils. She commended the school for its commitment to Chinese education even though 90 per cent of pupils at SJK Kin Kiau were bumiputera.

“The school believes that having bumiputeras learn our Chinese education will enhance mutual understanding, which in turn, promotes unity and national integration,” she said.

Susan is confident that the number of Chinese students at the school would increase to 30 per cent in the near future because her company has built more than 1,000 homes in Kinarut.

She recalled her first housing project named River Park in the township in 2007 when there was only a single Chinese buyer out of the 200 residential units.

In WSG Group’s second project, Rose Garden with 400 units of houses, the number of Chinese buyers has increased to 50 per cent.

“Nowadays, Chinese buyers constitute 70 per cent in our latest project, The Palm Condominium.

“This trend indicates that the Chinese community are shifting to Kinarut and therefore I believe Chinese students in SJK Kin Kiau will rise to 30 per cent soon,” she said.

Susan added that Kinarut was a tourism spot with beautiful sea views and train ride for tourists to visit the century-old town and the historical Tien Nam Shi Temple.

Also present were the school board of governors chairman Fung Mui Wing, Sabah Education Department representative Chai Ket Min and headmistress Mok Lee Yen.

 
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New Sabah Times