Sabah Earthquake Fund raises nearly S$1 million for families of victims

Sabah Earthquake Fund raises nearly S$1 million for families of victims

A total of S$982,000 was raised for the dependents of Singaporeans who died, as well as the trainers and guides in Sabah who died or had their livelihoods affected by the earthquake on Jun 5.

SINGAPORE: Nearly S$1 million was raised in a fund set up to assist families of Singaporeans who died in the Sabah earthquake in June, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Temasek said in a joint news release on Wednesday (Dec 9).

On Jun 5, an earthquake struck Mount Kinabalu where 23 Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) students and eight school staff were visiting on an expedition. Ten Singaporeans died, including seven TKPS students and two teachers. A Singaporean adventure guide who accompanied the students also died.

The Sabah Earthquake fund raised a total of S$982,000 from individuals and companies during its collection period from Jun 23 to Aug 31.

Part of the fund will go towards helping the dependents of the trainers and guides in Sabah who died or had their livelihoods affected by the earthquake, the news release said.

DONATIONS DISBURSED BY MOE, TEMASEK

A committee comprising representatives appointed by MOE and the Temasek Foundation disbursed the donations according to beneficiaries specified by the donors. Donations with no specific beneficiaries were allocated by the committee based on the needs of the families, the news release said.

Temasek staff volunteers also helped to structure the donations into insurance policies for dependents of the three Singaporean adults who died in the earthquake – teachers Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed and Terrence Loo and adventure guide Daanish Amran – to provide them with “sustainable financial support”. The policies will provide yearly payouts, with a lump sum payout upon maturity for their future needs.

A total of S$100,000 in donations will be disbursed equally between the Mountain Torq trainers and Sabah mountain guides. Of this, S$50,000 will be given to Mountain Torq, the operator of the Via Ferrata on Mount Kinabalu, to support its trainers and staff. The recipients include the five trainers (including the late Mr Valerian Joannes and Mr Ricky Masirin through their families) who accompanied TKPS students on Mount Kinabalu.

The remaining S$50,000 will be channelled to the Mount Kinabalu Earthquake Disaster Fund launched by Sabah Parks. The fund will support the Sabah guides whose livelihoods have been affected by the earthquake, as well as those who, directly or indirectly, assisted in the safe evacuation of the TKPS students in the aftermath of the earthquake.

The cheque presentation to Sabah Parks and Mountain Torq will take place at a thank you reception in Sabah in early 2016, according to the news release.

The distribution of the fund will be made progressively over the next few months, after which the Sabah Earthquake Fund will be closed and audited.

Source: CNA/cy

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