SINGAPORE: The Hotel 81-Choo Chong Ngen foundation has donated S$2.5 million to five polytechnics to set up a bursary for financially needy students.
The establishment of the foundation and the Hotel 81-Choo Chong Ngen Foundation Endowment Bursary was announced by the foundation on Friday (Nov 10). It was set up under Credit Suisse’s SymAsia Foundation, with the bank as its philanthropy advisor.
Mr Choo Chong Ngen, founder and executive chairman of budget hotel chain Hotel 81, is making the first donation under the foundation with a one-time pledge of S$2.5 million to Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.
“I have always believed in the importance of having a good education. Growing up, I did not have the privilege of furthering my education due to financial difficulties at that time, but it is clear that education can bring a great transformative impact to individuals and to society,” he said.
Each polytechnic will receive S$500,000, and the government will match the donation by 1.5 : 1, bringing the total donation to S$1.25 million for each institution. The total sum contributed to the five polytechnics will amount to S$6.25 million.
By 2020, the bursary is expected to benefit at least 40 Singaporean and Singapore Permanent Resident polytechnic students, said the foundation.
The bursary will be funded by the income generated by the bursary fund. In the interim, Mr Choo will also provide S$15,000 in yearly seed funding to the bursary for each polytechnic for 2017 and 2018 to start supporting students.
This latest donation represents Mr Choo’s continued philanthropic efforts in Singapore’s education sector. In 2012, he donated S$2 million to an educational bursary for students at Nanyang Technological University, S$2 million to the Singapore Institute of Technology in 2013, S$2 million to the Singapore Management University in 2015 and S$2 million to the National University of Singapore in 2016.