School's great: Lee (centre) with (on his left) Liew and Dr Ongkili, posing with teachers and students at the launching of the hostel.
MATUNGGONG: Rural students in this northern Kota Marudu district now have the comfort of a hostel, thanks to the generosity of SP Setia Foundation.
The RM480,000 hostel was built within the grounds of the SK Matunggong by the foundation whose help was sought by Kota Marudu MP Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.
And yesterday, Dr Ongkili, who is the Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, had the pleasure of officially launching the hostel.
Witnessing the simple ceremony was SP Setia Foundation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye and the foundation’s chief executive officer Capt (Rtd) Datuk Liew Siong Sing.
Dr Ongkili thanked SP Setia for its gift to the students, saying the community project would help ease the burden of about 80 students who could now live at the hostel which is within the school grounds.
“Some of the pupils are from feeder villages, which are about a two-hour walk to school.
“Partnerships with organisations like the SP Setia Foundation can make a big difference in the lives of our schoolchildren,” he added in his speech.
The SK Matunggong hostel is the seventh rural hostel built in the Kota Marudu parliamentary constituency by the private sector and with NGO funding, while three more hostels are in the process of being built by the Albukhary Foundation.
In his speech, Lee expressed confidence that the hostel would provide the students with a better environment to focus on their studies, adding that class attendance would also improve.
“Education is equally important for rural children and SP Setia is happy to be involved in such a noble initiative.
“In fact, this is the first time SP Setia Foundation is sponsoring a rural hostel, which goes to prove our commitment towards improving the lives of the communities, including those in Sabah,” he added.