Remembering a philanthropist


1 Foon Yew Foundation chairman Siow (second from left) receiving a RM500,000 mock cheque for the fund during the press conference. 2 Kuek (left) in this filepic was known for supporting education.

JOHOR BARU: A documentary on the late Tan Sri Kuek Ho Yao, a philanthropist who was known for his dedication to community development and education in the state, is expected to be released next year.

The hour-long film, which will be produced by a group from the Foon Yew School alumni, would chronicle the life story of the well-respected figure from his childhood right up to his death on Oct 13, 2012 at the age of 96.

Kuek was also Sugar King Robert Kuok’s cousin (their fathers were siblings) and the project’s leader Low Shaw Hui said that the team was currently looking for volunteers including two Caucasians to act as teachers in the documentary.

Kuek was closely associated with Foon Yew primary and high schools and was also one of the founders of Southern University College.

“We hope people especially those who knew the late Tan Sri Kuek will come forward to help us complete the film

“We want to honour his memory including his many contributions to the community through this documentary,” she said during a press conference at the Southern Chinese Press Club.

Low added that a casting call would be held on Aug 15 and 16 to identify talents from as young as three years old to play the role of Kuek.

Apart from the film, Foon Yew Foundation chairman Siow Kwang Hwa said that a special commemorative publication would be produced in honour of the centennial birthday of Kuek in February next year.

“The booklet would depict how he shared his success with the local community,” he said, adding that the publication would be in Mandarin and English.

Siow also said that the Tan Sri Kuek Ho Yao Educational Fund would also be set up to help teachers who fall sick as well as students in need.

“Kuek had contributed more than a million ringgit for education purposes before he passed away and it is only right to establish this fund in his honour.

“We will also conduct forums around the country to guide students in their studies,” he added.

During the conference, the education fund received an additional RM600,000.

Siow said that the efforts to commemorate Kuek’s life was jointly carried out by Foon Yew Alumni Association, Johor Baru Foon Yew Associated Chinese schools, Sekolah Rendah Foon Yew Management Board, SJKC Kuo Kuang Management Board, Foon Yew Alumni KL and Foon Yew High School Alumni (Singapore) Association.

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