School urged to set up endowment fund

KUANTAN: Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh has proposed that SM Chong Hwa set up an endowment fund to generate a source of funding for the school’s development.

Fuziah said by offering a stake to the public, the Chinese independent school could then register with the Finance Ministry to get a tax exemption.

“This is similar to the concept of waqf in Islam. There are many methods to look for funding, among which is crowdfunding.

“For example, we can ask the public to buy land by square feet for the school,” said the Kuantan MP during her visit to the school here recently.

SM Chong Hwa management board chairman Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah asked that donations from individuals or companies be exempted from income tax.

Pheng said an exemption would encourage more people to donate.

“Chinese independent schools do not receive full subsidies from the government. Thus, many of these schools hold massive fundraising activities to develop its infrastructure so teaching and learning can be conducted smoothly,” he said.

Fuziah said the era of the government providing everything was over and stakeholders have to get involved if they want to see the growth of education.

“As local leaders, we can get companies to do corporate social responsibility programmes for the school by contributing needed items.

“There are many creative ways other than just asking for donations. We have to work hard for what we believe in,” Fuziah said.

Pheng said building the school cost RM40mil while the next phase would cost an estimated RM20mil.

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