Concert in support of Chinese schools marks 30th year

Roland (left) presenting a painting of two koi fish, symbolising Tiger and Sin Chew, to Kah Woh as a token of appreciation at the Tiger-Sin Chew CECC event. The painting is by artist Freddie Wong (right). — SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

For 30 years, a collaboration between a Chinese newspaper company and a brewery has been providing support for Chinese-language schools.

Initiated by Heineken Malaysia Bhd, the Tiger-Sin Chew Chinese Education Charity Concert (CECC) has been held annually to enhance educational institutions and facilities.

Since its establishment in 1994, this enduring collaboration between Tiger Beer and Sin Chew Daily has raised over RM407mil, benefiting more than 540 schools nationwide.

Heineken Malaysia managing director Roland Bala said: “At the core of the Tiger-Sin Chew CECC’s 30-year journey is the spirit of unity for a good cause.

“We understand that our prosperity is intertwined with that of our people, the planet and surrounding communities.

“We are dedicated to giving back, supporting and actively engaging with local communities to create a better future for all,” he said at the launch of this year’s CECC at The Tavern, Kuala Lumpur.

In his speech, Roland said RM19mil was raised in 2022 and RM26mil last year.

This year, he said the aim was to raise RM15mil through 10 concerts.

“Set between July and October, these concerts will benefit 11 institutions across Peninsular Malaysia, including Chinese secondary and primary schools.

“The funds will be allocated towards enhancing school facilities to enrich students’ learning experience.

“We hope that this effort will secure a sustainable future for Chinese education while honouring past advocates’ contributions,” said Roland.

Explaining the emphasis on Chinese education, Sin Chew Daily executive director and chief executive officer Koo Cheng highlighted its vital role in maintaining the cultural identity of the Chinese community.

“The Chinese language embodies cultural values and artistic expression beyond mere communication.

“Unlike conventional schools, Chinese schools intertwine cultural elements into language instruction, prioritising the understanding of cultural historical contexts of phrases over superficial meanings.

“This unique approach empowers students to explore and preserve the rich culture of the Chinese community,” he said.

Deputy Education Minister Wong Kah Woh, who was present at the launch, extended appreciation to the two companies, acknowledging their support that had positively impacted nearly half of Malaysia’s 1,303 schools.

“Through their contributions, education standards have been elevated, and a sense of community solidarity nurtured,” he said.

Kah Woh expressed optimism for Chinese education in Malaysia, anticipating the Education Department’s commitment to equitable policies to advance multicultural education nationwide.

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