PENANG: Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik is thankful to donors who brought in donations for the Penang Utar Building Fund, over and above the RM2.8mil target.
“People, not only from the Chinese community but also the other communities, are handing over their generous contributions – big and small – wherever I go.
“This support is so overwhelming that I’m deeply touched,” he said at the Utar fund-raising dinner by the Bukit Bendera MCA division where he received a mock cheque for RM600,000 from division chief Wong Kam Hoong.
Dr Ling said among the donors were the Federal Government which gave RM50mil, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali who donated RM100,000, his Indian friend who donated RM10mil, Genting group founder Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong and “Sugar King” Robert Kuok Hock Nien who both donated RM20mil, some Malay and Indian donors from Grik whose total contribution totalled RM100,000 and RM14,300 from an Indian function to raise funds for Utar.
“Utar has not only enjoyed immense support from the Chinese community but also from other races,” he said.
Dr Ling said Utar started off with only 400 students last year and had progressed to register some 3,800 students this year.
“Next year, we hope to see some 10,000 students and to cope with the overwhelming registration, we shall have to open up a new campus soon to accommodate at least 5,000 more students,” he said.
Dr Ling also said the struggle to set up and further expand MCA’s dream university must be kept alive by MCA members.
“Utar has helped about 60 Chinese independent schools whose students will be given new opportunities to pursue tertiary education,” he added.
MCA vice-president Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn said Utar would help produce more professionals to meet the current market demand.
In his speech, Wong, who is also Penang MCA chairman, said Utar’s doors would always be open to students from other communities.
He said the Bukit Bendera MCA division had so far organised three fund-raising events for Utar and collected RM800,000.
Also there were Datin Seri Ena Ling, state MCA advisor Tan Sri Dr Sak Cheng Lum and wife Puan Sri Dr Irene Sak, and state MCA deputy chief Datuk Koay Kar Huah.