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Johnson Lee’s RM1mil gift to old school


One for the album: (From left) Goh and Lee posing for the camera with Heng Ee High School representatives during the handover ceremony of Lee’s RM1mil donation to his alma mater.

One for the album: (From left) Goh and Lee posing for the camera with Heng Ee High School representatives during the handover ceremony of Lee’s RM1mil donation to his alma mater.

GEORGE TOWN: Johnson Lee, the young founder of JJPTR donated RM1mil to his alma mater, Heng Ee High School, in August last year.

Former principal Goh Boon Poh, who is also Heng Ee High School board of directors’ honorary secretary, said Lee, 28, a Penangite, donated the sum towards the building fund for the school’s new branch in Bayan Baru.

“He (Lee) contacted a school teacher and said he wanted to make a contribution after finding out that we were raising funds for the new building.

“When he came to the school (in Jalan Hamilton) to see me, he immediately wrote a cheque for our school building fund. He did not ask for anything in return.

“At that time, I did not know that he was involved in this (JJPTR), but was very surprised because he donated such a huge sum despite his young age,” said Goh yesterday.

Goh said it was common for former students to return to the school to make donations.

“But a donation so big ... this has never happened before.

“He was very humble as well. He said he has money, but was not very rich. He also said since his alma mater needed money, he wanted to help,” he said.

Lee’s RM1mil contribution was used for the building of two modern Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) laboratories at the new school. The school also plans to name the two laboratories after Lee.

“I last met him on Sept 9, last year when we had our school’s 60th anniversary celebration dinner,” said Goh, who was Heng Ee High School principal from 2004 to 2014.

Goh described Lee as a polite, helpful and generous person.

“Students usually find additional maths quite tough and difficult, but Lee always scored almost full marks in the subject in Form 4 and 5.

“He was way ahead of other students. That’s what I noticed about him in school,” he said.

Goh said that Lee’s sister, believed to be a year younger than him, also studied at the school.

“Both went to the United States to further their studies after Form 5,” he recalled.

A check on Lee’s Instagram account showed him to be full of optimism.

The postings at johnsonlee89 usually centred around inspirational quotes. He has 55 postings and 6,298 followers to date.

In his last posting about a week ago, Lee showed a picture of him beating Chinese drums with the caption: “Your overnight success story is always a result of everything you’ve done in your life until that moment.”

Based on his other posts, Lee also appears to enjoy swimming, dining and being in front of the camera.

Dressed in a smart casual attire, he flashed a dazzling smile with a caption: “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway” in one of the photos.

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