Bursary sees more go beyond O levels

The Straits Times | Mar 21, 2000

The scheme initiated by MP Peh benefits about 100 students from Primary 1 to university each year

MORE students from Geylang West constituency are studying beyond the O and A levels due to a bursary scheme initiated by their MP.

In the past, most residents preferred their children to work after their examinations, MP Peh Chin Hua said on Friday.
"They did not encourage their children to continue with tertiary education as they needed them to supplement the family income," he said.

Mr Peh, who is an MP in the Jalan Besar GRC, decided to do something to change the mindset - he set up a bursary to help them.

From a modest $20,000 in 1998, the bursary has ballooned to $150,000. The money came from business and clan associations.

About 100 students from Primary 1 to university receive bursaries each year. Now, Mr Peh hopes to extend the scheme to all Singaporeans, with the help of a foundation.

"Those who are fortunate should try to help the not-so-fortunate."

He hopes to raise $10 million in five or six years for the proposed foundation.

Mr Peh's media briefing was held ahead of a ministerial community visit on April 2 by Mr Lim Boon Heng, Minister without Portfolio.

Mr Peh also praised the Geylang West community.

"We are not a rich constituency. More than 60 per cent of our residents live in one-, two- and three-room flats," he said.

"Nevertheless, we are rich in community spirit."

Mr Peh will be donating some of his Chinese paintings to Pertapis, a Malay-Muslim welfare organisation, to help it raise funds.

"Some donors prefer paintings to plaques as they can hang them on walls.

"I'm happy that I'm able to use my hobby to help people."