Assunta school’s new block named after YTL’s wife

The Star, Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Story and photo by SALINA KHALID

THE Puan Sri Kai Yong Yeoh building, a new block of SMK Assunta in Petaling Jaya will be ready by the end of next year.

The school’s principal, Lim Leng Pin, said construction work on the four-storey building would start before the end of this year.

“We have collected RM1.4mil and it is enough for the building itself. We are waiting for the tender to be awarded, and work can start shortly after that.

“The building should be ready by the end of next year,” she said.

Lim said the new block would house four Living Skills workshops, library and resource centre, audio-visual rooms, computer labs and canteen for the 2,300 students.

She said the new building was necessary to meet the growing Information Technology demands.

Lim said that part of the money collected would be used to purchase equipment.

The amount was collected from the school’s fund-raising activities and from corporate and individual donations.

Last August, the school managed to collect RM257,257 and another RM50,000 from the Assunta Carnival in February 2001.

Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay’s (YTL) family donated RM700,000 towards the fund.

She said the school would need another RM600,000 to fully equip the new block. This will include the purchase of books for the library, equipment for the workshop, and constructing audio-visual rooms and computer labs.

However, she said the fund-raising drive would be launched next year.

“We have done enough for this year, and parents have also contributed enough,” he added.

“We will wait until the new batch of students come and ask their parents to pitch in too,” she added.

“After all, they (the new students) would benefit from the facilities longer than the present batch of students,” she said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Puan Sri Kai Yong Yeoh building at the school compound on Friday.

Also present were the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman Datin Kathleen Yeoh, Board of Directors chairman Sister Enda Ryan, Puan Sri Kai Yong Yeoh and her husband Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, donors, ex-students and parents.

Kai Yong led other major contributors in the brick-laying and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Sister Enda, who is also the school’s founder, said: “She is a fitting role model for the Assunta girls.

“Not only is she a credit to the teaching profession, she is also a woman who has spent a lifetime managing the demands of her family and career in an exemplary manner while finding time for community service.”

“It is indeed an honour and privilege for the school to have the new wing named after her,” she said.

Raised in Klang, Kai Yong started out as a mathematics teacher at the Chung Hwa High School in Seremban after her graduation from the special teachers training programme at the school in the early 1950s.

She married Yeoh in 1953. After her marriage, she taught at the Aik Tee Primary School in Kuala Selangor where she remained until 1970 before moving to Petaling Jaya with her family.

She was also a teacher at Jalan Davidson Chinese Primary School in Kuala Lumpur until her optional retirement in 1977.

Despite having to teach full-time, Kai Yong brought up her seven children virtually single-handedly as her husband spent much time away from home.

Even now, she provides maths tuition to her 27 grandchildren.

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