Penang CM Shows His Witticism At School Hall Opening

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (4th from left) and Deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying (5th from left).

By Jeff Yong

GEORGE TOWN: When Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow took to the stage at SMK Westlands’ fund raising luncheon, he quickly showed his wit by saying that fund raising functions are usually held at night but the school chose to hold a luncheon instead because the organising committee wanted to highlight an important point: the hall needed air-conditioning equipment.

“I could also feel the heat but more so from the (state ) elections heat,” he quipped as he spoke amidst the midday heat and in reference to the impending dissolution of the Penang state legislative assembly at the end of this month.

And the gambit by the organising committee led by school principal Puan Nor Hanita Mohd Hanapiah seemed to have worked as Lim Hui Ying, the Member of Parliament for Tanjong and Deputy Education Minister who was also present at the function, said she would use her MP’s allocation to assist the school.

Chow also revealed that of late his office had been receiving a lot of requests for assistance in air-conditioning equipment.

As such, he urged the education ministry to look into the issue of climate resilience for schools and provide them with the required funding so that students can study under better conditions.

In his speech, Chow stressed that education must be prioritised as it remains a key to success and is of paramount importance for a person to excel in life.

“For instance, where would we be now if we did not receive our education? Education plays a crucial role as our neighbouring Asean countries are currently competing with us in terms of development and foreign investments.

“If we don’t strive to improve our education level, other countries in the region might leapfrog ahead of us in the future. Hence, education is pivotal to lift our country to greater heights,” he said.

Lim, in her speech, concurred with Chow on the importance of education in achieving success and that education would be key in helping individuals get on with life.

As such, she said her ministry had extended the closing date to the end of this month for submission to sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exam.

Construction of the school hall began in 2015 and was completed in 2021. It was formerly an open air basketball court. 

It is estimated that some RM450,000 had been raised from the Penang state government, the education ministry and well-wishers.

SMK Westlands or Westlands Secondary School started in 1957 and some years ago it took on the tagline of “School for Gentlemen”  to motivate its students.

— WE