For more than thirty years now, Sunway Group has played a crucial role in Malaysian education, bringing quality and affordable higher learning to our community and country. We have significantly changed the education landscape, having pioneered and popularised industry-changing developments such as the widely acclaimed twinning programmes in Malaysia.
To the Group, however, our success in the field of education means much more than university rankings and enrolment numbers. As a global citizen, the Group’s involvement in education extends far beyond the business realm. Our key tenets which include respect for any and all fellow global citizens, regardless of race, religion or creed bequeathed us a universal sympathy beyond the barriers of nationality. As a global citizen, our home is the world, and our religion is to do good.
Jeffrey Cheah Foundation
The building of our first foundation to make our global citizenship stance concrete started with the Sunway Education Trust Fund which was established in 1997 for the purpose of managing and administering its share of proceeds from the institutions for the benefit of present and future students; be it through reinvestment into the institutions or for the disbursement of scholarships and research grants.
Through this fund, more than RM130 million in scholarships have been awarded to more than 16,000 deserving students in various fields of study. In recognition of his many contributions to society, our founder, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah has had conferred upon him numerous accolades, appointments and awards, including the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and most recently, as one of Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy 2009.
The Sunway Education Trust Fund has now been consolidated and has officially become the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation. The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation gives to society through sustainable, quality education, improving and enriching lives and contributing to our national agenda of becoming a progressive, high-income nation.
Structured such that these assets are held in perpetuity, the Foundation aims to continue Tan Sri’s vision and legacy of giving and in time become the catalytic vehicle for others to contribute to the shared cause of education.
With the advent of this special purpose vehicle, Sunway Group’s four education institutions are transferred to the Foundation; namely Sunway University, Monash University Sunway Campus, Sunway International School and the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Governed by a distinguished board of trustees, the Foundation aims to safeguard these schools and administer their proceeds for the sole purpose of providing and sustaining quality education for present and future generations of students. In line with the spirit of the Foundation, a good education at the highest level should not be denied to those deserving; and for those that come from disadvantaged backgrounds, there should be a means, through scholarships, for them to succeed.
This unique structure is a first-of-its-kind in Malaysia for private education institutions, modelled after some of the oldest and most eminent universities in the world. Our hope is simple and fundamental – we want to nurture the seeds of wisdom so that we can do more for kindness, forhonour, for education, for the betterment of the human race, and the development of character in young men and women.
School Restoration and Adoption Programme
The Group has contributed RM12.5 million to public schools to date. Notable restorations and donations include:
Sekolah Kebangsaan Convent Klang
SRK Convent Klang underwent major restoration and repair works thanks to resources sponsored by the Group. The project was implemented to ensure that the convent, which was built in 1924, remains a safe and conducive studying environment for present and future students. The restoration was also an important measure to help maintain its structure and status as one of the important landmarks in the Royal City of Klang. The official opening ceremony of the refurbished school was graced by the royal presence of HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj, Sultan of Selangor.
SRK and SMK Bandar Sunway
The Sunway Group undertook the building of the abandoned SMK Bandar Sunway at a cost of RM3 million in 1995. The school also houses special students with special needs or students who are termed as slow learners. The Group continues to sponsor both the primary and secondary schools on painting of halls for special school and computer class, building of shaded walkway, building of 6ft retaining walls, painting of mural, cutting down trees, etc. More recently, JCF contributed RM150,000 to construct a Multipurpose Facility, Dataran PIBG for SK Bandar Sunway.
SJK (C) Chee Wen
Sunway contributed cash to the building of the school’s multipurpose hall, in 2007. Sunway contributed RM3 million to building the multipurpose hall for SJK (C) Chee Wen. The Group is collaborating with the school to organize a charity dinner in order to raise funds for the school’s building and upgrading works.
SMJK Yuk Choy, Ipoh
The Group contributed cash to a building fund set up for the primary school in Perak to preserve the architectural heritage inherent in the 101 year old building and to upgrade its educational facilities.
SJK (C) Gunung Hijau, Pusing
A cash contribution has been made to help with the restoration of the school.
Job Placement Programme
Sunway Group runs a Job Training Programme endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia. Special needs students from the Sunway-sponsored SMK Bandar Sunway are trained on basic work-related skills and ethics. Upon graduation, these students are presented with certificates of accomplishment to seek employment, where they are able to progress as independent members of society’s workforce. Selected students are also employed in various Sunway subsidiaries. The training programme is in its 6th year as of 2011 and 60% of graduated students have been fully employed by organisations including Sunway.
To encourage self-development through sports, the Group holds CR bowling, in collaboration with SMK Bandar Sunway which encourages the special needs children to participate in the sport in order to qualify for the Anugerah Remaja Perdana Rakan Muda and Special Olympics Selangor. The special children of SMK Bandar Sunway who participated in this are between 14 and 19 years of age. About 30 students train in this programme at the Sunway Pyramid Bowl for a duration of 23 sessions. The CSR Bowling commenced in year 2006 and to date, we have trained about 150 special students.
NST Read the English Newspaper
This program was launched in August 2005 with the aim of bridging the urban-rural divide among our student populations with regards to English language acquisition, information access and skills development. Research has shown that students who read a newspaper daily score better grades in English language examinations than those who do not. This is a finding that has been reinforced time and again through surveys carried out at schools that are under the sponsorship program.
The Group identified seven schools to receive complimentary copies of the NST everyday as part of its participation in this program. The identified schools are:
- SJK (C) Gunung Hijau, Pusing, Batu Gajah, Perak
- SMK Bandar Sunway
- SRK Bandar Sunway
- SMK Convent Klang
- SJK (C) Chee Wen, Subang
- SMK Tambun, Ipoh
- SRK Convent Klang
Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speaker Series
This initiative brings in top local and international speakers in their fields of expertise, in a series of free talks held at Sunway University Campus. The series covers a variety of crucial issues in today’s global world, with the objective of elevating standards of education and awareness, proliferating thought leadership to build a high-quality knowledge-based economy. The Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speaker Series has been active since 2005 and has brought in more than 40 speakers since the inception of the series. Each event draws in crowds from the public averaging 200 persons per session. The series harness the power of ideas to change attitudes, evolve lives and move the world bringing in internationally acclaimed movers and doers to bring inspiration to our communities to facilitate knowledge transfer.