CHIEF Minister Chow Kon Yeow has called upon alumni from various schools across the state to lend a hand in his administration’s efforts of maintaining the well-being of the schools in Penang.
He said this during the Old Frees Association’s 98th anniversary dinner at The Wembley – A St Giles Hotel in George Town today.
“Realising the significance of our schools, especially the ones which are steeped in history and traditions, the Penang government has never lost sight of doing whatever we can to ensure these schools are well-equipped and remain in good conditions to provide a conducive learning environment for the students.
“It remains the state government’s objective that our historic and elite schools, with Penang Free School definitely one of them, will mould the next generation of fine men and women, who will play meaningful and significant roles in the future of our state.
“Hence, I look forward to the emergence of future PFS alumni, who will certainly help our state in scaling to greater heights, similar to the contributions of Old Frees’ like our very own Father of Independence, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, late Dr Wu Lien-Teh (medicine) and others,” Chow said during his speech at the anniversary dinner today.
He also added that tonight’s anniversary dinner was to commemorate PFS’s 205th year of existence since its inception in 1816.
“What started off as an exclusive old boys’ club for alumni in 1923, OFA has come a long way from initially only having 100 members, to some 1,500 now, comprising of both the faculty and alumni.
“PFS, as the oldest English-medium school in the Southeast Asia, has ever since been producing top-notch talents across various fields, both locally and internationally.
“The recognition and success of these Old Frees clearly show the high standards of quality education that is being provided by the dedicated educators at PFS, even until today.
“It is a school for scholars, sportsmen and gentlemen alike and of course, also for women of substance who are equally successful,” Chow added.
Separately, besides pioneering in academic excellence, PFS is also widely known for their sports involvement, particularly in state-level competitions, and often headlining the news.
“This, I believe, strikes a chord in the hearts of many Old Frees, because OFA organises annual games, a tradition that has been in tact for a long time.
“This has proven to be another good platform for the present school-going Frees to bond with the ex-Frees,” Chow added.
In relation to sports and recreation in the state, he added that the Penang government will continue to stay committed to ensuring the welfare of its athletes are protected, mainly under the Penang Athletes Career and Education (PACE) programme.
Chow also extended his heartiest appreciation to OFA for pooling together resources and donating medical equipment to the Penang Hospital during the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak in the state.
“This is most commendable and on behalf of the state, I applaud your efforts in helping your fellow Penangites who were in need during this unprecedented crisis,” he said.
Also present during the anniversary dinner was OFA president Andrew Lim Chong Huat.
Story by Kevin Vimal
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud