Chinese rubber trader lauded for aiding Tamil primary school on his land

Chinese rubber trader lauded for aiding Tamil primary school on his land

78-year-old has not collected rent from school, but even pays for its quit rent.

A RUBBER trader, Yek Dong Ping, from Sitiawan, Perak is testimony to what being a true Malaysian is all about. When he purchased a plot of agricultural land for RM330,000 in Ayer Tawar 30 years ago, there was already a Tamil primary school there.

However, Yek not only allowed SJKT Ayer Tawar to continue operating, he also did not collect any rent. Instead, he even paid the quit rent for the school, which occupies half an acre of the land.

According to reports in Sin Chew Daily, the 78-year-old trader said he supported the school so Indian children would be able to learn their mother tongue. Last year, the school approached Yek to buy the land as they wanted to expand the school and also refurbish some dilapidated classrooms.

The school wanted to organise a fundraising campaign for this and also apply for a government allocation.

Though the value of the land was about RM200,000 per acre, Yek agreed to sell close to three acres for only RM400,000 so the land could continue to be used for education. “I will also donate RM50,000 for the fundraising, so the price of the land will only be RM350,000,” he said.

On top of that, Yek again donated another RM50,000 when he found out the school was having problems raising funds, bringing the price of the land down to RM300,000. Yek has since won praise and admiration from the school, especially its two vice headmistresses.

He has been paying the quit rent and has not been collecting any rent for the last 30 years from the school, which was set up in 1938. Yek would also sponsor school activities and even deliver mandarin oranges during Chinese New Year.

“I am not rich, but I can still afford to pay the quit rent,” he said.

Most of the students at the school are children of rubber tappers.

“I am merely returning all the support I have been receiving from Indian rubber tappers,” added Yek.

– The Vibes, December 13, 2023

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