The late Mr Khoo Teck Quee was a staunch believer in the importance of a good education and he strived to give his children the best education he could afford. He was a rice merchant and investor who led a frugal lifestyle. Both Mr Khoo and his late wife, Mdm Tan Phek Wan, contributed to charities and the family continues this tradition of giving.
“Our father started making donations to schools such as the Anglo-Chinese School and Methodist Girls’ School towards their building funds or providing bursaries and scholarships for their students. Our mother was particularly caring and was touched by those around her. She was always worrying for them, and helped in whatever way she could. Every year, she would donate to various charities, mainly in the healthcare sector. Some of the beneficiaries included the National Kidney Foundation, Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic and Thong Chai Medical Institution,” says Ms Khoo Whee Luan.
In honour of their late parents, the Khoo family: Mr Khoo Hye Tin, Mr Khoo Chwee Tin (’71), Ms Khoo Hoon Gim, Ms Khoo Whee Leng, Ms Khoo Whee Luan and Ms Quik Lee Lee (daughter-in-law) have made a gift of $1 million to establish the Khoo Teck Quee and Tan Phek Wan Bursary at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
On their collective decision to give to NUS, Ms Khoo explains, “Our family believes in the importance of an education with equal opportunities for everyone. Through bursaries, financially needy students are able to further their tertiary education and NUS is a well-established institution to enable this.”
Ms Khoo shares her family values, which she and her siblings have largely lived by. “Our parents valued thriftiness and often told us ‘waste not, want not’. Wastage was frowned upon. There were few luxuries. Even though we did not lack in essentials, we led a rather austere but happy lifestyle,” she says.
The Khoo family hopes that the recipients of the Bursary will go on and help others when they are able to. “Work hard to achieve your dreams. When you can, use your talents to give back to society at least once. It does not need to be a huge effort or involve lots of money. Every contribution is significant. You will find it so rewarding that you will continue to give.”
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