MESSAGE No. 4/2012

Dear fellow alumni,

PROGRESS & HAPPENINGS – OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2012

  1. The 3rd Quarter of this Committee’s 1st Year of office is drawing to a close. I would like to update you on developments during this period.

[A] Methodist Education Cause & Inter-Alumni Associations Relationship

2.1   After 2 years or so of planning and pre-organization, The Federation Of Methodist Schools Alumni Associations, Malaysia (FMSAAM) came into being recently. The following Ipoh ACS alumni have been elected to hold office in FMSAAM:

Lean Meng Seong                  Deputy President

Saw Bee Lee                           Assistant Treasurer

Dato’ Narayanan Kanan      Committee Member

Gong Wee Ning                      Hon. Auditor

2.2   We played the leading role in drafting the recent response of FMSAAM to the Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025). It was emailed on 30th November 2012 to the authorities.

[B] Alumni Ties and Interactions

3.1   Thanks to the initiative of Dr. Yip Yeng Yoong, Mr. James Lim, Ms. Rina Lean and several others, our Singapore Chapter took shape in October this year.

3.2    A month later, Dr. Anthony Pun OAM happily announced from Sydney the formation of our Australia Chapter.

3.3    Bets are now on as to when our Vancouver and Toronto Chapters will take shape. Judging from the enthusiasm, it will certainly not be too far away.

3.4    Our Alumni Website kicked off in October the first of a series of stories on “Our Leading Voyagers”, beginning with a feature on Dato’ Professor Lam Sai Kit.  The series highlights the significant contributions made by our Old Salts (there are many) to our community and our nation. We look forward to receiving many more such pieces. These will inspire our young ACSians in school.

3.5    Our monthly informal gatherings have become an entrenched occurrence.

3.6    In November, one of our Old Salts, Major (Retired) Ng Chun Hoo generously invited us to his 200-acre homestead venture in Karak to partake of the luscious fruits harvest and to try our hands at landing fish from his well-stocked ponds.

3.7   Following that he offered to supply us durians to hold an alumni fest on Tuesday, 11th December 2012 at the Damansara Heights residence of Mr. Gong Wee Ning. The secondary purpose is to raise funds for our Website. Thanks to alumni like them our alumni interactions are now varied (not just confined to our Annual Dinner), comparatively effortless in their organization and economical.

3.8   We are saddened by the recent passing on of an outstanding Old Salt, Mr. Hong Weng Kuen (Standard 9, 1941) at the age of 90. Mr. Hong was a distinguished sportsman and had done much for our Alumni cause (please see our Alumni Website obituary).

3.9   Not many of us would be aware that Mr. Hong was instrumental in introducing the late Mr. Teerath Ram to his employer, Sir Run Run Shaw in the early ‘60s. Mr. Ram followed up well and obtained a generous donation that helped to make our school swimming pool a reality.

[C] Our Alumni Website

4.1   Our Website continues to draw strong readership interest and repeated visits. As at 9.15 am this morning we have 7655 unique users and 28,025 “hits”. This attained barely 8 months after the official launch. Our Website is fulfilling its role of keeping our alumni informed and in touch.

4.2   The Website Project Team regularly expands and updates our Website contents to keep up interest. They also take it upon themselves to raise funds for the Website without relying on the meager coffers of our Alumni Association for even a single cent. This is most helpful. Our limited financial resources can thus be allocated to other needs. The EXCO wishes to commend the team for their exemplary service and sacrifice of time.

4.3    It is no easy task to raise funds. This quarter we only obtained RM588. Mr. Lean Chee Seng (Upper Sixth, 1965) contributed RM 500. Participants of the 11th December Durian Fest in Kuala Lumpur donated RM88. Thank you, Mr. Lean and all those at the Durian Fest for playing your part.

4.4    The total funds collected so far (all placed under the custody of our Alumni Association) stand at RM 17,832.95. We are still 28.67% short. We need to meet our funding target of RM25000 urgently. This will allow us to run our Website right up to September 2015 without any financial concern. We will be free to direct our attention to other projects.

[D] Updating Our Members Data

5.1   We urgently need both the mobile phone numbers and the email addresses of our alumni members. Such information is crucial to achieving instantaneous and superior communication links with our alumni. It will also help us to reduce paper and postage costs. They were not obtained before. An exercise has commenced to do so. Thus far, we have attained 36% success rate.

5.2   We will be sending out appeals shortly through our Website and by mail. We request our concerned members or those who know them to come forward promptly with these details so that we can complete the exercise early. The information given to us will be handled at our end with utmost discretion and on a highly confidential basis.

[E] Administration and Finance

6.1   We paid off the remaining shop house term loan in November. We are freed from loan repayment burden.

6.2   Operating expenses are rigorously kept to the bare minimum, largely confined to part-time accounting, secretarial and tax advisory charges and to fund the few awards given each year to students who excel in sports and academic studies.

6.3   The one-off life membership fees collected from the large numbers of new members this year were able to cover the above outgoings. We signed up 74 new members, an all-time record.

6.4    Our financial position will be strengthened further once we succeed in leasing out the ground floor of our shop premises.

6.5   The necessary changes to our Constitution are being finalized and will be presented at our EXCO in January next year for consideration. Thereafter we will table the endorsed amendments at the March 2013 Annual General Meeting for adoption.

[F] Acknowledgement

7.1   What we set out to do to strengthen our Alumni and our esprit-de-corps require a high level of voluntary work, of good quality and at a very fast tempo. I wish to thank our Patron, the Trustees, the Hon. Legal Advisers, the EXCO members and the recent new volunteers for their time, their unstinting service and support. Without these, we could never have done what we seek to achieve. We look forward with enthusiasm to an even more gratifying year ahead.

7.2   Finally but not least, on behalf of the Committee, I would like to wish every one happy holidays, Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.

7.3   We look forward to seeing you, especially the more distantly located alumni, at our next year Alumni Dinner. This is planned for Saturday, 3rd August 2013 at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel in Ipoh to coincide with the founding anniversary of Ipoh ACS.

Best regards,
Lean Meng Seong
President, Alumni Association
28th December 2012

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