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Deadline for Sabah quake fund extended

SINGAPORE — The deadline for donating to a fund to help families of the Sabah earthquake victims has been extended to August 31, with more giving channels being added.

Deadline for Sabah quake fund extended

A collection of plush toy teddies with the name of the Sabah quake victims seen at the tribute centre at Tanjong Katong Primary School.

SINGAPORE — The deadline for donating to a fund to help families of the Sabah earthquake victims has been extended to August 31, with more giving channels being added.

Donors can now contribute to the Sabah Earthquake Fund through DBS’ automated teller machines, Internet and mobile banking or DBS PayLah!, after the bank volunteered these services to make it more convenient for the public, said Mr Gerard Ee, who is part of a committee in charge of disbursing the money. Cash and cheque donations can still be made.

So far, S$560,000 has been collected and Mr Ee, who is chairman of Charity Council, told TODAY a larger proportion of the sum collected will be given to the families of the victims who leave behind dependants. They are Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) teachers Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed and Terrence Loo Jian Liang, as well as Mr Muhammad Daanish Amran, an instructor assigned to the students on the Mount Kinabalu expedition.

“It makes more sense to focus on the dependants because they need help more than anyone else ... This is basically to help them to continue living their life and move on,” said Mr Ee. The majority of donors did not take up the option to specify who their money should benefit, so the fund’s committee will decide on how to divvy up the amount collected.

The fund’s committee will take into account the number of dependants and the circumstance of the Singaporeans’ families when deciding on distribution, he added, noting that some families would need “a little bit more support”.

A smaller sum will be given to the families of the Sabahan guides and Malaysian trainers who died in the magnitude 6 earthquake on June 5 because “their own government is doing something to help them, so we will see how we can complement it”, said Mr Ee.

Commenting on DBS’ free provision of its services for donations, Mr Ee said that although only DBS or POSB cardholders can donate via ATM, and Internet and mobile banking — PayLah! is available to any bank’s customers — he believes the initiative will still reach a majority of Singaporeans, given the bank’s comprehensive network.

“So during this August celebration month, while waiting for the (National Day) Parade to start, if you’re standing next to an ATM, just punch in some numbers and send something over,” said Mr Ee.

The fund was set up by the Ministry of Education last month to help the families affected by the tragedy, which claimed the lives of 10 from Singapore, including seven TKPS Primary Six students.

Collections were originally scheduled to end last Wednesday.

For more information on how to make a donation, visit www.moe.gov.sg/sabahearthquakefund.

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