..... I'm so proud to be part of this :)
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A HOSTEL IN MEMORY OF DONNI
By : Joniston Bangkuai
TUARAN: Soon, about 100 students from far-flung villages in Kiulu, about 20km from here, will no longer have to endure a tiring long walk to Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tun Fuad Stephens.
Thanks to the alumni of Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) Kulim in Kedah, who call themselves Killerbatch, and the Sabah Credit Corporation, a hostel is being built for the students.
The ground-breaking for the project, which is estimated to cost RM200,000, will be held today in the presence of the students and their parents.
To kick-start the project Killerbatch, which was represented by Raja Ali Raja Othman, presented a donation of RM56,567 to SCC general manager Datuk Vincent Pung yesterday.
He said the rest of the funds would be collected through more fund-raising initiatives such as the staging of a play entitled "Ghazal Party Queen" which is scheduled for Dec 12.
Raja Ali said the heart-wrenching story of Donni John Duin, an 11-year-old school boy who committed suicide two years ago to ease the burden of his poverty-stricken family, prompted Killerbatch to embark on the project.
"The dormitory will be named Asrama Donni in remembrance of the boy," he said.
Donni, a Year Five pupil of Sekolah Kebangsaan Kinarut in Papar, had apparently taken his own life as he could no longer take the teasing from his schoolmates who likened his food, which was packed by his mother, to dog vomit.
"We were all greatly saddened by the heartbreaking event when we heard about it and decided that we must not let it pass unnoticed.
"The hostel is our way to ensure that what Donni went through does not happen again," another representative of Killerbatch, Hasnan Jamaludin, said.
Killerbatch also noted that a recent article in the New Straits Times had stated that about 5,000 teenagers in Sabah had dropped out of school before sitting the Penilaian Menengah Rendah examination.
This was largely because of the long distances the students had to travel to and from school each day.
Describing the project as a bridge between Malaysians in Kulim and Kiulu, Raja Ali said it was in line with the 1Malaysia concept espoused by the government.