The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Penang - YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Pengarah Jabatan Pelajaran Pulau Pinang - Tuan Mohd. Jamil bin Mohammed, ADUN of Sg Pinang - YB Lim Siew Khim, ADUN of Kebun Bunga - YB Jason Ong Khan Lee, Co-chairman of the WMS Penang [I] Building Committee - Dato Jerry Chan Fook Sing - Chairman of the WMS Board of Management - Dato Chin Lean Keat, esteemed educators, distinguished guests, teachers, parents and students, church pastors, leaders and members, ladies and gentlemen – good morning to everyone and thank you for taking time to be present here today!
We thank Almighty God for the Official Opening of the WMS Penang International this morning that is officiated by The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Penang - YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow.
The Council of Education of the Methodist Church in Malaysia expresses sincere thanks to The Right Honourable Chief Minister for according us the honour of his presence. We trace our connection of a shared vision with the Penang State Government - of offering affordable quality education to make a telling difference in young lives and in building this nation - back to 2012.
The then Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng facilitated the purchase of this plot of land for the WMSP [I] to be built. Our current Chief Minister was then a member of the Penang State Executive Council as the Chairman for Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee. The Penang State Government continued to show her support - rendering administrative support in the course of the building process.
Speaking of that sister Penang Methodist mission school – I am reminded of the humbling, challenging and inspiring speech of Mr A Halliday, Chief Education Officer, Penang, when officially opening the MGS Penang Music, Art and Domestic Science Block during the 70th Anniversary Celebration of that school on 10 February 1962. Mr Halliday had said: “The efforts of the Methodist Mission Schools in giving proper education to the youth in this country are most laudable and the countless number of people who have passed through the schools have every reason to be grateful.”
He was further quoted the following day by the Straits Times [in an article titled –“Mission schools in Malaya need have no fear about their future”] as saying –
“They are the strongest of our educational institutions and there is no reason for a strong man to be afraid...It was strange that recently that concern had been expressed over their future. They need have no fear that they would be “compelled to lay down the burden they have carried for so long and so successfully.””
I must hasten to add that the Methodist Church in Malaysia will want to continue our legacy of mission school education and not to “lay down the burden they have carried for so long and [to a degree] so successfully” but, we can only do so with the faithful sustaining providence of Almighty God, the partnership and collaboration of the federal and the state Governments, the support of parents, the contributions and gifts of generous donors [some of whom are present today], the goodwill of the public at large, the sacrificial input given by the unnamed many - substantially from the Methodist Church, the wider Christian community and the diligent, responsible and earnest work of the teaching and administrative staff.
So thank you all for your presence, help and continual support as we together, in the words of the Good Book of the Christian faith - “devise and stand by noble plans and deeds” [Isaiah 32:8].
May Almighty God continue to bless our new Malaysia, the ministry and labour of WMS Penang International and each one of us.
Bishop Dr Ong Hwai Teik (Chairman)
Council of Education
The Methodist Church in Malaysia