This is the speech by Ms Moey Yoke Lai, CEO of Methodist College Kuala Lumpur, at the Dedication Service held on 21 August 2010. This is a slightly edited version. Editor
Thank you for being here with us to celebrate and give thanks to God for the birthing of a dream long cherished. Today, we sit in this grand auditorium and feel justly proud to be part of the Methodist College Kuala Lumpur family, for family you all are to us. And a special word of thanks to Bishop for giving us a whole Saturday morning when you have the burden of the church in the whole nation upon your heart. This is evidence of your commitment to quality education as a ministry of the Methodist Church in Malaysia.
Building on Faith
I joined the College in 2006 and soon realized that there were many challenges ahead for those of us who have chosen to serve here. It was not long before we recognized the fact that unless we gave the College a face lift and expanded its premises, we were fighting a losing battle against the competition with much bigger players in the arena of private tertiary education. New plans were drawn up and we approached the Council of Education for the mandate to build. We presented a budget of RM12 million. Fully aware of the fact that funds were not available yet, we were inspired by the verses in Hebrews 10:38; 11:1, “But my righteous one shall live by faith…, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (NKJV)
The Council of Education with Bishop as Chairman realized our predicament and graciously agreed to the project with the Methodist Church granting the College a launching fund of RM7 million. The rest will have to be raised by the College, so said Bishop.
With trepidation and at the same time with faith, we began. The ground breaking ceremony was held in August 2008, directly over the very spot on which we are seated today. And on 22 August 2009 the ‘Topping Up’ ceremony was held in the bare shell of the new chapel. Today, in August 2010 we dedicate the new building to be used for the glory of God through the education of youth in our nation. All that you see today is made possible because of your love and generosity in giving towards the building fund as God moved you to do so. Thank you for your kindness and partnership.
God’s Workmen: the Builders, the Workers & the Donors
The Technical Committee under the Chairmanship of Dato’ Dr Tan Kee Kwong, who is also the Chairman of the MCKL Board of Management, has met officially no less than 35 times in the last 12 months. It has successfully kept costs to the barest minimum in deciding on the best tenders for each task and in its value engineering efforts, to enable us to pay the contractor as each bill came in. “Thank you” is inadequate to express our gratitude to these men who gave of their time and expertise willingly. For Mr Ho Cheok Fai, our architect and as the leader of the team of consultants, this project became a personal journey of faith and commitment. I did not have a single sleepless night because I came to trust and appreciate his selflessness and integrity. Not only did he give his best in attending to every detail, he has refused to accept any payment from us. Only God, our Father in heaven will know the extent of his love poured into this MCKL project.
To the team of consultants, Mr Yue Chee Mun our C & S consultant, Mr Alvin Hoong our M & E consultant and Mdm Oh Chin Choo our Quantity Surveyor, our heartfelt thanks for your quality input and sacrificial giving of your time.
To the other members of the Technical Committee, Mr B.C. Ong, Mr Leo Anthony, Mr N.K. Tong, men of experience in property development and in the building industry, our deepest appreciation for the many evenings you sacrificed to help us obtain the best for the least cost.
To the representatives of the Council of Education and our Board of Management, Dr Lim Boon Hock, Mr Gopal Sundaram, and Rev Dr Mark Chua, all busy men in their own fields, thanks for the support and the wide network of friends you provided to help us at every turn.
The Fund Raising Committee, again under the chairmanship of Dato’ Dr Tan Kee Kwong, worked hard to raise the much needed funds and the members will continue to harass friends and family to help us since we are still in need of funds! Datuk Bhupalan is a pillar of strength in this committee. At this age, she still campaigns at every opportunity to provide the best education for the youth of our nation. Mrs Vimala Mathews, in spite of the onerous responsibilities as Principal of Wesley Methodist School, a much sought after private secondary school, comes for every meeting and uses every opportunity to ask parents and friends to give us a cheque. From the College, Mr Khoo Teng Sooi, Mr Michael Lee, and Ms Carmen Magen Chow have worked tirelessly on this committee.
To all of you who have donated generously, our grateful thanks. Every donation is deeply appreciated even though I just mention a few by name today. (Note to Editor: Total donation received to date is close to RM2 million – in the form of sponsorship of various lecture rooms and facilities, and in cash contributions. Some of our donors have requested that their names should not be acknowledged in public and we wish to respect their requests.)
Mention must be made of our contractors Mr Tony Teng and Mr Lee Peng Kock of Luxbee Enterprise, who have given of their very best to raise this building in record time for us to have this ceremony today. Mr Tony Teng has pushed his skill to further limits in taking on the challenge of meeting all our requests in the special features that you will see for yourselves as you walk around the College.
To all our sub contractors, Interior Design, Audio Visual and Landscape consultants, a very big thank you for the beautiful furnishing and landscaping you have created for us. It will be such a pleasure to come to College every day.
My special thanks also go to a quiet gentleman who came alongside us from the very beginning and helped us to make changes bit by bit to improve the College facilities and appearance. Mr Wong Hoe Lock helped us set up the IT infrastructure with a most effective local area network (LAN) and painted the old College to make it look new, with very friendly credit terms, at a time when we were counting every penny that was spent.
From Humble Beginnings to a High Vision
The College has come a long way since its humble beginnings. From Methodist Afternoon School established in 1969 as a school of second chance, to Methodist High School the preferred private secondary school, the Methodist College Kuala Lumpur of today is fast establishing its name as the College of preference for pre-university studies. With the Church making a re-commitment to ministry through education in financing this new building, the College has received a new lease of life. The present management team is deeply convicted about the need to send teachers of calibre into the arena of schools in our nation and would like to see the College develop a centre of excellence in teacher training. Bishop has charged us with the vision of moving towards university college status. With all these challenges ahead of us, we look to Almighty God and to you, His people, for the resources to actualize our shared vision for the College in the coming days and years ahead.
Thank you and may God bless each one of you with His peace and joy as you continue to serve Him through serving mankind.
Moey Yoke Lai
Chief Executive Officer
Methodist College Kuala Lumpur