Malaysia

2020 March 19
Solemn Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

Dear Lasallians in the Frontlines,

Greetings of peace and well-being! We salute and support your gallant efforts to quell COVID-19 as you perform your responsibilities beyond the call of duty while putting yourselves at great risk. We stand in solidarity with you as part of the health and medical team directly assisting the sick and infected, or as researchers and scientists pressed to review test results or find effective antidotes to the virus, or as round-the-clock logistics and security forces, public servants and volunteers doing your share to reassure the public, restore and maintain order and provide much needed services to everyone.

We are one with you during this very challenging time and assure you of our fervent prayers as your fellow Lasallians in East Asia. We will especially remember you as we pause for a few minutes of quiet prayer daily to remember all Lasallians in the frontlines and to intercede for all those who are working earnestly in many different ways to provide solutions and address the challenges we face.

For you, all Lasallians in East Asia will gather together and by association in their respective homes and communities at around 5:00 p.m. beginning today March 19, feast of St. Joseph, Protector of our Lasallian Institute, and ending on May 15, feast of our Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. May the good Lord ever keep you in the palm of His hand. Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!

Fraternally yours,

Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC

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Loving Father, our Lasallian Family draws near to you in fervent prayer for all those affected by COVID-19. 

In FAITH, we lift up to you our fears and anxieties and the sufferings of those who have been infected always remembering that even in our darkest hours we are in your most holy presence. 

In SERVICE, we beg you for strength and wisdom to do all that needs to be done knowing that we can be channels of your healing grace when we do all our actions for the love of you. 

In COMMUNION, we stand in solidarity with all the frontliners who risk their lives for others and pray for all medical teams and support personnel who earnestly seek its cure and provide remedy and comfort to those who are sick and most vulnerable. Most Loving Father we entrust our lives and the health and well-being of our families and communities to your care and protection for with you we will be safe and secure.

Amen.

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St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) recently celebrated its fourth batch of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) scholars through a Scholarship Awards Ceremony on 27 September 2019. The event was graced by the SJIIM Board of Governors Chairman and Brother President of SJI Singapore, Dato’ Br. Paul Ho as the Guest of Honor and notable guests such as Dato’ Richard Ong who is a council member of the Tan Tan Sri Tan Foundation.

A time honoured Lasallian tradition, the IBDP Scholarship Programme is a cornerstone feature of St. Joseph’s Institution International Schools in Singapore and Malaysia. The scholarship programme is now in its fourth cycle and has been supported by many organizations and well wishers since its inception in 2016 and in particular, the Tan Chin Tuan and Tan Sri Tan Foundation who have been signifcant benefactors of the initiative.

Each of these scholars stood proud as they were called on stage to receive their Scholarship Award Certificates while being celebrated by SJIIM’s Board of Governors, Principals, invited guests, teachers, parents and students. The presence of Dato’ Br. Paul Ho as the Guest of Honour also exemplifies SJIIM’s unbriddled connection with SJI Singapore, the mother school of the SJI International Schools.

In his speech as the Guest of Honour, Dato’ Br. Paul Ho congratulated the recipients and reminded that the scholarship they have received is a result of their talent and intelligence and therefore, should also be used to make a difference to humanity. He mentioned that IBDP students need to be self-directed learners and yearn to learn for life. He akined this to the trait of the founder, St. John Baptist De La Salle and how he constantly looked to new ways to innovate schools which is one the hallmark reasons behind the longevity of LaSalle schools for over 300 years. In his closing remarks, Dato’ Br. Paul further urged the scholars to develop the habit of listening to others and to learn to give empathy to the perspective of other individuals and groups as this is what the world sorely needs today. 

An all-round enriching scholarship experience, the IBDP Scholars of this programme also had the opportunity to participate in a Lasallian Leadership Training Camp in the Philippines this year which focused on Lasallian Formation, Leadership Training and Service Work. This helped to prepare the school’s scholars as Senior Lasallian Student Leaders to serve the school’s community and the needy on their return from the camp.

Dr. Nicola Brown who is the High School Principal of SJIIM was also beaming with pride at the school’s latest scholarship awardees. She said, The support that the scholarship programme provides to students is invaluable and we are proud to be able to offer this assistance to these deserving recipients. Our fourth batch of scholars have been selected for not only for their academic potential but also for their commitment to our values and ethos. They are role models for our younger students and, as such, must represent the characteristics of true Lasallians who 'Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve'. We are proud to have them with us.”

The SJIIM IBDP Scholarship Programme is a unique outreach initiative of St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia. It offers a 2-year scholarship to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in SJIIM. Applications are evaluated based on merit and means and all applicants are expected to be able to provide evidence of good academic performance and demonstrate active participation and leadership in service & co-curricular activities.

Applications will open again in November 2019 for SJIIM’s 2020/21 IBDP intake in August 2020. Interested applicants are encouraged to learn more about the programme by contacting the Scholarship Coordinator at: scholarships@sji-international.edu.my

For media inquiries:

Mr. Neoh Soon Ken
Director of Business Development
Contact No: +603 86053605; +6016 4758308
Email: kenneoh@sji-international.edu.my

The Brothers in Sabah had the opportunity to meet Brother Armin, individually and as a communally during his canonical visit to Sabah on 25-26 February at De La Salle Butitin, Nabawan.

During the community meeting Brother Armin highlighted two points. Firstly, he brought a question for reflection “How can we as Brothers of Sabah do things as a community?” The Brothers should be seen as a fraternal community where our apostolic life is also shared. Secondly, he urged the Brothers to think as a District instead of merely a parochial community of Sabah. The Brothers community in Nabawan is part of a larger community of LEAD as well as in the Institute.

Brother Justin Mobilik and Brother Peter Ng will be joining Brother Egbertus Joikul to form a new community at De La Salle Butitin Nabawan officially by May 15, 2020. (Text & Photos: Br. Egbertus Joikul FSC)

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It has been an annual tradition to have a special Easter Issue featuring photos, both serious and not so serious, of the annual Holy Week retreat held in Malaysia (Hotel Equatorial, Malacca), Philippines (Benilde Retreat and Conference Center), and Thailand (Redemptorist Center, Pattaya).

Special thanks to the retreat facilitators this year: Br. Aidan Kilty, Br. Jorge Gallardo, and Br. Vincent Pelletier. Kudos also to the retreat coordinators: Brs. Andrew, Alex, and Francisco. Thanks to Br. Ranier for collecting these photos and posting them online. Happy Easter and enjoy the photos! (More photos in this link: https:// bit.ly/2XLfYR5)

Excerpts from my letter to the Lasallian Family in Malaysia:

“I was inspired by the efforts of your sector to revitalize the Lasallian Schools through active engagement in their governance by Brothers and Lasallian Partners through their respective school boards. Formally organized as the Malaysian Mission Council with the five regional councils represented, it has been an effective structure that has prioritized the Lasallian ethos as the essential spirit that distinguishes the Lasallian school from any other. This year, we can definitely refine and improve this organizational structure and further clarify the different degrees of membership and accountabilities of the many categories of schools. We can also begin serious discussions on how to further animate the alumni associations so that their strong ties and loyalties with their respective Alma Maters could further grow from active engagement in fundraising and supporting school projects into a more solid commitment to advance the Lasallian Mission in the country, in East Asia and in the world.

I was energized by the creativity and innovation of those who sought to respond to other educational challenges of learners that could not be addressed by the existing mainstream programs. Those pioneering adventures and stories of courage of Brothers and Lasallian Partners (several of whom come from other faith traditions) need to be retold especially as they journeyed to the peripheries, encountered the new poor and revolutionized traditional pedagogical methods in response to these specialized needs. Those initiatives are worth documenting as they can provide us and future generations of Lasallians with models on how the Lasallian mission may be contextualized in our times.

I was moved by the very palpable Lasallian Spirit that continues to burn brightly in the hearts of alumni, teachers, and students within an environment that does not always share the same priorities, values and aspirations of the Lasallian Family. This dynamism could not thrive without an effective formation program for youth and adults which your sector has invested in for close to three decades now. When one takes stock of what has been accomplished during those years preceding LEAD and then the foundational years after its inception, we can only look back in gratitude for the great things the Lord has accomplished through you. While we have yet many things to accomplish, it is also good for us at this time to pause and celebrate.

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I wish to borrow Br. Barthelemy’s advice to a Brother who was then experiencing depression following the death of the Founder: “No, dear Brother, ...I forbid you to die... Do not be saddened any more by this, because he to whom you cry as dead, is alive and in peace.” In unity of mind and heart, I join all of you in prayer that our gracious God would grace us with the same spirit with which he gifted the first Lasallians so that we, too, could dare venture into the deep, for indeed, while a boat in the harbor is safe, it is not what boats are built for.

Let us continue to live and celebrate today the 300-year legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle in East Asia!”

(Photo: Br. Andrew Loke FSC)

A fire occurred at the Brothers Bungalow at 1pm yesterday, 30 June 2019. No one was hurt in the fire. The fire, however, destroyed the building's timber structures and flooring including the entire roof.

The Bungalow is about 10 km from St. Francis Institution.

Bomba, the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, responded to the emergency call and has put out the fire.

Investigations are under way. We will provide further updates as more information is available.

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Br Armin Luistro, Visitor made a canonical visit to La Salle Community Petaling Jaya, Malaysia from December 8 – 10, 2019. There are five Brothers in this community, namely, Andrew Loke (Dtr), Augustine Julian, Lucian Ng, Ambrose Loke and Michael Kum. Br Visitor had a personal talk with each one of us and ended with a dialogue with the community as a whole. In between, Br Visitor slotted in a meeting with the Revitalisation Committee, another meeting with the SJIIM group and personal talks with a few other Brothers who were around. He maximized his time during this visit. May God grant him good health to continue his work.

Last 23 November 2019 at La Salle Hall in Petaling Jaya, fourteen Brothers in the Sector of Malaysia gathered for their Assembly. Br. Andrew Loke FSC, the one responsible of Brothers’ Affairs, welcomed the Brothers, invited them to share their ideas, get familiar with all the matters happening, and keep participating actively in the life of the sector. During the Assembly, Mr. Michael Simon, chair of the Project Revitalization of Schools of the Malaysia Sector, share what the committee has done until the present and invited the Brothers to keep supporting this project. The Brothers also reflected on Direct Educational Services for the Poor (DESP) program and how they could keep supporting initiatives for the poor that most of them started by initiatives outside La Salle but came together to embrace the Lasallian charism with support of the Brothers and Lasallian Partners. Towards the last part of the Assembly the Brothers had time to reflect on community restructuring. Not an easy theme for reflection yet, they arrived to a preliminary decision and were open to keep talking about it in the next gathering. 

After a Western Style lovely lunch, six Lasallian Partners joined the Brothers for the Education Council (Mission Council). Our Lasallian Partners responsible for each area of Malaysia shared the achievements and challenges in those groups of schools. The spirit of zeal for the Lasallian Mission was very evident. 

The Lasallians in charge of the alumni federation and other committees joined the Brothers and council members for dinner and celebrated another aspect of our community life as Lasallians committed to the mission. (Text & Photos: Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC)

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The Lasallian Encounter is a vocation programme for catholic students between the ages of 15-19 that is held annually by La Salle Centre, Ipoh. This years' programme with the theme Jesus Our Illuminator, brought together 17 young men and 2 educators from 6 Lasallian schools within Peninsular Malaysia. It was held from the 24th to the 27th of May 2019 and was facilitated by Brs. Allan Buenavista FSC and Chuck Magno FSC, along with Isaac Stephen. 

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Part of the programme included an exposure to marginalised communities in the surrounding area. The participants had an opportunity to later share their experience and then develop their own plans to reach out to the less fortunate in their respective surroundings. 

"There are two ways to spread happiness; either be the light who shines it or be the mirror who reflects.” - Edith Wharton

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever! (Text & Photos: Mr. Isaac Stephen)

On 17-19 June 2019, the Singapore Brothers had their annual retreat at La Salle Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Fr. Winai Boolue, SJ facilitated the retreat. Brs. Paul Mata FSC and John Winkyaw FSC renewed their temporary vows.

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(Photos: Br. Paul Mata FSC)

PETALING JAYA: The spirit of Christmas was shared by a multiracial Lasallian fraternity during a fellowship here.

“A Christmas Evening with Lasallians” was hosted by the Malaysian Federation of Lasallian Alumni Associations at La Salle Hall in Lorong 5/15B here, just opposite SMK La Salle in Seksyen 5 on Sunday.

The guests of honour were La Salle Brothers of Malaysia director Brother Andrew Loke and Brother Lucian Ng.

Present at the facility, part of the La Salle Provincialate, were association president Michael Simon, event organising chairman K. Paramjothy, activities chairman James Sia and secretary Don Darrell Augustine.

Sia said the evening was attended by youths and seniors from the 19 alumni associations nationwide.

“The youth’s role is important to keep activities like these alive to foster racial unity in our society. These are the youth who will take over the leadership from us seniors, who are an ageing lot,” said Sia of the event, which was complete with carols and a dinner.

He said they were fortunate to have La Salle Hall, which had been refurbished, complete with rooms for social functions and training seminars.

“The facility has a tennis court and 18 rooms for daily rental. La Salle Hall is also spacious for garden parties,” said Sia, who is former president of the Franciscan Club of Kuala Lumpur.

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(https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/12/550505/lasallians-celebrate-multiracial-christmas)

On 28 October, the members of the Lasallian family at La Salle School Klang, Malaysia had a memorial service for Br. Harold ‘Harry’ Reynolds FSC. He was a former Director there. Klang is about 40 km from PJ Brothers’ House.

It was followed by the unveiling of the statue of St. John Baptist De La Salle, which came from the Philippines. (Text & Photos: Ms. Irene Tan)

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SJIIM 2019 IBDP Graduates with Mr Nikodemus Jaya, Ms Desiree Leong, Mr Ian Chai, Mr Dennis Tang, Dato' Richard Ong, Dr Nicola Brown and Ms Maureen (centre)

Excerpts from the Article:

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (31 May 2019) - St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) recently held its 2nd IBDP graduation ceremony at its Tropicana PJ Campus auditorium. The ceremony which was attended by scores of graduates, parents, sponsors, teachers and VIP guests was graced this time by 3 unique Guests of Honour namely Mr Ian Chai, Ms Desiree Leong and Mr Nikodemus Jaya who were all founding SJII Singapore Scholars and are currently successful professionals in their respective industries in Singapore.

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SJIIM's Nicol Yong receiving the Josephian of the Year Award and Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan Book Prize Award. With her is (left) Mr. Dennis Tang, SJIIM President and (right) Dato' Richard Ong, Council Member of the Tan Sri Tan Foundation

The Guests of Honour congratulated the graduates on completing their IB Diploma with flying colours. In their graduation address, they advised the graduates to be steadfast in their perspectives for whichever career path they take for the future and to suffuse their work with meaning and purpose. One of the Guests of Honour, Ms Desiree Leong who is a Legal Consultant at the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) agency in Singapore commended SJIIM on the tremendous strides it has taken in producing well rounded graduates in such a short period of time for a young school. SJIIM’s IBDP graduates also had a special opportunity to chat with, Ms Desiree Leong, Mr Ian Chai and Mr Nikodemus Jaya earlier as a tea reception was organised for the three Guests of Honours to meet the graduands before the Graduation Ceremony; during which they shared their respective post IBDP experiences and addressed questions raised by the graduands.

The ceremony concluded with two musical performances by the graduates along with the singing of the school rally at the end. Everyone in attendance were also treated to a graduation dinner after the ceremony to celebrate the graduates’ success. (Text & Photos: Mr. Neoh Soon Ken)

Ms Maureen and Dr Brown (left) with some of SJIIM's IBDP High Achievers

Excerpts from the Article:

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (9 July 2019) – Students of St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) once again surpassed all expectations by producing outstanding results in the recent 2019 International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) examinations.

30% of its IBDP students obtained 40 points and above which should place them in the top 10% of worldwide results. SJIIM also achieved an overall average score of 37 points, far above the 2018 IBDP Global Average of 29.8 points and significantly higher than the 35.4 point average across Malaysian schools offering the IB Diploma Programme in 2018. Their stellar results are a fantastic achievement considering that this is only SJIIM’s second IBDP cohort.

Top SJIIM IBDP Scorer Chong Ying Xuan with her results
Top SJIIM IBDP Scorer Chong Ying Xuan with her results
Top SJIIM IBDP Scorer Chong Ying Xuan with her proud parents
Top SJIIM IBDP Scorer Chong Ying Xuan with her proud parents

SJI IM’s achievement resonates wi th the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme’s standing and it enjoys a very high level of respect and recognition among the world’s higher education institutions. For students, success in the IBDP often results in advanced standing, course credit, scholarships or other admissions-related benefits at top universities worldwide. Today, more than 5000 schools worldwide offer IB programmes.

In celebration of SJIIM’s outstanding IBDP results, SJIIM will be offering additional scholarships to deserving students entering the IBDP August 2019. For additional information, please refer to www.sji-international.edu.my/ ibdp-scholarship-programme.
(Text & Photos: Mr. Neoh Soon Ken)

 

27th July, we celebrated 30 years of the Lasallian Youth Conventions in Malaysia. We had 190 people made up of past participants of the conventions, De La Salle Brothers and Alumni of our Lasallian schools in Malaysia. It was a great night of reminiscing. Many friendships were rekindled especially those who were meeting their friends after 30 years. It was indeed a great meeting of the old and the young with many interactions. Our thanks to all those who supported by attending this dinner, by sponsoring students and tables. And finally a big thank you to the ORGANISING TEAM!!! (Text: Mr. Isaac Stephen; Photos: W.X. Soon

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Excerpt from the Article:

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (16 August 2019) - The students of St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) have secured outstanding scores in the recent Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations. Overall, the results recorded were excellent and bested even the impressive inaugural set of IGCSE results it achieved in 2018.

37% of the grades achieved were graded at A* while 69% were graded at A*- A which is an outstanding achievement. Meanwhile, 88% of the grades achieved were graded A*- B and an unbelievable 97% were graded at A* - C. This achievement is also very impressive given that it is significantly higher than the world IGCSE examinations result average in 2018. There was further cause to celebrate when it was revealed that 96% of the students who sat for the IGCSE examinations achieved a minimum 5A* - C grade for all their subject papers which assures them of their further education pathways.

The top scorers for SJIIM were Emily Ng Siew Zhang and Joey Chee who both scored an amazing 10A* respectively. They were ecstatic and credited their success to the learning experience in SJIIM. Emily Ng, who will also be continuing her studies in SJIIM under the IBDP said, “My 3 years in SJIIM as a founding student has been a really great experience as I learnt so much academically and more importantly, developed and grew as a person, along with my classmates. The IGCSE was truly a rewarding experience for me.”

Joey Chee, who will be furthering her studies in the UK, also echoed Emily’s sentiment, “My time in SJIIM has been a wonderful experience with supportive teachers and a very strong sense of community. I am extremely grateful to have gone through my IGCSE in the conducive environment that SJIIM creates for its students.”

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Emily Ng Siew Zhang
Top Scorer with 10A
Joey Chee
Top Scorer with 10A

The Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16-year-olds. It is recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide and is an international passport to progression and success. Developed over 30 years ago, it is tried, tested and trusted by schools worldwide and is used as the high school academic assessment by top international schools around the world including SJIIM. (Text & Photos: Mr. Neoh Soon Ken)

SJIIM High School Principal, Dr Nicola Brown and IBDP Coordinator Ms Maureen Fitzgerald (seated centre) with some of the top scorers who obtained 40 points and above

For the third year running, students of St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) once again produced outstanding results in the recent 2020 International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) examinations.

29% of its IBDP students obtained 40 points and above which should place them in the top 10% of results worldwide. SJIIM also achieved an overall average score of 35 points, far above the 2019 IBDP Global Average of 29.7 points. These result statistics are especially good considering that the students have completed their IBDP studies in challenging and unnatural circumstances given the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world this year.

The top IBDP scorer for SJIIM, Justin Hew Kin Jun, scored 43 points. He was over the moon with his results and credited the school for helping him to achieve it, “My educational journey in SJIIM is one that is so vivid and profuse in meaningful experiences that I will forever cherish. Among those were the unrelenting support given by the teachers amid the curriculum, the student body that engendered the Lasallian ethos through service and other kinds of activities. In SJIIM, the notion of inclusivity is consistently enforced, thereto no student is precluded from customary interactions and interpersonal relationships. This is precisely what constitutes a great school environment that advocates its students to ‘Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve’. A big thank you to my dedicated teachers for helping me to do well for the IBDP. I couldn’t have done it without you.” For the next step of his education, Justin Hew will be furthering his tertiary studies in the area of Physics and Maths at a top foreign university.

SJIIM’s Top IBDP Scorer, Justin Hew with his proud mother
SJIIM’s Top IBDP Scorer, Justin Hew with his proud mother

Anissa Ng Wan Cheng, one of SJIIM’s IBDP high achievers scored 40 points and attributed the unique educational environment she experienced as the reason for her success, “Studying at SJIIM taught me that education was more than just about academic grades. Our LaSallian values challenged us to use our gifts and passions to make a difference to others. At SJIIM, I had a great balance of rigorous academic study, fulfilling and exciting extracurricular activities. Throughout the IBDP, there was lots of support from my teachers, year mates and seniors which helped me to persevere and develop my character. I am truly grateful to have been awarded a scholarship at SJIIM to experience the IBDP.” For her tertiary studies, Anissa Ng will be heading to the University of Bath, UK for her BSc (Hons.) in Psychology degree.

SJIIM’s achievement resonates with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme’s standing as it enjoys a very high level of respect and recognition among the world’s higher education institutions. For students, success in the IBDP often results in advanced standing, course credit, scholarships or other admissions-related benefits at top universities worldwide. Today, more than 5000 schools worldwide offer IB programmes.

Dr Nicola Brown, the High School Principal of SJIIM, was pleased with the good results and was very proud of their achievements. She added, I want to congratulate our graduates for their courage during these unprecedented times. There has been much anticipation for the results this year following the cancellation of the IBDP examinations. We are incredibly proud of the way our students have managed this challenge and the results they have achieved. We wish them well in the next chapter of their education as they move on to universities overseas or here in Malaysia. Congratulations to the SJIIM Class of 2020.”

Maureen Fitzgerald, the IBDP Coordinator of SJIIM, was also beaming with pride at the performance of her charges. She further said, “After a difficult term and much uncertainty, I am so proud of our students and their successes with these results.  They have shown a great deal of resilience and fortitude, and community spirit in supporting one another. They have worked hard for the results that they have earned, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to share in their celebration today."

For more information about SJIIM’s IB Diploma Programme, please visit https://www.sji-international.edu.my/ibdp/

Relevant Chinese name:
马来西亚国际学校
(八打灵再也Tropicana 院校) :          
St Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (Tropicana PJ Campus)

For media inquiries:

Mr Neoh Soon Ken
Director of Business Development
Contact No: +603 86053605; +6016 4758308
Email: kenneoh@sji-international.edu.my

SJIIM_s Top IBDP Scorer, Justin Hew obtained an impressive 43 points
SJIIM's Top IBDP Scorer, Justin Hew obtained an impressive 43 points

 

Left to Right: Lim Lay Guan, Sitoe, Lim Choon San, Murugan, Victor Tan, Br Jason

The Malaysian government has decided that examination classes [Form 5 and 6] may resume schooling on June 24. The school community has been busy preparing for the first day back since our version of the ‘lockdown’ commenced in mid-March.

The school grounds have been cleaned and recleaned, and are now marked with social / physical distancing markers and reminders.

A group of former students from the class of 1984 passed the proverbial hat around and generously donated 80 litres of disinfectant to be used with special pedal dispensers. The new SXI Principal Mr Murugan received the donated items.

Meanwhile, the Parent Teacher Association is spearheading the sales of special reusable SXI face masks. 50% of the 1000 plus masks sold will be given back to those in need in the school. The PTA also plans to initiate a ‘food aid’ programme to benefit about 100 students. (Text & Photos: Br. Jason Blaikie FSC)

PETALING JAYA: They may have long retired but thanks to the spirit of Christmas, these “forgotten” former La Salle teachers were brought together and honoured for their past contributions.

Leading the chorus of appreciation for the nearly two dozen ex-teachers was the Malaysian Federation of La Sallian Associations and Xaverian Club of Kuala Lumpur (XCKL).

Federation president Michael Simon said that despite the changes in the education system and La Salle schools over the years, the “old boys are still working to keep the spirit of the schools alive”.

“This is the time to honour and remember each and every one of you who have dedicated your lives to the cause of education. We will never forget your grand efforts, ” he said in his welcoming remarks at an Italian restaurant here on Saturday.

XCKL past president Jason Ong, who mooted the idea for the gathering, said it was apt to honour the La Salle teachers on the occasion of Christmas.

“You are the ones who instilled in us the spirit of brotherhood and good values. We are what we are today because of your teachings.

“There can be no better time than Christmas to say a big ‘thank you’ to all of you, ” he said in his address.

Ong said he had organised past events to honour the La Salle Brothers, adding that it was time now to cherish the teachers themselves.

Among the teachers who attended was Lee Kah Chee, who at 86 was the oldest of the lot.

Despite his deteriorating health and failing memory, the gritty former teacher from St Michael’s Institution in Ipoh came with his walking stick.

“I was determined to be a part of the reunion with my ex-colleagues and students, ” said Lee, who underwent brain surgery some time ago.

Former teacher of the St Xavier’s Institution in Penang, Michael Quah, 76, shared his enthusiasm for “continuing to learn and to give back to the community by being a driven and passionate individual”.

“Teachers devoted their life for the growth of young children and the ethos of the La Salle Brothers is about nurturing life.

“I spent the later parts of my life painting and being actively engaged with everybody, including my grandchildren who may think I’m a nuisance, ” he added as the others laughed.

Another ex-teacher of the school, Antony Gomez, who taught English and literature, said: “I treasure my formative years at St Xavier’s both as a student and a teacher because the interest I developed there was maintained for the rest of my career and my life.”

He spoke fondly of his regular meet-ups with former students, whom he said visited him often at his home.

St Francis Melaka alumnus James Sia underlined the sense of belonging that has driven the La Salle brotherhood over the years.

A strong believer of La Salle’s mission of providing education to the poor, he said education was key in bringing people out of poverty.

“In school, the senior boys guide the young ones. We used a mentoring approach and hopefully, the government recognises this. Our ethos has not changed much, and the mentoring still continues, ” he said.

Despite the meagre salary of teachers in the past, Sia said they were motivated by their passion to make an impact on students’ lives.

“Back in the early days, teachers were paid very little, probably RM30 to RM40, and the schools were surviving on donations.

“It is passion that drove the educators and because of that, we still have the sense of belonging to go back to school, even today, ” he said, adding that after leaving school in 1972 he still returned every now and then.

A former student of St Michael’s Institute in Ipoh, Angeline Lazaroo, said mission schools instilled a strong sense of culture among its students.

“We often give bursary to our students and sponsorship for clubs like musical instruments or any repairs and financial assistance.

“Mission schools also believe that the heart of education is the education of the heart, ” she said, expressing her pride in being a Michaelian.

To add to the festive air, the teachers wore Santa caps and danced and clapped as a Christmas choir group entertained.

(https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/12/23/ex-la-salle-teachers-feted)

SJIIM scholars together with (from left.) Ms. Maureen - IBDP Coordinator, Mr Dennis Tang - President of SJIIM, Dato' Br. Paul Ho - Guest of Honour, Dato' Richard Ong - TST Foundation Council Member and Dr Nicola Brown - SJIIM High School Principal

Excerpts from the Article:

St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) recently celebrated its fourth batch of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) scholars through a Scholarship Awards Ceremony on 27 September 2019. The event was graced by the SJIIM Board of Governors Chairman and Brother President of SJI Singapore, Dato’ Br. Paul Ho as the Guest of Honor and notable guests such as Dato’ Richard Ong who is a council member of the Tan Tan Sri Tan Foundation.

A time honoured Lasallian tradition, the IBDP Scholarship Programme is a cornerstone feature of St. Joseph’s Institution International Schools in Singapore and Malaysia. The scholarship programme is now in its fourth cycle and has been supported by many organizations and well wishers since its inception in 2016 and in particular, the Tan Chin Tuan and Tan Sri Tan Foundation who have been significant benefactors of the initiative.

An all-round enriching scholarship experience, the IBDP Scholars of this programme also had the opportunity to participate in a Lasallian Leadership Training Camp in the Philippines this year which focused on Lasallian Formation, Leadership Training and Service Work. This helped to prepare the school’s scholars as Senior Lasallian Student Leaders to serve the school’s community and the needy on their return from the camp.

The SJIIM IBDP Scholarship Programme is a unique outreach initiative of St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia. It offers a 2-year scholarship to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in SJIIM. Applications are evaluated based on merit and means and all applicants are expected to be able to provide evidence of good academic performance and demonstrate active participation and leadership in service & co-curricular activities. (Text & Photos: Mr. Neoh Soon Ken)

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Dato Richard Ong and Dato Br Paul Ho together with the TCT Foundation - SJIIM Scholars

PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA - One of the most dedicated old boys of the La Salle schools fraternity, Don Darrell Augustine Jayasekare, lost his battle with cancer.

Don Darrell, who had just celebrated his 52nd birthday with family and friends on September 20, died at his home in SS2, Petaling Jaya at 12:54 pm last Saturday.

His trademark was his instant captivating and striking broad, gleaming smile whenever he met someone, thanks to his decades of customer care service in the food and beverage industry.

Don Darrell was the Malaysian Federation of Lasallian Alumni Associations (MFOLSA) honorary secretary, chairman of the Board of Managers of La Salle Sentul (Primary) School, chairman of the Board of Governors of La Salle Sentul (Secondary) School and also La Salle Sentul Old Boys’ Association honorary secretary for a good number of years.

Following wake services at his home the last two nights, Don Darrell was given a funeral mass at the Church of St Francis Xavier in Jalan Gasing, before being cremated at the MBPJ crematorium in Kampung Tunku today (Tuesday). It was attended by scores of old boys, teachers and La Salle Brothers who adhered to the Covid-19 pandemic's standard operating procedure . The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Reverend Julian Leow Beng Kim offered blessings for Don Darrell at the wake service.

don darrell

Don Darrell with the members of the Organising Committee – Celebrating 165 years of Lasallian Mission in Malaysia and the 40th Anniversary of MFOLSA

don darrell

Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Reverend Julian Leow Beng Kim offering blessings for Don Darrell Augustine Jayasekare at the wake service at the latter’s home in SS2, Petaling Jaya.

don darrell

With Brother Visitor of LEAD, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, during his visit to Malaysia

Br. Ambose and Don

Br. Ambose and Don

The deceased left behind his wife Sue Ellen Chong and sons Don Dhilan, Don Nielsen and Don Melvin, siblings Denita, Derwin, Wendy and Raymond and grandmother Alawathie Jayasinghe.

His eldest sibling, sister Denita Jayasekare, 53, said Don Darrell had sought treatment at hospitals since early this year. "He was a gem of a brother, often not only helping the family but society at large with his charitable work. He was popular among the Lasallians from all over the country as a caring, obliging, big-hearted and overly-generous person," said Denita.

Br. Ambrose Loke FSC commended Don Darrell for his selfless services. "No words can express how eternally grateful we are to him for his love, loyalty and dedication to his alma mater and the Lasallian fraternity. May Almighty God bless him for his services to mankind in general. We are forever grateful to him," he said.

I will always remember him for his untiring contributions to the less fortunate. He was always ever-ready to help those in need and was magnanimous in charitable and social work. We will surely miss his presence. (Text & Photos: Mr. James Sia)

love offering

On Friday, October 2, 2020 Br Ambrose Loke, with some of the La Salle Sentul OBA committee members, joined the family of the late Don Darrell for 7th day prayers at his residence. Br Ambrose, on behalf of the OBA, also presented some love offerings to Sue Ellen Chong, the widow of Don Darrell.

In closing, Br Ambrose delivered the following message to those present.

“Justice has to be done…
I feel I have to say something to pay tribute to Don Darrell.

I have known Don Darrell since he was a student at La Salle Sentul. We kept in contact and since as an alumnus, he always expresses his love and loyalty to La Salle Sentul. I invited him to serve the school which, he accepted and literally gave his life to and for the school, first as a Board Member, as efficient treasurer and later as the Chairman of the School Board.
I feel he feels that there is much to be done for the school but God say, “enough is enough. You need to rest.” He has left us for another place where I believe he is in a better position to help.
Many of you who have know Don Darrell can vouch that he an exemplary leader and a kind gentleman. He has many virtues… he goes out of his way to help, …he is considerate, not wanting to hurt the feelings of others; very tactful in making wise decisions. He is a good friend to many.

I like to take this opportunity on behalf of the school, La Salle Old Boys Association and of the La Salle Brothers, to thank, his wife Sue Ellen Chong and children and other family members for allowing him to spend so much time for the school and to the La Salle Mission. May God bless all of you and to all present this evening.”

Eternal rest grant unto Don Darrell, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Amen.

MALAYSIA - An interesting event occurred in St Xavier’s Institution (SXI), Penang on Friday, 20 December 2019.

A team of soldiers led by Captain Ashraf arrived at 9am to remove 64 decommissioned Lee Enfield Rifles from a 'storeroom' under Stairs 8 leading to the Brothers Quarters. The Board had invited the soldiers to remove the rifles as they had remained unused for many years.

With their firing pins removed, the rifles had more of an antique value and had been used by the boys of SXI Cadet Corps for parade purposes. Apparently, they had been in our keep for decades and forgotten by those who replaced the early people in the know.

It was interesting to observe that the army personnel conducted the operation with the assumption that they were engaging with another armed party! Throughout the few hours they were in SXI, there was a soldier with his finger on the trigger of his very much live and able-to-fire M-16! Captain Ashraf intimated that this was the first time they were conducting such an operation to 'retrieve' guns from a school. Each gun had a serial number and had to be accounted for. The Ministry of Defense thanked SXI for its cooperation. (Adapted from the Original: Dr. Francis Loh; Photos: Br. Jason Blaikie FSC)

There was a surreal feeling in the digital sphere as St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJIIM) embraced what could potentially be another ‘new normal’ this year by recently holding its 3rd IBDP graduation ceremony virtually. The historic ceremony was hosted using a web conferencing platform for the first time and was attended by scores of graduates, parents, sponsors, teachers and VIP guests. The Guest of Honour for the ceremony was Dato’ Br. Paul Ho FSC, who is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of SJIIM as well as the Br. President of SJI Singapore.

Dr. Nicola Brown, the High School Principal, beamed with pride at the sight of the graduates’ achievements and said “We congratulate our third IBDP Graduating Class on their effort and courage. We already knew very well that these are special young people. This understanding has been further reinforced by their fortitude through this extremely challenging period. Each student has been tested beyond their expectation and they have succeeded in showing their character and values as they have remained focused and positive. We wish them well in the coming weeks as we await the celebration of their upcoming results”.

Ms. Maureen Fitzgerald, the IBDP Coordinator of SJIIM, was equally pleased and proud of the performance of the IBDP students for the past 2 years, saying, “We can say with certainty that the impact of these students will be felt long after they have left us and gone out into the world tonight. They will leave with us the way that they will give of themselves without question when help is needed. They will leave with us their creativity, and they will leave with us their intellectual power and their extraordinary drive.”

The Guest of Honour, Dato’ Br Paul Ho, congratulated the graduates on completing their IB Diploma with flying colours despite having to do so virtually in these unnatural conditions. In his graduation address, he touched specifically on the possible silver linings that these trying times have brought about, saying “In all these relationship experiences with family or teachers during the lockdown, we all have leaned to “retool” ourselves by looking at others with more respect, patience in listening to others and avoiding forming prejudices. These are some of the new normal principles that we would have to be aware of as we live in the post-coronavirus period.”

A total of 13 student honours were given out during the ceremony comprising 6 Academic Prizes and 7 Major Awards which included the Sportsperson Of The Year Award, Outstanding Achievement Award, Lasallian Service Award, Academic Excellence Award, Principal’s Award, Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan Book Prize Award and the coveted Josephian of the Year Award.

Ms. Yap Su-Yin, CEO of the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation virtually presenting the Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan Book Prize Award

John Marcus Liew Jin had the honor of being awarded SJIIM’s Josephian of the Year Award for the graduating IBDP class of 2020 . A true Lasallian all-rounder who excels in academia and service work, Marcus credited the school’s Lasallian education ethos, his teachers, parents and peers for his success and an unbelievable education experience for the past 2 years. In his speech, he reminded his fellow Lasallian graduates that each of them has a responsibiity to themselves and to the people around them, saying “Much more than recognition of individual contribution, I believe the Josephian of the Year Award represents the values of community and leadership which SJIIM upholds. It is a humbling honour to receive this award. I hope that the students at SJIIM continue to be loving and ambitious in their devotion to our school and to the communities of which they are part of.” Marcus who was also the school’s Student Representative Council President, received the Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan Book Prize Award as well which was presented to him virtually by Ms. Yap Su-Yin, CEO of the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation, which is also one of SJIIM’s IBDP Scholarship Programme Sponsors. . As for his tertiary education plans, Marcus will be heading to the University of Bristol in the UK to read Law.

John Marcus Liew Jin, Josephian of the Year and recipient of the Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan Book Prize Award

Despite being unable to celebrate their graduation with the school’s customary post ceremony celebration dinner, the ceremony concluded with the usual cheer nontheless with the graduates’ gusto virtual singing of the school rally. To cap of the night in typical new normal fashion, the graduates were also treated to a personal graduation dinner by the school in the comforts of their home to celebrate their achievements.

Anissa Ng – Recipient of the Academic Excellence Award and Students’ Choice Speaker

Ter Shin Huey – Recipient of the Experimental Sciences Subject Prize

Major Awards 2020

Josephian of the Year Award & Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan Book Prize Award
John Marcus Liew Jin

Principal’s Award
Aaron Loke Jun Meng

Lasallian Service Award
Dhiirsyha Vinesh

Academic Excellence Award
Ng Wan Cheng, Anissa

Sportsperson of the Year
Ng Zhe Jinn

Outstanding Achievement Award
Lim Shang Yuan

Academic Subject Prizes
These prizes go to the Year 13 students with the top academic performance in each of the subject groups.

Group 1 – Studies in Language and Literature
Toh Yi Jin

Group 2 – Language Acquisition
Chua Li-Ann

Group 3 – Individuals and Societies
Ng Sher Ying

Group 4 – Experiemental Sciences
Ter Shin Huey

Group 5 – Mathematics
Justin Hew Kin Jun

Group 6 – The Arts
Sarah Jane Huntsman

Student Honours – Graduation Speech Transcripts

Source:
https://www.sji-international.edu.my/a-historic-virtual-graduation-for-sjiims-ibdp-graduates/