Keeping Alight a Legacy to Nurture Future Nurses

An endowed gift from the Estate of Irene Tan Liang Kheng, a permanent Scholarship has been established at SIT to support talented Nursing students through the entire course of their studies

When the upcoming Academic Year 2021/22 commences at SIT in September this year, Nursing undergraduates can look forward to the new Irene Tan Liang Kheng Scholarship. This endowed scholarship, made possible by the Estate of Irene Tan Liang Kheng to encourage excellence in Nursing undergraduates at SIT, will be awarded to one new recipient each year (and in perpetuity). Valued at $7,500 each year, the scholarship will be tenable for the entire course of the recipients’ studies.


Named in recognition of the late investor and philanthropist Mdm Irene Tan Liang Kheng, the Scholarship will be awarded to academically talented Singaporean Nursing undergraduates who have made significant contributions to SIT or the community. The recipients of this Scholarship must also exhibit humility and a willingness to help others, in addition to being passionate about the nursing profession.


Mdm Tan was an investor and philanthropist. She was married to Mr Ong Tiong Tat, who was a close friend of the late lawyer and philanthropist Mr Koh Choon Joo (or CJ Koh as he was popularly known). After Mr Koh suffered a stroke in the 1980s, Mr Ong and Mdm Tan became his caregivers with the help of hired nurses. The nurses’ dedication to caring for Mr Koh, and their willingness to make sacrifices for others, touched the Ongs. Hearing from the nurses that financial support for nursing students had been scarce, the Ongs then decided to support these students, initially through a gift made in 2002 by Mr Ong to the Nanyang Polytechnic to set up the CJ Koh Bursary for nursing diploma students.


In supporting the establishment of the Irene Tan Liang Kheng Scholarship at SIT, Mr HH Tan, who is Mdm Tan’s nephew and also the executor of her Estate, says his intention is to carry on the legacy of Mr Ong and Mdm Tan. (The Estate also supports medical research, medical students and medical professionals.)


He said, “My late Aunt and Uncle were very keen to nurture budding Nursing talents. I hope this scholarship will encourage and enable more deserving Nursing students, who will go on to make a difference in the healthcare sector and in the lives of many patients.”