Passing on a Legacy of Success
A new generation of Hospitality Business, Digital Communications and Integrated Media, and Civil Engineering undergraduates will be supported by the ELK Bursary at SIT
The Estate of the late Mr Eng Liat Kiang, a respected leader and businessman in the Teochew community, has made possible the new ELK Bursary in support of deserving students at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) with an endowed gift of $1 million.
Open to undergraduates from the Hospitality Business, Digital Communications and Integrated Media, as well as the Civil Engineering degree programmes, the ELK Bursary seeks to inspire in them tenacity and encourage a positive outlook to rise above their circumstances. Valued at $5,000 each, at least six or up to nine Bursaries will be given out annually and in perpetuity, from the new Academic Year 2022/23 onwards.
Mr Eng was the Founder Chairman of Sin Heng Chan Group, but he had come from an impoverished background. His parents passed on when he was three, leaving him under the charge of his elder siblings. He first set foot on the shores of Singapore in 1936 with little on him, and he soon found work earning a meagre income. He taught himself languages such as Malay, English and Indonesian from books as he knew that he needed to be able to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities in order to make a livelihood. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit burning in him, he gathered two friends and they opened their first provision store on Rochor Road. Experiencing World War II also made Mr Eng more determined to overcome any hardship and in 1947, he started Sin Heng Chan which focused on rice trading. His business grew rapidly – now known as The SHC Group, it is one of Singapore’s longest privately owned corporations with a focus in two key areas – property development and hospitality management.
Said Mr Eng Bak Chim, Managing Director, The SHC Group, “The late Mr Eng believed that possessing strong willpower, determination and the ability to endure difficulties, will see one through many challenging moments in life. We hope that this bursary will encourage students at SIT to press on and see difficulties encountered in their lives as opportunities for growth.”
Said Prof Chua Kee Chaing, President, SIT, “I just wish to say how much we appreciate this generous gift for our students. Many of our young SITizens come from less privileged backgrounds and are the first in their families to attend university. This very thoughtful gift from the Estate of Mr Eng Liat Kiang will give them the support they need to focus on their studies and help them realise their potential, in spite of their financial circumstances. The ELK Bursary will generate a positive multiplier effect, for the industry and the community, in years to come.”