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New Hotel 81-Choo Chong Ngen Foundation set up, donates S$2.5 million to Singapore polytechnics

Renowned Singapore entrepreneur Mr. Choo Chong Ngen today announced the establishment of the Hotel 81-Choo Chong Ngen Foundation ("the Foundation"), newly set up under Credit Suisse's SymAsia Foundation and with the bank as the philanthropy advisor.

Mr Choo is making the first donation under the foundation with a one-time pledge of S$2.5 million to the five polytechnics (Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic) in Singapore to establish the Hotel 81-Choo Chong Ngen Foundation Endowment Bursary ("the Bursary"). Each of the five polytechnics will receive S$500,000, and the government will match the donation by 1.5 : 1 bringing the total donation to S$1.25 million for each polytechnic. The total sum contributed to the five polytechnics will amount to S$6.25 million.

The Bursary will be funded by the income generated by the Hotel 81-Choo Chong Ngen Foundation Endowment Bursary fund and by 2020, the Bursary will benefit at least 40 Singaporean and Singapore Permanent Residents polytechnic students from any faculties who are in need of financial support annually. In the interim before income from the endowment bursary fund is earned, the donor is also providing seed funding to the Bursary of S$15,000 per year for each polytechnic for 2017 and 2018 to start supporting students.

Mr. Choo is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Singapore's largest chain of owner managed hotels under the brands Hotel 81, Value Hotel, Hotel Boss, V Hotel, Hotel Mi and Venue Hotel. Beyond his Singapore hotels portfolio, he owns two hotels in Thailand (managed by Travelodge) and will continue to look for other acquisition opportunities. This latest donation represents Mr. Choo’s continued dedicated philanthropic efforts around the education sector in Singapore. In 2012, he donated S$2 million to an educational bursary for students at Nanyang Technological University, S$2 million to the Singapore Institute of Technology in 2013, S$2 million to the Singapore Management University in 2015, and S$2 million to the National University of Singapore in 2016.

Mr. Choo said: "I have always believed in the importance of having a good education. Growing up, I did not have the privilege of furthering my education due to financial difficulties at that time, but it is clear that education can bring a great transformative impact to individuals and to society. I am grateful of the successes that I have achieved through hard work and overcoming challenges along the way and for me, the best way to give back to society is through my continued support in education philanthropy. I hope that through this bursary, I can help to support aspiring Singapore youth to access our world class polytechnic institutions and provide them with a strong foundation for success."

Ms. Young Jin Yee, CEO SymAsia commented, "We are very honored to be able to support Mr. Choo and his family in setting up the Hotel-81 Choo Chong Ngen Foundation, creating a platform for the continuation of their long-term philanthropic efforts. At SymAsia, we see education philanthropy as a clear focus among philanthropists in Singapore and Asia, reflecting not only the values of family and generational unity, but also how philanthropists see the transformational impact of education not only in their own success, but for generations to come."

The management team at Credit Suisse’s SymAsia Foundation has been taking the lead in designing the Bursary together with the respective polytechnics, ensuring that it is not only tailored to their respective needs and but that the implementation of the Bursary at each polytechnic is administered in an organized manner and in accordance to Mr. Choo’s philanthropic objectives.