Bandar Seri Begawan - Some 30 underprivileged students who applied for financial assistance from the BSB Chinese Chamber of Commerce are at risk of not being able to continue their studies after the association was forced to suspend all of its activities upon receiving a suspension order issued by the Registrar of Societies on March 4.
This matter was raised by Peng Thing Kheo, the head of the education fund under the BSB Chinese Chamber of Commerce, during a press conference yesterday at the association's building in the heart of the capital.
The students who attained excellent results last year come from various private schools nationwide and had applied to the association for financial assistance.
Peng revealed that each year, the association has contributed some $40,000 to underprivileged students who attain excellent results to assist them.
According to him, a ceremony to present the financial assistance to the students was planned for April, However, after receiving the suspension order, the future of the association is in limbo.
Peng said that a Chinese school in Brunei had asked him if they should begin issuing letters to the families of the underprivileged students to inform them that they now have to pay for their children's school fees.
He, however, informed the school to wait for the decision of the Registrar of Societies, as the association was in the process of appealing the Suspension Order.
The association is currently not accepting any new applications for educational scholarship.
Aside from this, Yong Teck Foo, the head of liaison for the association, said: "Without any activities being organised, the association will be badly affected. We can't organise charity events to raise money.
"We are also unable to take part in any national event such as His Majesty's birthday celebrations. The association also cannot host any courtesy calls for foreign investors to help attract investments in Brunei."
The letter sent by the Registrar of Societies stated that under Section 17 Chapter 203 of the Societies Act, the BSB Chinese Chamber of Commerce is instructed to cease all its activities from the date of the Suspension Order until the Order is terminated by the Registrar of Societies.
The suspension of the association is based on an internal problem over the voting of new office bearers for the session of 2012 to 2014, which was held some time last year.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin