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LETTING GO AND MOVING ON BY JAMES OH

LETTING GO AND MOVING ON BY JAMES OH
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MINDSET SHIFT: EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR

MINDSET SHIFT: EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR
BY JAMES OH

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

HENG EE HIGH SCHOOL AND ITS FOUNDER

Dear friends,
Lately I drove back to my hometown and all of a sudden, there were some inspiration,flashing out some sweet old 
memories during my stay in Penang. As a result, I wrote several articles on those matters.
Today, the article I am going to share with you my secondary school where I spent six good years there,
 i.e. 1974 to 1979,  none other than Heng Ee High School. It is located on Hamilton Road in the George Town 
area and is relatively close to Penang Free School, one of the oldest schools in Penang and I don't 
think it needs any further elaboration. However, it does not apply to my school which does not have such a long 
historical background. As such, I will cover some of its unique story and hope you are enjoy reading it.
This school has its own uniqueness in the sense that its ground is divided into 2 sections: one side comprises the 
school administrators' rooms, teachers' room, staff roomcafeteria, foyer, school hall, blocks of classrooms, 
computer rooms, living skills rooms, science laboratories and a football field while the another side comprises a 
small car parkbasketball courts and a volleyball court. This piece of idle land has been acquired subsequently 
for expansion of the school. It has been conveyed to us when I was studying there, 
but it had been acquired many years after I left the school.
When we talk about this school, one major component which cannot be omitted is its founder. I believe 
this great man should deserve more coverage as he had contributed significantly to our society and the 
 school in particular. Do not forget that being a foreigner and establishing a Chinese School in a foreign country is 
definitely not an easy task. Thank God for his persistence and endurance throughout his 
journey of struggle.
Mr Goh Boon Poh is currently the principal of this school.






















The photo, above, shown the front view of this school

The school was founded in 1957 by the late Datuk Father Arthur Julien, a Belgian missionary 
who arrived in Penang from China in 1952. He had also established the Heng Ee Primary School 
and Heng Ee Kindergarten in 1952 and 1969 respectively.  There is no surprise for him to be 
awarded a Datukship for his significant contribution to our society. Some of you may able to see 
that being a westerner and wanting to establish a Chinese school in a foreign country certainly 
impose a great challenge to him. He used to share with us the challenges he had gone through 
when we attended his classes once a week. I always salute him for what he had done, but he 
always attributed this values with the Chinese values, which I find lots of similarity. No wonder 
that he spent lots of his time to master Mandarin and he can speak even better mandarin than I 
do. I found him to have even a deep understanding of Mandarin and our cultural values. He made 
 himself so humble that we could treat him as a friend, who always stand by to assist us in any way
he could. I recalled that he even convince the headmaster at that time to allow us to make use of 
the classroom during the school break for our revision as he knows that majority of the students 
are from lower income group and many of us do not have proper place to study at home.
To reduce the consumption of electricity, he even offered us his room to smaller group of students 
who wish to come at night to study in the school. He always keeps the school expenses to a minimum 
as this school only received very minimum funding from the government despite it being designated as a national 
school. Most of the expenses are bored by public donations. The great man had impacted my
life a lot .I always looked upon him in my life of struggle as well. It is truly blessed to know this great 
 man at our young age despite me being  always a shy pupil, who chose to struggle silently than to share 
it out with others. I have only been transformed after I accepted Christ as my Savior.  











On my way back to Kuala Lumpur, I asked for the guard’s permission to enter the school 
compound and take the photo of the little statute resembling him standing at the open space 
between the school front and the other building.  Though he had gone, but his spirit of 
dedication  to serve the needy students are beyond words. I can vouch for him – being the 
man who walk  his talk - uses every possible means and assistance he can have to reach out 
to those students in need, regardless of race and social status.This made most of  us students 
feel proud of him.
I recalled a few of us have approached him to borrow the classroom for prepare for our 
school examination. His smiling face well indicated to us that he was more than happy to do 
so and truly understand our difficulty to study at home. I learnt that he also offered his room, 
at the school, to students who truly need a room to study which otherwise was not available 
at their own homes. He seemed to know every need of his students. He gave us all the 
necessary encouragement when we were saddled by unfortunate incidences. He always shows 
us the way and always standby to give the necessary encouragement that could cheer our hearts 
and souls. NO wonder that lots of us loved him very much and he gained our highest respect. 
Though he had gone, but his spirit and name will be always remembered. 
He was always very proud of this school, for being able to use Mandarin language as a medium 
to conduct classes here as he found that this language has lots of high values that need to be 
preserved. He used to describe all these values and cultivated them in our lives despite being a 
foreigner to us. We can sense that his love conquers all barriers and we are always looked upon
him for such a cheerful spirit. He does not always look cheerful and energetic, but he was always 
willing to offer his hands to anyone who needs his assistance.
It was learnt that he contributed the entire heritage of 50,000 pounds he received from his father 
to this school. He can speak mandarin very well and he faced a great challenge when he initially 
raised funds to build these Chinese school from the Chinese community. Firstly people are 
doubtful of him for being Westerner and willing to build Chinese schools in foreign land. 
Thank God for his endurance throughout his challenging years and today his name will never be 
forgotten. Though the statue subsequently built after his death is no comparison to his contribution 
to this school, it will serve as a remembrance of his great work, He can be remembered as a 
 model to the world at large.
Before we put an end to this article, we urge those who know about his life to contact us either
via comments or email to jamesoh2003@yahoo.co.uk or bthongoh@hotmail.com so that we 
can blog more about his life and his great contribution in the internet sphere. Thank you for 
your kind participation. 


We look forward to hearing from you,


Your Chief Servant,

James Oh

Founder and Group CEO

Skype me at james.oh18

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