District Governor's Message

District Governor’s Message – September 2020

My dear friends, brothers and sisters in Rotary,

I am extremely excited and happy to inform you of the progress made by the District in the first 2 months of the new Rotary Year 2020-21 vis-a-vis the targets set for the year. Our membership base has expanded from 1,795 to 1,877 as against our target of 2,500 by end of June 2021, attributed mainly to a net increase of 35 in existing clubs and the rest from the Rotary Club of Kepong Kuala Lumpur and Rotary Club of Pandamaran chartered in the month of August 2020. More new clubs are in the pipeline with many interest groups actively exploring the different club models to be formed. Our TRF contributions have recorded a modest achievements : Annual Givings – USD 12,260 and EndPolio Fund – USD 535.

My official club visits have commenced on 4th August and so far 15 clubs have been covered. It was really a fascinating experience meeting up and touching base with our brothers and sisters in the Rotary family while sharing my vision for the District and exchanging ideas on how to strengthen clubs and make everyone to strive for club’s healthy growth and vibrancy. At the same time, the District Training Team headed by PDG Kirenjit has worked closely with the District Strategic Planning Committee Chair PDG Siti Subaidah, District Rotary
Foundation Chair PDG Leslie Salehuddin, District Membership Chair PAG Dato Siva Ananthan and District
Public Image Chair PAG Rajj to roll out our first in the series of Vibrant Club Leaders Trainings on 22-23
August at Summit Hotel KL City Centre. This is a deep dive into the three main pillars of the clubs and we
hope clubs will take home innovative ideas to further strengthen their clubs. We are encouraged to see a total
of 120 club leaders from the Klang Valley attended the training seminar. In alignment with our plan and
vision to strengthen our clubs, we will take a step further to organise online or physical training seminars on
Rotary’s Five Avenues of Service for club members and leaders.

Basic Education and Literacy is one of The Rotary Foundation’s six areas of focus and September is
designated for this to remind us of the global pressing needs for the provision of basic education and
literacy to the underserved and underprivileged. As we all know that basic education and literacy are
essential for reducing poverty, improving health, encouraging community and economic development and
promoting peace. Worldwide, 67 million children have no access to education, more than 775 million
people over the age of 15 are illiterate.

We are determined to strengthen the capacity of our communities to support basic education and literacy,
reduce gender disparity in education and increase adult literacy. Closer to us, the literacy rate in Malaysia is
around 95% but there are certain areas where the literacy rate is as low as 85%. I would urge clubs in
District 3300 to collaborate with the District Action Groups working specifically on education such as
Rotary Kasih and Rotary Education Fund to reach out to these communities and underprivileged
individuals in need. We have also many clubs engaged in the provision of clean water to schools; training
for the children with special needs; distribution of dictionaries, school bags, shoes and uniforms to students
from families with financial challenges; building of reading corners and mini libraries in the schools as well
as communities; provision of tuition and schooling opportunities for some of the underserved communities
such as Orang Asli children. The District has launched “A Student, A Laptop” project on 21st August 2020
to ensure that financially challenged students are not deprived of the opportunities to on-line study and
learning in the face of Covid-19 pandemic. This project aims to benefit 2,000 deserving students. I earnestly
urge clubs to actively participate in this project and place education as one of the key service initiatives to
transform the lives of others in need, big or small. We may not be able to change the world but we at least
would manage to change one’s world through our effort. It is often said that when you teach someone to
read, he will have that for a lifetime and it will ripple through the community, one by one. Confucius said
more than 2,500 years ago “有教无类“, meaning “Education To All Irrespective of One’s Background”.
Victor Hugo said “He who opens a school door, closes a prison” and Malcolm X went further to say that
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. That is
the power of education, my friends!

RI President Holger Knaack in unveiling the theme for this Rotary Year has said “Whatever we do, we
open an opportunity to someone, somewhere”! Let us through Rotary, open opportunities for others and
ourselves. Let us together see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting cange – across the
globe, in our communities and in ourselves!

Love and warmest regards!

Your brother in Rotary,

Teoh Kwan Swee
RY2020-21 District Governor
RI District 3300

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