KUCHING, 8 December 2017 – iM Sarawak, a social development initiative led by the
1Malaysia Sarawak Advisory Council, has always stressed its commitment to helping the
people of Sarawak. To do this they focus on three main areas, one of which is education.
Chairman of the 1Malaysia Sarawak Advisory Council YB Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum
asserted, “We at iM Sarawak believe that a sound education is a sure way to improve
one’s quality of life in the future.”
“As such, we have embarked on various education initiatives in rural and interior schools.
The very first of these is the iM Sarawak School Adoption Programme, an iM Sarawak
signature project which started in 2014 with the co-operation of the Sarawak State
Under the programme, iM Sarawak sent reading resources to 1,145 schools across
Sarawak to inculcate a healthy reading habit amongst the students. These resources
include story books, reference books, revision books and dictionaries. This programme
encompasses both primary and secondary schools and covers close to 80% of all schools
“Through follow-up visits we have found that the books are well received by both the
teachers and the students. And I commend the teachers for their commitment in using the
books to cultivate a love for reading in their students,” Datuk Joseph continued.
Take for example SK Limbang. The teachers came up with a programme called Program
Santapan Minda. The students are divided into groups and take turns to read aloud to their
group members. This helped build confidence and make reading a fun experience for the
Hayati Bt Sallehuddin, Headmaster of SK Limbang declared, “The books donated by iM
Sarawak are very interesting as they have colourful illustrations. These illustrations attract
the students to read and help cultivate a habit of reading and understanding. Through a
strong reading culture, our students have discovered new potential in terms of reading.
Some of them have progressed to achieve the Anugerah Nilam at the divisional-level.”
The Anugerah Nilam is an award initiated by the Ministry of Education to encourage
students to read. The award is given out based on the number of books read by the
Other school initiated activities include conducting inter-class story-telling competitions;
allowing the students to take the books back to their longhouses on weekends;
incorporating reading sessions in the school timetable and leaving books in the parent-
student waiting area.
The school teachers have reported that this increased interest in reading has resulted in
better English Language and Bahasa Malaysia fluency; increased confidence in the
students when they speak and an increased interest in other languages. In addition to that,
some students have even won competitions such as the district level inter-school story
telling competition as a result of their increased exposure to English and Bahasa Malaysia.
“The schools in the iM Sarawak Programme are doing wonderful things with the resources
we have provided to them. It always amazes me how great things can be achieved with a
little bit of help and a lot of dedication and effort. I hope our books will continue to be a
source of education and delight for the students and future students of these schools,”
concluded Datuk Joseph Salang.