The strong spirit of brotherhood among former St John’s Institution (SJI) students resulted in the final settlement of an outstanding Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) bill today.
St John’s Institution Alumni Association (SJAA) president Isham Ishak said the final payment of RM88,690.00 was made to TNB at 3.30pm and that the school no longer owes TNB any payments.
The 114-year-old iconic Kuala Lumpur school saw its electricity disconnected after failing to pay an outstanding bill of RM245,348.54 in August.
Following a meeting between SJAA and TNB on Aug 21, the utility company waived the RM55,000 in interest, and that brought the total bill to about RM190,000.
“This has been an ongoing matter since 2008 involving many stakeholders. We are just glad it is over,” Isham said.
“On behalf of the alumni, I would like to record my sincere appreciation to all members regardless contribution. Some provided moral support, some monetary support. But their support created the momentum for us to solve this long standing problem.”
Isham said the alumni has planned short and long term solutions to ensure such an episode did not take place again.
“The school has done an equipment audit and is taking measures to cut down unnecessary usage.”
As for the mid to long term solution, the alumni is setting up an endowment fund for the school.
Isham said SJAA has identified several key and influential figures, including bankers and fund managers, who will assist the association pro-bono.
“We have to forgo the attitude of asking money from the government and expect others to solve our problems. We need to do it on our own and we did it.”
“Although initially this episode was an embarrassment but we bit the bullet and addressed the issue. This is the way forward for any other alumi and school suffering the same fate.”
Notable Johannians include Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, former Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former national goalkeeper the late Chow Chee Keong, comedian Harith Iskander and recently appointed Petronas chief finance officer Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz.