PETALING JAYA: It was an overwhelming demonstration of generosity from his friends and supporters that made the Soo Ewe Jin Scholarship for aspiring journalists a reality.

The Star lost an executive editor and notable colum­nist when Ewe Jin succumb­ed to cancer last Nov 17.

To the family’s surprise, hundreds of friends and those who followed Ewe Jin’s weekly Sunday Starters turned up at the wake and contribu­ted money.

“I don’t think Ewe Jin expected his wake and funeral service to be so well attended,” said his widow Angeline Lim (pic).

“He was a humble person. We collected quite a sum – RM50,000, as you know. Soon after, friends proposed that either a foundation or a scholarship be set up in his name.

“So, I pursued the scholarship suggestion and when I approached The Star, they were very, very receptive and here we are,” she said.

Lim’s request set the ball rolling and an arrangement was soon made between The Star and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), an institution renowned for producing top-notch journalists.

On Friday, a trust deed was signed by Star Media Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Asma Ismail and Lim at Menara Star.

Dr Asma pledged a matching grant of RM50,000 at the event.

The scholarship will sponsor one undergraduate every year for a Bachelor in Communications (Journa­lism) degree at USM.

“At Ewe Jin’s funeral, I expressed hope that his life would inspire others to make a difference, to bring light to dark places,” said Lim.

“And I think that this scholarship really gives an opportunity for people to do this.

“I think both the givers and recei­vers of this fund will be working toget­her to bring positive changes, and I’m really excited about that,” she said.

Ewe Jin’s Sunday Starters column touched the lives of many with its strong message of compassion, kindness and charity.

Members of the public are invited to support this effort to nurture fresh talent in journalism by contributing to the Soo Ewe Jin Scholarship, via online bank transfer or cheques.

For online transfers, bank into USM’s CIMB Bank Berhad account number 98986100800099 via Interbank GIRO transfer and then e-mail a copy of the deposit receipt together with your name, address and the amount donated to both yayasan@usm.my and sejscholarship@thestar.com.my.

Contributions by cheque should be made out to Universiti Sains Malaysia. Write ‘Soo Ewe Jin Scholarship’ on the back of the cheque and send it to: Soo Ewe Jin Scholarship c/o The Star Education Fund, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Include your name, address and the amount donated so that a receipt may be issued to you by USM.

Donations qualify for tax exemptions.

For enquiries, e-mail yayasan@usm.my or sejscholarship@thestar.com.my, or call Yayasan USM at 04-653 6761.