Malaysia Airlines (MAS) yesterday adopted Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Merpati here for its Project PINTAR programme. This is the first school in the Sabah Development Corridor and the eighth in the country adopted by the national carrier for this project since its participation in the PINTAR project last year. The launch of the adoption, held at the school in Sandakan, was officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman and attended by MAS Chairman Datuk Dr Mohammed Munir Abdul Majid as well as teachers and parents of the school children. In his address during the launch, Dr Munir said MAS had always been committed to its corporate responsibility objectives towards the people of East Malaysia. “Until 2006, we operated the rural air services providing subsidized airfares for the community in their efforts to improve the overall economic situation in these areas. This responsibility was taken over by our wholly owned subsidiary, MASwings on October 1,2007,” he said. “Last year we organized a charity gala show and donated proceeds to the Sabah Child Welfare Association and this year we are back again to launch Project PINTAR, yet another corporate responsibility initiative. “We started Project PINTAR by adopting two schools in Pulau Pinang last year and other Government-linked companies also participated in this project. This programme has shown encouraging result on its first anniversary with 397 students from 34 primary schools under the project obtaining 5As in the recent UPSR examination,” added Dr Munir. In terms of percentage, he said the number of students who obtained 5As from these schools is 12.7%, which is significantly higher than the national average of 9.7%. It is also a marked improvement over the 2006 results whereby 9.4% of the students who sat for the UPSR examination obtained 5As.” “We are indeed very encouraged by the academic progress of the students in these adopted schools. This year, we are expanding our Project PINTAR adoption to cover needy schools in the various economic regions announced by the Malaysian Government. Through this coverage, we reaffirm our partnership and commitment to support the Government’s many initiatives to reduce the economic imbalance in our society.” “Our objective in this project is to complement the work of the teaching staff in all the adopted schools in guiding students to excel in education - which is an important determining factor in our quest towards becoming a developed nation by the year 2020,” he added. Through this commitment for the next three years, MAS will facilitate several initiatives for the students needed to raise their motivation to learn and also to ensure they have a conducive learning environment.