Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NOW OPEN -- Applications for Elena Cooke Education Fund Scholarship 2014

BBGS Alumni Berhad invites applicants for the Elena Cooke Education Fund Scholarships 2014.

The education fund has been set up in memory of our former headmistress, Miss Elena M. Cooke, who devoted her life to establishing Bukit Bintang Girls' School (BBGS) as a premier school in Kuala Lumpur. 

Although the school was closed in 2000 and the building demolished, the alumni is carrying on its legacy of education by awarding scholarships to needy students.

  • Malaysians below 23 years old
  • Obtained at least 3As in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)
  • Must meet requirements listed in the application form (please download)
  • Must meet course entry requirements stipulated by the educational institution.

4pm, 31 March 2014

Email your application form with the required documents as stated in the application form to bbgs.ecef@gmail.com


Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Tribute to My Students

A Tribute to My Students

They taught me as much about real life as 
I taught them about life in Literature books

by Mrs Thanen (formerly known as Miss Senthe)

The then Miss Senthe (left) who was fined by her student prefect, Moey Yoke Lai (right), for walking on the grass.

In Anna and the King, King Mongkut of Thailand graciously acknowledges that it is amazing how the teacher teaches, but how “by the pupils we are taught.”

In this context, I wish to record my appreciation of many values that my students taught me. There are too many instances, but I record here the ones that made most impact on my life since they happened.

In my very first year at BBGS, I was assigned a Form Five Class. I noticed a girl in my class who always appeared listless and inattentive, be it the first period or the last. When I talked to her after school, I discovered she was so poor, she never had breakfast, nor had she any food during the break.

I told her I would buy a tin of biscuits and keep it in my staff room locker and she could come to the staff room and help herself without anyone knowing about it. When the tin of biscuits was finished, it was her turn to call me aside and tell me: “Miss Senthe, yes we are poor. Yes we wash the flats in our area and sweep the compound. But we do not accept anything from anybody.”

Immediately, it flashed upon me that the poor too have their dignity and we have no right to undermine that. My God gave me the wisdom and the insight to respect her wishes and I didn’t push it down her throat. I can’t remember her name now, but I will remember as long as I live the one lesson she taught me:  "We are poor, but we have our own dignity".

Another time, I was given a rather more able class. A girl in that class had shouted back at the teacher who complained loud and long in the staff room about my class and the rude behaviour of this girl. When I confronted the girl, she meekly and obediently went and apologised to the teacher.

But another onlooker student, Teh Choon Yin came to me confidentially and told me, it was the teacher who provoked Poh Choo! And so gave me a perpective from an objective student’s point of view.

I used to teach also, as part of the lessons in argumentative writing, “flaws in reasoning”. One of the flaws used to be designated “missing the wood for the trees”. A girl in that class used to pick up a point I had made (quite out of the topic) and distract me. I would almost always be side tracked and get into the argument. Thanks to Chitra Raghavan who pointed out to me: “You are falling for her distraction every time.”

But the prize for my being taught by my students goes to Moey Yoke Lai, who was a prefect in Form 4 when I began teaching. At that time, there was a sprawling rain tree and under it, the grass grew luxuriantly. Everywhere were signs: “Do not walk on the grass.”

At that time, you could walk along the corridor to the office from the staff room. (the long way). Or you could take a short cut across the lawn, stepping on the verdant grass. The Form Four classroom in which Moey Yoke Lai sat overlooked this green.

One day, I had been summoned to the office by Miss Cooke. Not knowing what this summons would entail, I was dashing across the grass from the staff room to the office. The Form Four class (Yoke Lai is supposed to be paying attention to the teacher) was in session. And suddenly lo and behold, Yoke Lai, the prefect, stands in front of me.

“Miss Senthe, you cannot walk on the grass! You are fined 20 cents (in 1965, 30 cents could buy you a bowl of laksa!)

She taught me something that day, because I HAD to pay the fine.  Now you’ll understand how one BBGS pupil turned out to be a headmistress in true BBGS style! 

Friday, June 21, 2013


Dear Ladies,

Tonight at our 120th anniversary dinner at Saloma Theatre Restaurant, we shall be launching our brand new website that will bring all BBGS news under one umbrella.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ntv7 Interview - Elena Cooke Education Fund

This is a recording of the interview taken via handphone. We will post the actual one when we get a copy of the recording from ntv7

Please note that the email address is bbgs.ecef@gmail.com and not as shown by ntv7


Monday, February 18, 2013


Tune into ntv7 The Breakfast Show before 8am on 20 Feb 2013 (Wed). There will be a 10-minute interview with two directors of BBGS Alumni Berhad--Miss Yoke-Lai Moey and Datin Azimah Rahim--who will be sharing about our BBGS legacy and the Elena Cooke Education Fund.


Well done, Miss Moey Yoke Lai and Datin Azimah in representing BBGS on TV. BBGS is alive! There are several comments coming in from BBGSians all over the world to show that they are excited to see their alma mater being revived. The Elena Cooke Education Fund is one way BBGSians can give back to society having benefitted from the excellent education we received in BBGS.

Nisi Dominus Frustra!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kindness Begets Kindness

Here is a real story (posted on BBGS OGA Facebook) about how a BBGSian was touched by Miss Cooke's generosity...


One day, after school, Miss Elena M Cooke walked past a classroom and noticed a lone BBGSian sitting at her desk, looking dejected.

Miss Cooke stopped by and asked: "Dear, why are you looking so sad?"

The student explained that she had applied for a Government scholarship but she was only awarded a partial subsidy. She wanted so much to do well in her Form Five exam in order to qualify for Form Six. Miss Cooke encouraged her not to give up hope.

Next morning, the student was "summoned" to Miss Cooke's office. Smiling, Miss Cooke handed her an envelope and asked her to open it. In it were a cash cheque for RM300 and a letter stating that the student DID NOT NEED TO RETURN THE MONEY but, when successful, she should "HELP OTHERS IN NEED".

Fourteen years later, this same student returned to her alma mater and asked the then headmistress Miss Yeap if there were BBGSians who needed financial help. She donated RM1,000 to three sisters who were orphans.

Till today, this student has never forgotten Miss Cooke's kindness. She is always looking for ways to return her headmistress' kindness. No wonder, she immediately donated RM5,000 when she heard about the Elena Cooke Education Fund!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


BBGS Alumni Berhad Chairman Miss Moey Yoke Lai (left) and Sunway Education Group Senior 
Executive Director Ms Elizabeth Lee (right) holding the Memorandum of Cooperation. 
Witnessing the occasion were Sunway University Vice-Chancellor Prof Graeme Wilkinson (fifth from left) 
and BBGS alumnae and Sunway staff.

As soon as news of Miss Cooke’s demise on 2 May 2012 was announced, the BBGS Old Girls’ Association received an sms message from an alumna: “On behalf of the Sunway Ed Group I wish to give a scholarship up to RM100K thru the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation via BBGSOGA to Elena Cooke Ed Fund in honour of her life as a true educator. Elizabeth Lee Fuh Yen, proud BBGSian Class of 76”.

Less than 30mins later, another sms came in: “On hindsight, since this is for education & for our dearest Ms Cooke, I’d like to now pledge up to RM500K. Details to be worked out.”

After months of preparation by representatives of the Sunway Education Group (SEG) and BBGS Alumni Berhad (BAB), the official signing ceremony was held at 10am on 20 December 2012 at the Graduate Centre at the Sunway University.

Under the Memorandum of Cooperation, the Sunway Education Group, which is owned and governed by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, will sponsor tuition fees worth RM500,000 (or equivalent to 10 scholarships) while BAB will be responsible for cash grants of RM10,600 per academic year for each successful applicant to cover accommodation costs, book purchases and living expenses. Besides identifying the potential candidates, BAB shall provide some form of mentoring programme as a means to guide the successful candidate to cope or adapt to the study programme.

SEG Senior Executive Director Ms Elizabeth Lee explained: "These scholarships would also provide an opportunity for other BBGS alumnae to play a role, besides giving money, in mentoring scholarship holders from underprivileged families." 

“I also hope that more BBGSians in positions of influence in other corporations will join us in giving a helping hand to the Elena Cooke Education Fund. When I received an email announcement of Miss Cooke’s passing, it suddenly struck me that I am placed in my present position for a purpose. If I can help my alma mater, why don’t I do my part in repaying what BBGS has done for me?”

BBGSians will have plenty of opportunities to use their positions of influence in the corporate sector to help build the Elena Cooke Education Fund in the “1,200 Shining Stars” fundraising campaign that was announced by BAB Chairman Miss Moey Yoke Lai during the signing ceremony.

In conjunction with BBGS 120th anniversary celebrations in 2013, we are now launching the ‘1,200 Shining Stars’ fundraising campaign which involves the lighting up of 1,200 stars on the BBGS.ElenaCooke Facebook page to raise RM1.2 million for the ECE Fund.

For every donation of RM1,000, one star will be lit up on our Facebook page. Donations of RM1,000 each can be made individually or collectively. Donors can light up more than one star at a time. We hope to get 1,200 stars shining to reach our target of RM1.2 million.

Former BBGS students, teachers, staff, friends, well wishers and corporations are welcome to contribute to the Elena Cooke Education Fund.

Please LIKE our ‘1,200 Shining Stars’ FB page: www.facebook.com/BBGS.ElenaCooke

To download Donation Form: 

To download Elena Cooke Education Fund ebrochure: https://www.box.com/s/jzm9drqorks2hdpe3b1v