APU student book donation project brings joy to community

As part of his Tunku Abdul Rahman Scholarship effort, Tan Wei Siang was able to gather 1,760 pre-loved books and donate them to five community libraries and schools throughout George Town.

Tan Wei Siang, a Software Engineering student at Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU), enjoys reading. He believes that everyone, regardless of background or circumstances, should be able to experience the joy of reading.

That is why, with the support of 10 volunteers from Taman Free School Village Community Management Council and Young Malaysian Movement (YMM), he formed the ‘Books for All’ project as part of his Tunku Abdul Rahman Scholarship effort to help give books into the hands of individuals in need.  

Wei Siang is also the Founder and Lead of ‘Care for All’. He launched the ‘Books for All: Donate A Book Change A Life’ campaign in April, and manage to collect 1,760 pre-loved books.

Wei Siang started small by collecting books from friends and family. However, as word spread, more people began donating books, including Book For A Better World — a social enterprise company — which donated 400 children’s pre-loved books such as fiction/non-fiction books, school textbooks, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, self-help books, and motivational books, while the balance is from public donation around Klang Valley. 

Among the books donated by Book For A Better World and Klang Valley residents and taken back to Penang to be donated to those in need.
He brought back all the books and donated them to Mini Library Phone Booths in George Town (outside Balai Polis Lebuh Pantai), Pertubuhan Kebajikan Insan Penyayang Pulau Pinang, Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) Heng Ee, Taman Sri Nibong Books Adoption Centre in Tzu Chi Environment Protection Education Centre, and the Lighthouse Drop-in Centre.

He also donated some of the pre-loved books to 100 underprivileged kids at Taman Free School in Jelutong, in addition to the five community libraries and local schools, since he recognised the transformative power of education and expanded his vision to include the Books for All campaign.

“Students who get the books will be able to raise their reading engagement and academic achievement, while community libraries will be able to revitalise their collections and make them more accessible to the community, along with bringing people together and creating a more literate community,” said Wei Siang.

He is honoured and proud of all the donors’ efforts to spread the joy of reading because they recognise how books can open up a world of possibilities for people, and he is committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the joy of reading. 

The Books for All campaign will continue in the future with various plans. 

Wei Siang previously raised RM70,000 through crowdfunding and eSports competitions during the pandemic and donated food baskets to over 1,000 underprivileged families in Taman Free School — Penang’s poorest area — for two years as part of the Care for All projects.

For his noble and caring efforts to help the poor, Wei Siang received the Penang Young Excellence Award in Pandemic Leadership from the Penang State Government.