Spastic centre in need of funds
The Spastic Children’s Association needs more funds for its new building.
THE Spastic Children’s Association of Selangor & Federal Territory’s plans for the proposed Sultan Idris Shah Building in Petaling Jaya has hit a snag due to a shortage of funds.
The ninestorey building with a threestorey car park is part of the association’s plan to expand its services. The redevelopment project was estimated to cost RM20mil. It has now ballooned to over RM30mil due to the escalating construction costs, says Datuk Seri Lum Peng Chong, the association’s president and fundraising chairman.
After several fundraising drives which included the Royal Charity Dinner in 2013 and the Amazing Voice Concert last year, the building fund now stands at RM20mil.
The association had initially planned to start construction of the two ninestorey blocks this year. Now that construction costs have escalated, Lum says the project will be split into two phases. Phase 1 comprises a hall, car park, treatment pool and three floors of classrooms. The two ninestorey blocks will come under Phase 2 when more funds are raised.
The Spastic Children’s Association was set up in 1960 for the education and rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy. The association owns and manages the Spastic Centre at Lorong Utara A, Petaling Jaya.
Datuk Mohinder Singh, honorary secretary of the association, says the site for the RM30mil redevelopment project is the vacant land where the first building of the association once stood. Built in 1966, the building comprised a singlestorey classroom and a twostorey office. In October 2010, it was demolished partly due to termite infestation and flooding, says Mohinder.
Currently, the association has a RM6mil sixstorey building named after the late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah. It was built in 1994. This building houses classrooms, an office, therapy rooms, a multipurpose hall and sheltered workshops for children with cerebral palsy. The association also rents out office space to NGOs as part of its incomegenerating initiative.
The Spastic Centre provides education and treatment ( physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy) for 200 spastic children. Its comprehensive range of services includes hydrotherapy, vocational training, daily living skills training, sports for the disabled, and sheltered workshops.
“All these services are free,” says Lum, adding that the centre is still open to the children when they grow into adults. The association even pays a transport subsidy to encourage spastic children to use the centre’s services.
“It is not easy to manage the centre due to the rising costs of running it over the years,” says Lum. The association has been receiving government funding, except for the last two years.
Besides raising funds, the association generates an income of RM400,000 annually from rental of its office lots and RM20,000 from its parking facilities.
Mohinder, who is also honorary director of the centre, says in 2014, the Spastic Centre’s operating expenses came up to RM1.96mil.
The association owes its success to dedicated staff, volunteers and supporters. To show its appreciation, the association is holding a thanksgiving and charity dinner at ShangriLa Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, on April 3. The Sultan of Selangor, who is patron of the association, will be attending the dinner.
Mohinder says 500 guests, who are supporters of the association, have been invited.
Lum showing a model of the proposed rM30mil redevelopment project of the spastic children’s Association in Petaling Jaya. — rAyMONd OOI/ The star