Spas­tic cen­tre in need of funds

The Spas­tic Chil­dren’s As­so­ci­a­tion needs more funds for its new build­ing.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING - By MA­JORIE CHIEW star2@ thes­tar. com. my

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

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