UKM Helps Wayward Youths Become Independent

permataBy Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Shahiddan Saidi

Kuala Lumpur, 21 May 2015 – The Permata and the Perkasa Permata Community Centres have benefitted more than 3,000 youths to become more independent and forward-thinking.

The Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor who is also patron of the Permata Programme, said they can contribute to the betterment of society.

Such an approach could help turn problematic youths into productive adolescents, said Rosmah when officiating the Permata Perkasa Remaja Community Centre at the Desa Rejang Public Housing Project, Setapak Jaya, here today.

The Permata Perkasa Community Centre, a pilot project carried out with The National University of Malaysia (UKM) under the Permata programme, provides various activities in the form of basic skills classes, like vocal and music classes, photography, cake making and decoration, make-up and grooming.

She noted that the strategy is in keeping with the government’s aspiration to produce independent-minded teenagers capable of helping themselves and others in their neighborhoods.

She said 565 teenagers voluntarily attended basic vocational classes at the centres in the People’s Housing Project (PPR) at Sri Pantai and Pantai Ria, Pantai Dalam, when they were opened in 2010.

“In a period of five years, 3,242 teenagers and youths have benefited from these classes,” she clarified.

Rosmah explained the programme was a success as it had been able to encourage teenagers to open small businesses, like becoming part-time photographers and also to offer make-up and grooming services.

She said the Permata community centres were set up with the cooperation of PR1MA Corporation and expressed the hope that the centres could also be set up in PR1MA housing areas.

The latest activity introduced at the community centres is English language class, which is handled by Permata Interact and the British Council on the initiative of Rosmah’s daughter, Nooryana Najwa Najib.

There is also the ‘Homework Club’, conducted with the cooperation of UKM students, to help secondary school students with their daily homework.

The Permata Perkasa Community Centre in Desa Rejang began operation in October last year with 200 teenagers.

Today’s event was also attended by UKM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali, Setiawangsa Member of Parliament Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari, and Nooryana Najwa.