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Permata’s work with autistic children worth the money

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Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – Sept 23, 2016: Countering vitriol levelled against the Permata programme, its Permata Kurnia director Associate Professor Dr Hasnah Toran explained why the special education institution is not “a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

In a lengthy Facebook posting that she penned yesterday, Hasnah questioned critics of the special early childhood education programme whether it was a waste of money that its autistic-centred programme, Permata Kurnia had provided early education and intervention to nearly 300 autistic children this year alone.

Founded by the wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Permata has been constantly criticised by opposition leaders and supporters.

The recent controversial issues surrounding the conferment of an international award to Rosmah’s works for Permata has generated a lot of criticisms with some going as far as accusing Permata as being Rosmah’s “piggy bank”.

Hasnah countered those accusation by pointing out that Permata Kurnia had so far organised 33 weekend workshops for parents, teachers and therapist involved with autistic children.

“PK (Permata Kurnia) had done six live-stream public forums for those living outside of the Klang Valley and we have also launched a massive open online course on autism called iKurnia.

“Last year we went to 11 states and Insyallah (God’s willing), this year we will conduct a training module for teachers of autistic children in the Klang Valley.

“It’s easy for some to belittle us via their keyboards but remember, every time you make fun of Permata, you are also belittling the efforts of our staffs who have been working for the future of Malaysian children.

“We at Permata are very grateful that DSRM (Rosmah) is very concerned over gifted children and the need for people to not only be aware of these children but to also aid them,” she wrote.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]