A foundation that runs a daycare centre for at-risk children plans to appeal to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for help after government funding was temporarily halted.
Hartini Zainudin, the founder of Yayasan Chow Kit, said she was informed that her organisation will no longer receive government aid for electricity bills or staff allowances.
She learned today that the cut will come into effect tomorrow (May 1).
This was until new committee members of the Social Welfare Department’s Child Protection Team (Pasukan Perlindungan Kanak Kanak, or PPKK) were appointed.
“No payment starting May (until) further notice. Because you’re switching council members.
“No allowances for staff during movement control order? You have no money? How do you not have money?
“Where are your priorities? That you cut services and basic needs to run your government daycare centres for children?” she tweeted today.
According to the department’s website, there were 132 PPKKs as of 2016.
PPKK members are tasked with overseeing the running of the department’s Children Activity Centres like Yayasan Chow Kit.
There 149 such centres nationwide are usually located in areas where children are exposed to abuse, neglect and high truancy rates.
Among the facilities provided are childcare services, counselling, computer classes and tuition classes.
First time aid cut
Speaking to Malaysiakini, Hartini said this was the first time in six years that such aid has been pulled.
Her foundation typically receives under RM2,000 a month from the department for expenses.
While she believed Yayasan Chow Kit would be able to manage, Hartini was concerned if other Children Activity Centres would be affected.
“We can cope. We have to. We have 121 children who come daily.
“What about the rest? (There are) 149 centres. What happens to the others?” she wondered.
“We are writing a letter to the prime minister,” Hartini added.
Elaborating, she said the Social Welfare Department informed her foundation of the cut over a WhatsApp message and not through a formal notice or letter.
She was not told how long the funding would be halted.
What she did know is that Yayasan Chow Kit will be able to retrospectively claim their electricity and staff allowance expenses from the department once the new PPKK members were appointed.
Such appointments are typically made by the Women, Family and Community Development Minister.
Malaysiakini has contacted minister Rina Harun’s aide for comment.