It was a joyous moment for 110 children who were treated to a Hari Raya shopping spree at Aeon Station 18 in Pengkalan recently. The outing was made more meaningful with the presence of Chief Minister Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his wife, Datin Seri DiRaja Saripah Zulkifli. These special kids are ‘adoptees’ of the Chief Minister. They are from poor families of all races in the state.
Selection and screening is being done by Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan (YBU) based on recommendations by schools and village heads. The foundation undertakes the responsibility of caring for these children once they are being ‘adopted’ by the Chief Minister.
“The programme is over three years old. The number has risen to 110 as of today. It’ll increase as time progresses,” said Zambry to reporters. “Given the kind of supervision and attention needed, they’re able to develop along with the rest. This is apparent by the marked improvement in their studies and general performances,” he added.
As a parting gift each kid received RM150 as “duit raya”. Another RM120 was set aside for the purchase of Hari Raya clothing. They also received a KFC take-away pack from YBU.
Prathip Ravee, 13, from Parit felt privileged to be one of the adoptees. “I bought myself a computer which I saved from the monthly allowance given by the Chief Minister.” On the whole, the programme has indeed benefited the poor and the marginalised in the state.