We are continuing to appeal to our readers and visitors to donate to our work of running two centres. The annual budget is RM120,000 (USD38,000) for 2014 and 2015 and will grow higher as we recruit more staff and take in additional trainees.

Please make payment to 'Persatuan Berdikari Seremban Negeri Sembilan' with your name and address on a cover slip so we can mail you our official receipt. All donations from April 1 2011 will be exempted from taxation by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia. Please send the payment to:

The Treasurer, Persatuan Berdikari Seremban Negeri Sembilan, 381, Jalan Kenanga 1, Taman Bukit Chedang, 70300 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Thank you for your support.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Reminding Ourselves Again

I just decided to revisit this link to understand the nature of our work lest we forget. I would like to pick up some statements that impress me (with comments added in italics).

For many, undetected learning disabilities create a lifelong pattern of frustration and failure. Unable to learn to read or write adequately or to handle simple numerical calculations, they are forced into a lifetime of underemployment or unemployment.

My Comment: How do parents know if their child is learning disabled? A child who suffers from poor eyesight can visit an opthalmologist for comprehensive tests but where do a child with suspected learning difficulty go for evaluation? Often parents are ignorant of available facilities and are likely to leave their child uncared and unnurtured at home. At PBSNS we do not treat LD, it is beyond our expertise. What we do is provide opportunities to help LD persons bring forth their hidden or underdeveloped skills.

Other possible outcomes for individuals with learning disabilities who have not received appropriate intervention or help are low self image, teenage pregnancy, suicide, family instability, substance abuse, depression, significant psychiatric problems, and unemployment. They may end up on welfare, homeless, or in prison.

My Comment: Typically we observed new trainees to be quiet or lacking confidence when they first join the centre. This may be normal as they need time to adjust to new environments like normal persons. But at PBSNS our joy is to see such LD persons surprising us with abilities we thought were untrainable. Low self esteem is a common problem that we can definitely help by fostering a warm and loving work environment. We do have a suicide case but she has gain tremendous confidence with us. I believe we have helped her out of her depression through encouragement and love. LD people need lots of love to grow out of their perceived problems.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

China Press Came A-Calling

We cannot deny that media people want to know about our work. So far we have had Star, NSTP and Utusan Melayu publicising our community service. RTM1 and 2 have also filmed our activities for broadcast. Community service work are newsy although some may consider it boring. They serve to counter-balance the many negative reports we read about politics, tragedies, financial woes and crimes. Happy news may not draw much attention but they certainly encourage readers to the fact that there are better sides to the human race. News about helping the disadvantaged people are definitely good news and I am happy that China Press had sent its reporter to our premise this morning to interview the caregivers as well as trainees. For one hour she soaked in the spirit of our work and learned why we were so passionate. At the end she went away buying some of our greeting cards because, she said in her own words, 'she like to help the needy'. I believe we have touched her heart.

In the coming days we look forward to see this report in the China Press paper. It will add further awareness to the Mandarin-reading subscribers. And prayfully give them another avenue to show their charitable hearts.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another Supporter for PBSNS

This morning the Chairman was at the Mawar Renal Centre to receive a donation from the N.Sembilan Tai Chi Qi Gong 18 Gaya Association which also gave out donations to 7 other beneficiaries. Although the donation was for RM500 it represents a recognition of our work by the Chinese social clubs in Seremban. Last month we had received another donation from the Chin Woo Association. On hand were reporters from the Chinese presses. Hopefully news of our work will continue to dissipate throughout the state and nationwide.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Perak Lesson

The political development in Perak over the past week has a lesson that we in the welfare services can learn from. As much as you and I are dismayed by the manner the power transfer took place, citing the constitutions and the unquestionable authority of the royalty, the very essence of good governance through the electoral process was conveniently ignored. Abiding the law is good but it is still subservient to abiding the conscience of the people at large. Amidst the change of government lie a very serious issue of what service is all about. Do one need to be in power to serve? What are the hidden agendas of wanting to get into power? How can this development be a lesson to societies like ours?

1. We must remember we are elected to serve and to fulfil the obligations of what our vision calls us to be. Being in a position to serve, which means being given authority, empowerment and publicity, can tempt an officer of the society to aggrandise self beyond our call to duty over time. We need to constantly hold ourselves in check if this temptation rear its ugly head and to remind ourselves that while we may be the bigger cogs in the design of our work, yet they still need smaller cogs to make the society operate smoothly.

2. Our positions are given to us because the people who put us up trusted us to discharge our work faithfully, fairly and without any self interest. If possible, sacrificially. As easily as we are put up we can be taken down. We need to preserve our reputations as good stewards of the offices we are placed in charge. We may be able to deceive men but God is all-seeing.

3. The fear of God must remain central in whatever we do. Services to the disabled and the needy are in line with the characteristics of a compassionate God. As long as what we do are aligned with God's will He will bless our work and enable it to be taken further. But as soon as disunity, dishonesty and disorder overcome us then we have allowed evil to permeate our work and dissociate with the intention of God's will. Often societies fall through such developments.

The Perak lesson reminds us to stay alert to any signs of putting self above service. If we are unable to control the desire to use our work for self gain it is better to step down than let the society be affected. The society will profit from the services of its officers and workers if there is love and common desire to build it up. I have hope that more of our politicians will see this as their real purposes in public services.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Internalizing Our Vision

Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who are celebrating. I hope the symbol of the ox represents strength, wellness, perseverance and, especially pertinent this current year, ability to endure hardship. Believe it or not, hardship is part and parcel of our very existence. It is folly for anyone to wish for a good life every day of our lives. Rather it is wisdom to be wishing for strength to sustain hardship and inconveniences.

I was reflecting over the word BERDIKARI in our name. We said that we want to bring Berdikari or self reliance to our trainees. Then I asked myself this searching question:

Is it possible that we apply the same Vision to our society? Is it possible that we become self sustaining and self relying one day?

Hard thought and tough target to be addressing at the start of our 'life'. It is my belief that nothing is impossible (without pushing our desires beyond human possibilities and trying for the moon) and beginning to think, plan and do something about it can actually bring us to that place where vision starts becoming reality. It involves much work, many tears and frustrating moments as well as many partners to hold us up. It is possible, only if we believe it to be so. Do you agree with me?