Ustaz Zainuri Abdul Aziz from the Perak Religious Department, who took the stage first at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Pusat Anak Permata Negara Bercham, received thunderous applause from the floor after saying a prayer in Mandarin.
Tuesday February 19, 2008
By NG CHENG YEE
Ustaz Zainuri Abdul Aziz from the Perak Religious Department, who took the stage first at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Pusat Anak Permata Negara (Permata) Bercham, received thunderous applause from the floor after saying a prayer in Mandarin.
“Wow, he spoke the dialect fluently!” commented a Chinese member of the audience at the function yesterday.
So when it was Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s turn to give her speech at the Chinese-majority constituency, she made sure that she did not disappoint the crowd.
“Da jia hau (How are you),” she greeted the floor, which made up mostly of Chinese housewives, senior citizens and young children from nearby housing estates at Bercham here which is under the Ipoh Barat parliamentary seat.
She then went on to wish them gong xi fa cai, xing nian kuai le (Happy New Year) as well as shen ti jian kang (good health) and wan shi ru yi (all the best in everything you do).
It might not sound very indigenous but it was impressive enough to charm the audience who clapped and cheered.
In her speech, Rosmah said the setting up of Pusat Permata Bercham showed that the Barisan Nasional government was very concerned about providing early childhood education regardless of race and religion.
“We, at Permata, realise that the first three years of a child’s life is critical for their brain development.
“Those who have gone through early childhood education are believed to grow up as individuals who are intelligent, smart, confident and with cheerful and positive traits,” she said.
To date, there are 13 Pusat Permata Negara in 12 states and the Federal Territory with 326 children under five years old benefiting from the centres.
Rosmah said the Perak government had allocated RM300,000 for the building of the centre while Permata would spend RM200,000 on educational equipment and facilities.