Assoc hopes Sarawak can be better equipped to care for vulnerable citizens following high-income status

Fatimah, Sim, and others with the artists with special needs at the officiation ceremony of the Gifted Arts Exhibition at Plaza Merdeka in Kuching on Sept 25, 2023.

KUCHING, Sept 26: With Sarawak now acknowledged as a high-income State, the Kuching Association of Talent Development and Welfare of Special Needs (KATSN) hopes that the State can be well-equipped to provide better care for vulnerable citizens.

In a press statement, KATSN advisor Dato Sim Kiang Chiok is hopeful that there will be a fixed annual grant to deserving non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to carry out their responsibilities and an increase in monthly allowance for persons with disabilities in light of the rising cost of living.

He also said that KATSN’s membership is on the rise, and they have to continually work to raise funds to sustain their centre.

“Perhaps the Sarawak government can supplement the existing allowance, ensuring a more comfortable life for these special children and adults and reducing the stress associated with fulfilling their basic needs,” he said.

He also hoped that the centre for special needs would be completed soon to provide a place for children and adults with special needs when their parents or guardians can no longer care for them.

“We must trust that our government will continue to support our special children and adults when we can no longer do so,” he said.

In the press release, he was also grateful to Minister of Women, Childhood, and Community Wellbeing Development Sarawak Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah for officiating at the Gifted Arts Exhibition held in conjunction with the Mid-Autumn Festival 2023 at Plaza Merdeka on Sept 25.

At the exhibition, 13 artists with special needs showcased their artworks. Of the 13 artists, 11 are autistic, one has ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), and one has epilepsy.

The press statement added that the artists are Rachel Lee, Xavier Jee, Carson Chang, Darryon Leong, Bertrand Arthur Morni, Brian Lin, Lee Jia Rong, Steven Hwang, Dave Hwang, April Lee, Damian Clarke, Kelvin Li, and Alister Sim.

“The organisers would like to thank these special children and young adults for showcasing their beautiful paintings and treating us to such a wonderful display of art,” said Sim.

The Gifted Arts Exhibition will run until Oct 1. — DayakDaily