Malay MPs from the People's Action Party (PAP) have donated $18,500 to the National Instructors and Coaches Association (Nica), a group that looks after the interests of freelancers and self-employed people who are coaches or instructors.
The association was formed by the National Trades Union Congress in 2019. Members include those involved in outdoor adventures and learning, fitness and wellness, visual and performing arts, and enrichment activities - a group whose wages were severely impacted by the pandemic.
Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli yesterday presented the cheque on behalf of the 12 Malay PAP MPs to Mr Adrian Chiang, president of Nica. The Malay MPs have made it an annual tradition to make donations during Ramadan and choose a different organisation each year.
Mr Masagos said: "I am heartened to hear of the efforts Nica has made to support our instructors and coaches. In this blessed month of Ramadan, I hope our contribution can in some small way support and empower them to emerge stronger and more resilient from the pandemic."
Mr Chiang said many coaches and instructors have been affected by the pandemic due to the sudden cessation of classes and activities. Nica, which advocates wages, welfare and work prospects of members, intends to tap the funds to support about 100 of them.
Mr Abdul Rashid Kadir, a Nica member who has been coaching football and tchoukball - an indoor sport - for 12 years, has seen his income dwindle amid the suspension of co-curricular activities in schools.
The 55-year-old father of two said: "I am grateful for all the support... It will definitely help us to tide over this challenging period."