More grassroots programmes in the works for Malay/Muslim community in Pasir Ris-Punggol

MP Zainal Sapari (in orange) and Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli (gesturing) at the Malay Cultural Village event at Pasir Ris Elias Community Club, on Oct 7, 2018. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - The launch of a new network of volunteers will see more grassroots programmes serving the Malay/Muslim community in Pasir Ris-Punggol.

The network, comprising more than 20 professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), comes under the collaboration of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), self-help group Mendaki and the People's Association Malay Activity Executive Committees Council (Mesra) - popularly known as M³.

Mr Zainal Sapari, an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC who announced this on Sunday (Oct 07), said: "Their immediate task is to have a greater understanding of the resources and needs of the community when developing specific programmes."

The volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and will provide expertise in respective areas like educational programmes, mentoring classes and financial literacy skills.

Mr Abdul Wahab Mohamed Yusoff, 56, vice-president of a cyber security firm, is one of the volunteers and brings with him 30 years of experience in the tech industry.

"The initiatives are still in their infancy...but I hope I can contribute in taking care of the youth and teaching them how to motivate and apply themselves," said the father of three.

Mr Zainal, who spoke at the Malay Cultural Village event at Pasir Ris Elias Community Club, also touched on another M³ initiative called the KelasMateMatika@Pasir Ris East (KMM@Pasir Ris East).

Also at the event were Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, and Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli.

KMM@Pasir Ris East, a 10-week programme which started on Sept 30, reaches out to low-income families in the area. So far,it has 15 families on board.

It aims to equip pre-school children aged four to six with basic numeracy skills and empower their parents to be effective guides for the children's learning and development.

Earlier on Sunday morning, Mr Zainal and Mr Masagos, who is also Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, visited the second session of the KMM@Pasir Ris East class at Pasir Ris East Community Club.

Madam Nur Fariza Abdul Jamal, 32, a babysitter, attends the classes with her three children aged two to six.

"Traditionally we teach our children using a textbook, but this class helps parents to use interactive materials, like blocks or toys, to teach maths," she said.

"My children don't like mathematics but they have been enjoying the classes a lot."

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