Self-help group Mendaki to get new CEO in April

Madam Zuraidah Abdullah (left) will be appointed chief executive-designate of Mendaki on March 1 before assuming the top post on April 1, when current CEO Rahayu Buang returns to the Ministry of Social and Family Development. PHOTOS: MENDAKI

SINGAPORE - A senior assistant commissioner in the Singapore Police Force is returning to self-help group Mendaki to lead it from April 2020.

Madam Zuraidah Abdullah, 57, first held the top post of chief executive officer (CEO) from 2007 to 2009.

This time, she will be appointed the chief executive-designate on March 1, before assuming the top post on April 1, when current CEO Madam Rahayu Buang, 49, returns to the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

Mendaki announced the change on Thursday (Jan 9) and paid tribute to Madam Rahayu, who was seconded from MSF to lead it on Jan 3, 2017.

During her three-year term, she established Mendaki as a key institution in the M³ initiative, which aims to get three Malay organisations to collaborate with each other as well as with government agencies to improve support for the community

The three are Mendaki, Muis or the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, and Mesra or the People's Association Malay Activity Executive Committees Council.

Among other things, the M³ initiative resulted in the Kelas MateMatika programme, designed to help Malay-Muslim families with young children bond by working with them on developing the children's educational needs.

Madam Rahayu also started an annual education symposium in 2017.

The self-help group said that under her leadership, Mendaki did collaborative research with such organisations as the Institute of Policy Studies, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research or A*Star, and Singapore University of Social Services on issues impacting the Malay-Muslim community.

Madam Rahayu, in turn, described her three years at Mendaki as an "enriching and humbling experience".

"I am sure Mendaki will continue to increase its outreach and deepen its impact in education under the new leadership," she added.

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