‘Give every opportunity to special needs children to realise their full potential’


Awang Tengah (fifth right) signs the plaque to officiate the opening of PDK Lawas permanent premise while Morliah (sixth left) and Paulus (third right) and others look on.

LAWAS: Children with special needs should be given every opportunity to realise their full potential instead of being tucked away in shame by embarrassed parents, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

“Even the world renown and brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking was an OKU (disabled) and he is the author of ‘A brief history of time’ and contributed much to our world’s knowledge,” he said at the opening ceremony of Lawas Community-based Rehabilitation Centre (PDK Lawas) here today.

Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. His scientific works included a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation and he was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

Hawking, who was wheelchair-bound and unable to speak naturally for most of his life, died on March 14 at the age of 76.

Awang Tengah said parents are obliged to register their OKU children with the Welfare Department and seek the best quality of life for them, including registering them for the respective government aids and monthly allowance designated for them.

In noting that the government encouraged a caring society, Awang Tengah said the government contributed funds and aids to the institutions supporting this group of the society, including encouraging community-based rehabilitation centre such as PDK Lawas.

Persatuan Penyayang Lawas currently provides the permanent premise for PDK Lawas to cater for the demand in Lawas District. Perkim Lawas branch chairperson Datuk Dayang Morliah Awang Daud spearheaded the establishment of PDK Lawas which was initially housed at Perkim Lawas branch premise pending the availability of a permanent premise.

Awang Tengah took the opportunity to thank generous donors,  government departments and agencies, members of the community for their support which led to the setting up of the well-equipped centre,

He also urged the association and PDK Lawas management committee to open their doors to government departments and agencies, NGOs and communities to hold activities at the centre that would contribute to the well-being and care for OKUs in the district.

“The management Committee  should not be confined to merely parents of OKU trainees but also include talents outside who can contribute to the betterment of the target group,” he said.

Awang Tengah also thanked Tecktonic & Sons Group managing director Lee Chin Teck and Aiman Group executive chairman Samat Othman and Empayar Setia Sdn Bhd managing director Dato Mohd Safri Abdillah for their continuous support of this charitable programme of Perkim Lawas and establishment of Penyayang building for PDK Lawas.

Also present  the function were Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Henry Sum Agong, Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang, Limbang Resident Ahmad Denny Ahmad Fauzi, Lawas District Officer Hussaini Hakim.