PUTRAJAYA: Melaka will be the location for the PERMATA Kurnia Centre for the southern zone that will serve Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.
The Federal Land Commissioner and the Melaka Islamic Affairs Council (MAIM) signed a lease agreement here today on the development of the project.
Land and Mines Department director-general Datuk Dr Salehuddin Ishak and MAIM deputy chairman Datuk Wira Yaakub Md Amin signed the agreement.
The signing was witnessed by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, patron of the PERMATA programmes, and Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
Rosmah, who is the wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said construction of the PERMATA Kurnia Centre in Melaka would begin this month and be completed by the end of the year.
She said the centre would enable children with autism in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor to have access to early intervention and education for children with autism.
“Looking at the area of the centre, it is likely to accommodate 150 children with autism for early intervention and pre-school programmes,” she said.
Rosmah said that since the admission to PERMATA Kurnia centres was done with a referral from a hospital, PERMATA had held discussions on the matter with several government hospitals in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.
She also said that PERMATA had obtained Public Service Department approval for the 22 posts of instructor at the Melaka centre.
The appointed intervention officers would attend the nine-month Advanced Diploma Course on Early Childhood Education (Autism) in collaboration with the Teachers Education Institute of Malaysia, she said.
Rosmah said 877 children with autism had benefited from the intervention service and education at PERMATA Kurnia centres in the country.
She said the World Health Organisation estimated that the rate of prevalence of autism in a country was one per cent of the total population.
Going by this estimation, she said, Malaysia would have 310,000 individuals with autism based on its population of 31 million.—BERNAMA