New Straits Times
Saturday, September 26, 1998

Help the Less Fortunate, Racing Fraternity Urged

THE multi million ringgit horse racing industry has great potential to contribute towards helping the underprivileged and disabled in the country, Perak Turf Club Chairman Tan Sri V. Jeyaratnam said in Ipoh recently.

Jeyaratnam, who is also the Chairman of Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah for the Disabled, said this when about 50 apprentices and jockeys visited the Centre.

"The aim of the visit was to create an awareness among the racing fraternity of the plight of the disabled in the country," he said.

Jeyaratnam said the three Malaysian clubs have about 20, 000 to 30, 000 people in the racing industry and perhaps over a million of people supporting the sport.

He said among these people are the very rich who can well afford to help the needy.

"The PTC feels that an awareness programme should be started by taking steps to familiarize these people with various rehabilitation centres so that they can see for themselves what is it like to be disabled and how they can be rehabilitated to lead meaningful lives," he said.

"Members of the racing fraternity in Malaysia and even Singapore can do their bit to help the terminally ill, the blind, the handicapped, the down trodden and the underprivileged wherever they may be."

"The noble gesture by members of the racing fraternity will shed a new and more appreciative light on the racing industry," he said.

About 50 jockeys and apprentices were given a briefing using slides of the activities of Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah.

They also had a first hand look at the various exercises given to the physically disabled at the physiotherapy department.

They also saw how children with speech defects are taught to speak by the speech therapist.

Through these rehabilitation programmes, paralysed people people who were formerly unable to sit up, were now able to sit in wheelchairs and go about their normal work.

Also, children with disabilities, who have very little hope of attending normal schools, have been integrated into these schools after undergoing therapy treatment at the Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah.

Quite a number of them have already been accepted into normal schools.