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Monday August 11, 2008 MYT 6:58:13 PM
By SHARON LING
KUCHING: Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah has called on fellow wives of Barisan Nasional elected representatives to set an example in fostering the spirit of volunteerism.
Jeanne, the Prime Minister's wife, said many social problems in the country such as neglected old folk, abandoned babies and addiction to drugs needed to be given attention.
"With the spirit of volunteerism in tackling social issues, we can help make Malaysia peaceful and prosperous.
"Let us take that extra mile, let us reach out and feel what they feel. Let us go down to the ground and help those whose basic needs are still not fulfilled," she said Monday.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the annual programme for the wives of Barisan Nasional elected representatives here, she said they should also be caring and sensitive to the problems faced by those around them.
"I urge all the wives to play a more active and meaningful role in helping the less fortunate in their respective constituencies.
"Let us complement our husbands' roles and responsibilities as elected representatives," she added.
Jeanne also said a forum, with the theme "Cultivating the Well-being of Children", was introduced in the programme for the first time this year to enable the wives to share their views and experiences on current issues.
Other activities include a team-building event to encourage greater interaction among the participants.
Meanwhile Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who opened the programme, called on the wives of elected representatives to recruit and train more volunteers to enlarge the scope of their work.
He urged them not to be put off by those who tried to politicise or discredit their voluntary and charitable works but to persevere out of their care for the less fortunate.
"There will always be those who say we only do this for the sake of status or power because we belong to the ruling coalition. But that is not the reason we serve.
"We go into politics because we care for the people," he said.
The four-day programme was jointly organised by the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti) and the Sarawak Association of Ministers' and Assistant Ministers' Wives (Sabati).
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