SOCIAL issues top the list of cases handled by the National MIC Service Centre since it started operations.
Its coordinator Datuk N. Muneandy said more than 60% of the 2,275 cases attended to by the centre were on issues such as housing, welfare aid as well as documentation problems related to marriages and births.
Muneandy, who is also an MIC Central Working Committee member, said since the service centre was set up in March last year, it has resolved numerous cases for those living in People’s Housing Project (PPR) flats who faced difficulty paying rent.
Although only minimal rental was imposed, the affected tenants had accumulated arrears amounting to thousands of ringgit and faced enforcement action from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
“Our centre will help the affected tenants pay a nominal sum of RM500 and negotiate with DBKL for them to continue to pay their monthly rental as per the agreement,” he said.
Muneandy added that the centre had resolved several housing issues for those staying in private properties.
“We will negotiate with the landlord to allow the affected tenants to stay on by settling part of the outstanding amount,” he said
Another worrying issue was children abandoning their aged parents.
Muneandy said if the centre failed to persuade the children to house them, the elderly parents would be sent to old folk’s homes.
“We have received cases of old people living on their own without income or support from relatives.
“We refer such cases to the Welfare Department and give the affected individuals some money until they receive aid,” he said
Cases of single mothers abandoned by their spouses, were another worrying trend.
“Some of them separated from their husbands but failed to file for divorce and have children with other men.
“In most cases, these children do not have birth certificates,” he said, adding that the centre had even helped in obtaining DNA samples for paternity tests.
Muneandy said many of these single mothers were at a disadvantage because of the lack of education.
The centre also offered assistance to entrepreneurs to apply for various loans offered by the Government, career guidance for students and recommendations for education scholarships.
“Most parents would enrol their children in colleges without realising the high fees and then face difficulties in coming up with the money,” he said, adding that the centre emphasised the importance of enrolling in institutions recognised by the Government.
The MIC National Service Centre is located on the 6th floor of the MIC headquarters, Menara Manickavasagam, No. 1, Jalan Rahmat, Kuala Lumpur, and has three permanent staff and 21 volunteers.
It is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.
For details, call 03-4040 0309.