IN recognition of its commitment to excellence and innovation in planning, design and development, Penang Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society’s Padang Tembak Community Care Centre has been honoured with Malaysian Institute of Planners’ (MIP) Diamond Award.
The accolade was bestowed upon the community care centre, which was established just last year, during the MIP MyPlace Awards Dinner 2023 in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
The centre’s outstanding contributions, marked by positive impact and significant benefit to the public and the overall environment, stood out among the entries.
Expressing his gratitude for the award, society commissioner Datuk Khoo Boo Leong underscored the collaborative effort that made the Padang Tembak Community Care Centre a beacon of service and compassion.
He thanked all dedicated Tzu Chi members, highlighting their loving service within the care centre that had profoundly enriched and benefitted the entire community.
“The centre, jointly established by state government, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and our society, hosts 11 community classrooms, offering inclusive programmes tailored to individuals of all ages.
“These programmes cater to a diverse range of needs within the community, reflecting a holistic approach to community welfare,” he said when contacted.
Among notable initiatives was the digital clinic, which Khoo said was designed to provide senior citizens with hands-on instruction on utilising smartphones and apps.
“The aim is to empower them to seamlessly order food, arrange transportation and make purchases using ewallets, to foster digital literacy and independence among the elderly population.”
Khoo also said the centre offered free tuition on weekends for secondary students.
“Currently, more than 100 children actively take part in these classes, where a dedicated team of 60 teachers impart knowledge across various subjects.
“This educational initiative reflects the centre’s commitment to nurturing the younger generation and bridging educational gaps within the community.”
Khoo also highlighted other community programmes offered by the centre, such as do-it-yourself (DIY) classes, English courses for adults, badminton guidance, classes on balancing, yoga sessions, creative arts workshops, parenting programmes, cooking classes and even a heritage tour aimed at connecting residents with their cultural roots.
Padang Tembak, also known as Rifle Range, is a densely populated area with more than 3,500 families, with the majority of residents comprising elderly individuals, single parents and B40 families.
The unique challenges faced by children in this community, who often lack access to resources available to their peers, highlight the significance of the initiatives undertaken by the centre.
The Diamond Award not only celebrates past achievements but also underscores the society’s commitment to holistic community development in the spirit of compassion and service.