Award winner wants equal education rights for 40,000 refugee children

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018

PETALING JAYA: The sole Malaysian winner of the 2017 Queen's Young Leaders Award, Heidy Quah, wants some 40,000 refugee children here to have equal access to education.

"I definitely want to be more involved in policy making and legislation, as that has always be the dream of Refuge for Refugees (RFTR) when we first started it," she told reporters after handing over her membership form to DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang here on Wednesday (June 20).

Quah noted that she would like to see a policy in place that allows equal education opportunities for the 40,200 refugee children here who are younger than 18 years old.

"They currently do not have access to education due to their refugee status," she added. 

She also said that she wanted to be the voice of young Malaysians, while encouraging them to be more active in social causes.

Asked why she decided to join DAP, Quah said she was inspired after reading a book by Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh just before she received her award last year.

Yeoh, who is Wanita DAP deputy chair, said she hopes that other young talents would come forward to contribute towards nation building. 

Quah, 24, set up RFTR in 2012 after she realised how refugees in Malaysia lacked access to basic amenities like education.

Today, RFTR runs 10 schools in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, with 70 to 150 refugee students respectively.

On June 29 last year, Quah was presented the 2017 Queen's Young Leaders Award by Queen Elizabeth during a ceremony in Buckingham Palace, London.

On a separate matter, Ervin Devadsan from SK Bukit Limau handed over his piggy bank to Lim to contribute towards Tabung Harapan Malaysia.

He said that he had been saving up for the last eight months to buy a drum set but decided to donate his savings towards the fund instead.

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