An artist impression of the Dalat Welfare complex.

DALAT: The construction of the Dalat Welfare complex project here is expected to be completed in September this year.

As of Tuesday, the development progress of the RM12.5 million project was 77.5 percent, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

Fatimah, who is also Dalat assemblywoman, disclosed the matter during her site visit to the project on that day.

She was accompanied by Assistant Minister of Welfare and Community Wellbeing Datuk Francis Harden and the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat.

According to Fatimah, when completed, the complex will house Dalat Welfare Department office, which is currently “squatting” at the third floor of the old Dalat District office and definitely not suitable for senior citizens.

“This is the reason why, during the late Tok Nan (former chief minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem) reign, we applied to have a complex built here, firstly, to house the Welfare Department.

“During the planning process, we also thought of housing, firstly, the senior citizens activity centre (Pawe), which is currently squatting at the old health clinic which is actually unsafe for occupation, but we have no choice,” she said during the visit.

The complex will also house community-based rehabilitation centre (PDK), which is currently renting a building near Kampung Tanam here, children activity centre and a nursery for disabled children, the minister pointed out.

She explained that the complex would serve as a multi-functional centre, whereby besides functioning as an office, it would also become venue for senior citizens and younger people to interact.

According to her, based on the concept as venue for social interactions between senior citizens and youngsters, especially children, the complex could help to promote a sense of empathy, concern and love towards the older people, for a win-win-situation.

She revealed that the complex will also serve as a facility for therapy to PDK, (such as occupational, physiotherapy and speech therapy), beside functioning as a resource centre, exhibition room as well as a space for sales of items produced by senior citizens through their activities and also by trainees at PDK.

Fatimah said she thanked the Sarawak government for providing a facility, particularly for catering to the special needs and the needy people in the community.

Public Works Department (JKR) Regional manager Anding Unchi and Central Region building project manager Ade Fairuz Marzuki also joined the site visit.