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May 31, 2004

REDtone pledges RM2.52m to the deaf

From: The Star, Malaysia - May 31, 2004

KUALA LUMPUR: Discounted call provider REDtone International Bhd has pledged RM2.52mil to the deaf community, University Malaya Medical Centre and Selangor School for the Deaf.

The company launched its trust fund, which has the proposed name of REDtone-Tan Sri Dr Othman Yeop Trust Fund, REDtone ( said in a statement.

Dr Othman Yeop was the first executive chairman of the Multimedia Development Corp, which oversees the Multimedia Super Corridor project. He passed away last September.

Although the setting up of the trust fund has been approved, the name of the trust fund has yet to receive approval from the relevant authorities, REDtone said.

About RM1.8mil will be allocated over the next five years to set up an education and training centre for the deaf and for sign language interpreters.

RM120,000 per year will be allocated to University Malaya Medical Centre's PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) and Selangor School for the Deaf for the next three years.

According to REDtone's group managing director Wei Chuan Beng, the deaf community was selected as one of the trust fund's beneficiaries as it is the only segment of society in Malaysia that does not benefit directly from the telecommunication business that REDtone is in.

He also said that through the trust fund, REDtone hopes to increase the number of skilled sign language interpreters which currently is limited, to at least 100 more in five years.

The group has also donated a 3,000 sq ft office for the training centre that will be organised and managed by the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf.

The trust fund will also support deaf children with other handicaps such as autism and Downs Syndrome, while funds channelled to University Malaya Medical Centre's PICU will go towards sponsoring specialist life-saving equipment and drugs for very sick children who cannot afford them.

Datuk V. Danapalan, chairman of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, handed over symbolic mock cheques to Sazali Shaari, executive director of the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf; Saadiah Ahmad, the principal of the Selangor School for the Deaf; and Associate Professor Lucy Lum Chai See of University Malaya Medical Centre's PICU.

Also present at the ceremony was Puan Sri Datin Siti Zubaidah Zakaria, wife of the late Dr Othman Yeop.

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