The prime minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor’s aspiration is to see a Permata centre in every district but lamented that the early childhood programme was facing budget constraints.
“I want (Permata centres) across the country. That is my wish but it has to be according to budget.
“I’m not the finance minister but if I could provide the budget I will surely give more to Permata Negara so that we can have a Permata centre in every district.
“I get a lot of requests to set up Permata Negara but we face budget constraints,” she told audiences during a Permata dialogue at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) today.
Rosmah said ultimately, Permata’s plans must be in accordance with the budget allocated by Putrajaya.
But she expressed hope that the programme can receive more funding.
“If possible, we want to do more than what we are doing right now. We have big ambitions and I would like to see Malaysia will one day have successful doctors and scientists.
Rosmah’s comment was in response to a question from the floor on whether there were plans to expand the early childhood education programme.
Rosmah said Permata will convince the finance minister, who is her husband and prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, to increase its budget.
“If you all say yes (we need more budget), then we will convince the finance minister, God willing.
“I know this is a good programme and I want you all to know we do the best for our children,” she said.
She also urged the people not to view Permata as a project by the prime minister’s wife as its success rests on the shoulders of many.
“When the prime minister mentions Permata in Parliament, people say it belongs to his wife.
“It’s not about me but the doctors and professors who have worked so hard (to make Permata a success).
“When Permata is raised in Parliament don’t say that it’s a waste of money. Those on the other side (opposition) often say that but Permata is good, it is appropriate for our children,” she said.