News Release

It's a New Day in Malaysia

"It's a New Day" for those striving to be more self-reliant in Malaysia. That was the theme of the official opening of the new Self-Reliance Center in Kuching, Malaysia on December 13, 2014. The new Center is located at No. 12096, Jalan Seladah, Kampung Tabuan Lalang 93350 Kuching, Sarawak and is owned  by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as Mormons.  

The newly opened Self Reliance Center is managed by Bobby Leo, Kuching Self Reliance Services  Director, who welcomed guests and officials attending the opening ceremony. Elder Freddie Chan from Kuala Lumpur presided over the event and was joined by Elder Leonard Woo of Singapore. Other guests included Michael King, International Marketing Executive from the Limkokwing Institute of Creative Technology in Kuala Lumpur; as well as Dr. Candy Lau, Director of Asia Area Self Reliance along with John and Nannette Powell, PEF/Self Reliance missionaries from Hong Kong.

The Center includes learning, service, and mentoring support.  Members of the LDS Church may register at the Center to take a personal assessment.  From there the individual receives counseling and training to learn how to effectively find and interview for jobs, start and grow a business, and receive instruction to help them become more effective in the workplace.  Anyone visiting the Center can also learn personal financial management skills, with the goal of developing economic independence. 

During the opening ceremony Elder Leonard Woo stressed the importance of life-long learning and stated "it comes from many different areas. This new center is not just a place to learn how to write a resume, but a place where God can make things happen and people can change their lives". Growing up in a family of ten children, he realized early in life the importance of learning and practicing skills to become self-reliant.  Elder Chan said, "it is our responsibility to not depend on others for our sustenance. We need to discover our individual our strengths and then act. We all should have a goal to increase in spirituality and make the most of every opportunity".

Nannette Powell, Asia Area Self-Reliance Missionary, commented on the courses which will be available and taught at the Center. "The courses are electric. We're so excited about them. We will teach people to build on the resources they already have available".  The Center is staffed by volunteers and will be open 45 hours each week.

The Center has already benefited Mei Ting; a very quiet, reserved young lady who had a desire to attend nursing school but lacked the funds and confidence to do so. Though a better than average student, she recoiled at the thought of speaking out about her talents. After she attended some of the courses taught at the Self Reliance Center, Mei Ting boldly stepped forward on her quest for nursing school. The course work at the Center bolstered her self confidence enough that she recently competed for a full tuition scholarship to a nursing school in Singapore and was selected as number one from over 400 applicants.

 At present, seven additional centers are being established across Asia. Each center will each be directed by a manager with either a business or social services background.  Besides helping those in need of developing self-reliance, these managers will also reach out to employers to build a mutually beneficial relationship. The Self-Reliance Centers are one part of the LDS Church’s efforts to assist its members to develop economic independence.  

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