BANDAR PERMAISURI: After successfully building the Bestari University College (UCB), the Malaysian Orphans Welfare Organisation (Peyatim) is taking steps to build a 566.5-hectare ASEAN Forestry Park (TRA) project in Kuala Jengal, Dungun.

Peyatim president Datuk Dr Tengku Mahmud Mansor said the construction of the TRA is inspired by the success of UCB, which has produced some 12,000 graduates from orphans and disadvantaged families across the country.

“The success inspired Peyatim to establish a TRA in which the ASEAN Orphans or Poor Children’s Islamic Studies Academy (APIA) will be housed with the concept of Tahfiz Entrepreneurship.

“For a start, five orphans from each ASEAN country will be brought in to study at the campus and housed at the Terengganu Orphan Welfare Organisation (Perkaya) building located in Bukit Kapah, Kuala Berang in Hulu Terengganu from next January while waiting for the APIA to be fully completed,” said Tengku Mahmud today.

He said this after officiating at the inauguration ceremony of the Leadership and Self-Identity Course for students of UCB, Bestari Technology College (KTB) and Institute of Bestari Skills (IKB) as well as the mock cheque presentation of Bank Rakyat Foundation’s donation of RM45,100 to Yayasan Waqaf Pendidikan Anak Yatim Atau Miskin Malaysia (Yawatim).

Tengku Mahmud said the first phase of TRA development will start next year with an initial cost estimated at RM120 million.

“The goal of APIA’s establishment is to produce huffaz al-Quran (memorisers of the Quran) among orphans or poor children from ASEAN countries, in addition to them being skilled in entrepreneurship which, in turn, can benefit the public.

“When this TRA is ready, we will also create an ASEAN Retirement Park, which will provide an opportunity for retirees from Brunei and other countries to delve deeper into religious knowledge here.

“We liken it to a park because it is located in a beautiful natural area and, in it, there is a river five kilometres long,” he said.-Bernama