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From door-to-door action to setting up plantations, this foundation by a Kelantanese royal family really sets an example

WE’RE sure you’ve heard of Catherine “Kate” Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. She visited Malaysia back in 2012 and was all over social media as she visited NGOs such as Hospis Malaysia. Like true royalty, she showed care for her people. But over in Kelantan, we too have kerabat diraja who have been selfless with the rakyat.

Tengku Puan Temeggong of Kelantan at one of the house visits
Tengku Puan Temeggong of Kelantan (centre) at one of the house visits.

Tunku Noor Hayati, also known as Tengku Puan Temeggong of Kelantan, has been a driving force in her hometown state while keeping under the radar. She is also the late Tunku Abdul Rahman’s daughter, who married into the Kelantan royal family.

Devoted to the betterment of the community, she contributed to relief efforts around Kelantan after the floods of 2014. But the natural disaster also prompted her to establish Yayasan Noor Al Syakur (YANAS), which coordinated and distributed help to victims.

The foundation is still active today, and it continues helping the Kelantanese back on their feet.

At the heart of YANAS are their house-to-house visits. On top of providing relief, the foundation aims to understand and connect with people at grassroots level.

“It’s different because we sit, and speak and listen to the people. Because giving out food and money is one thing, but listening, and engaging and having a conversation with those who are less unfortunate is something else,” explains Tengku Nur Qistina, daughter to the Tengku Puan Temenggong.

Every month, YANAS literally goes from one house to another with organisations such as the State Welfare Department and local universities in tow, in order to engage with the community and scope out its needs. Every family is given the time and day.

YBM Tengku Temenggong Kelantan, Dato’ Tengku Mohamad Rizam dan YBM Tengku Puan Temenggong Kelantan, Tunku Noor Hayati Tunku Abd Rahman Putra Al-Haj helping the flood victims of Tanah Merah, Kelantan
Helping the flood victims of Tanah Merah, Kelantan
Hosting a batik competition for children with special needs

From these visits stemmed projects, such as reviving the cottage industry through banana tree plantations — a source of income that can sustain a small village. Other successful initiatives include a shelter for abused and neglected children, and mobile clinics.

YANAS even aids with water supply to government hospitals and helps source books for libraries. The team is currently trying to improve the batik sector in Kelantan, where middlemen are known to pay as little as one ringgit for exquisite batik designs by village folk.

Considering that the foundation has only been around since late 2014, it’s achievements are amazing!

“Our motto is pretty much to do anything and everything for the people of Kelantan and we hope these diverse efforts benefit them,” concludes Tengku Nur Qistina.

And if you’d like to contribute to YANAS, check them out and don’t hesitate to drop them a message.

Follow YANAS’s efforts on their Facebook page. We would like to thank Tengku Nur Qistina for her correspondence. Pictures sourced from YANAS.

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