YBhg Dato’ Haji Megat Ahmad Shahrani, President, NASOM  (from left) receiving a RM 30,000 cheque from Koh Mei Lee, CEO, Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd and Tunku Mona Riza, Film Director, Current Pictures Sdn Bhd at the Autism Awareness Campaign Cheque Presentation Ceremony today in GSC NU Sentral.

Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) and Current Pictures presented a cheque of RM 30,000 to the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) at GSC NU Sentral today. In conjunction with the National Autism Awareness Month in April, GSC and Current Pictures collaborated in a charitable campaign to contribute RM 1 for every admission to the local film, Redha, to support Autism Awareness. It is one of the initiatives under GSC’s corporate social responsibility to drive awareness about autism and educate the public to understand and accept this community.

Redha, a work of love by director Tunku Mona Riza who wanted to highlight the challenges that autistic individuals and their families are facing, premiered at GSC Pavilion on 2nd April and was screened from mid-April to mid-May at 25 selected GSC locations across Malaysia. In addition to the contribution from the film’s admissions, GSC rolled out a series of supportive exercises, both online and on-ground, that successfully brought attention to autism.

A talk about autism was hosted in the headquarter office, where psychologist Grace Liew from NASOM walked everyone through the correct ways of handling Autistic individuals. Employees at the cinemas wore blue badges to promote and support the campaign. In its effort to reach out to a wider audience about autism, GSC turned the theme blue on its digital platforms throughout the campaign month and created consistent conversations about autism on the website and across various social media platforms, one of which is the company’s Facebook page with more than 1.2 million followers.

“We at GSC, hold close to our heart, the interest of the community in which we do business. We care about the society. And we believe that to champion a cause, we must take the first step before expecting others to join us,” said Koh Mei Lee, CEO, Golden Screen Cinemas. “Awareness is only the beginning. Although in small steps, GSC hope to walk with our customers towards accepting and empathizing with this community.”

The meaningful ceremony was graced with the presence of Ybhg Dato’ Haji Megat Ahmad Shahrani, President, National Autism Society of Malaysia, Koh Mei Lee, CEO, Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd, Tunku Mona Riza, Film Director, Current Pictures Sdn Bhd, Redha casts – Namron, Harith Haziq and Izzy Reef as well as members of the media. This charitable event was enlivened with a performance by NASOM Maestro, a choir formed by the gifted children of NASOM.

“NASOM is grateful to Tunku Mona Riza and her team for producing this movie. It was something that the autism community has been waiting for, and it was a bold move. The fact that there is such a movie on the trials and tribulations of raising an autistic child really helped NASOM in our awareness and acceptance mission,” said Ybhg Dato’ Haji Megat Ahmad Shahrani, President of NASOM in his speech to the media and guests today.

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the brain, causing difficulties in social interaction and communications. It is estimated to occur in as many as one in 68 new-borns. Autism shows no racial, ethnic or social boundaries, and cuts across family income, lifestyle and educational levels. It is important to increase public awareness and educate the public on appropriate ways of handling autistic individuals, besides reducing prejudice and unpleasant responses towards them.

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