KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — The government aims to strengthen the education and socioeconomic development of Orang Asli in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) 2021-2025.
According to the five-year development plan document released by the Economic Planning Unit today, access to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) for the Orang Asli community will be improved to prepare them in acquiring the basic skills of reading, writing and counting.
Enrolment in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes and tertiary education will be increased, and the Jom Belajar Programme will be further expanded within the community to improve students attendance through innovative teaching and suitable learning methods in reducing illiteracy.
“School leavers and graduates from local communities will be encouraged to assist in teaching Orang Asli students. As such, a special programme, Bringing School to Community, will be introduced through collaboration between government, universities and CSOs (Civil Society Organisation),” the document said.
Meanwhile, it said the government will also formulate a development plan encompassing education and training, increasing income, provision of basic infrastructure, land development, healthcare services and housing.
The government will also focus on income-generating activities to eradicate poverty among Orang Asli community including providing microfinancing facilities and skills training for Orang Asli to become entrepreneurs.
At the end of 2020, a total of 1,448 participants benefitted from the Orang Asli Entrepreneurship Development Programme, while 324 entrepreneurs received grants for various businesses.
The government will also expand the basic infrastructure, amenities and services including the construction of roads and provision of treated water, electricity and housing other than the access to telecommunications and healthcare services to be improved in the effort to enhance the well-being of the Orang Asli Community.
Vaccination For Homeless Begins In Kuala Terengganu
KUALA TERENGGANU, Sept 27 — After the prisoner and Orang Asli groups, the Terengganu government began extending the vaccination programme to the homeless in the state last night.
State Local Government, Housing, Health and Environment Committee deputy chairman Ahmad Shah Mohamed said 18 homeless people from around Kuala Terengganu received the single-dose CanSino vaccine.
“The response received from the group was very encouraging as they had been briefed on the importance of getting the vaccine by several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that had been in close contact with them.
“The vaccine administration went smoothly, except for the few who fled, probably because they were not comfortable seeing so many strangers. We will track them down so that they will not be left behind in the vaccine roll out,” he told reporters after checking on the vaccination process for the homeless last night.
Also present were personnel from the Terengganu State Health Department, Social Welfare Department, National Registration Department, Community Social Association and the police.
To date, it is estimated that there are 50 homeless people in the Kuala Terengganu district.
Meanwhile, Mohd Zulkifli Mohd Rani, 50, from Kerteh, Kemaman said he was thankful that the government has not sidelined the group in the vaccination programme.
“I am aware about the vaccine after watching television at the restaurants near this bus stop … I was not afraid because the NGO members who had been helping us have reminded us to cooperate with the doctors.
“Anyway, the process did not take long, it was painless and over within minutes. The doctor too was kind to us just like the NGOs who have been providing us with food and other needs,” he said.
Govt Considering New Controlled Price For COVID-19 Self-Test Kits Before December – Rosol
KUALA TERENGGANU, Sept 27 — The government is considering a new controlled price on the COVID-19 self-test kits earlier than the expected date in December, said Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Rosol Wahid.
He said discussions on the matter involving various stakeholders were underway.
Rosol said the opening of the economic, tourism and education sectors in stages and relaxations of the standard operating procedures set under the National Recovery Plan (PPN) would make the COVID-19 self-test kits to become an essential item that would be part of the new normal.
“Therefore, the government is always concerned in ensuring that consumers can get the kit at a better price and business continuity of the industry players,” he said in a statement today.
On the enforcement of the COVID-19 self-test kit price controls which came into effect on Sept 5, Rosol said of the 3,106 premises checked, 348 of them were found selling the kits below RM19.90 per unit and RM16 each for wholesale, while 2,554 sold it at prices set by the government.
“The ministry welcomes the initiative taken by the industry players in helping to reduce the burden of the people by offering the kits at a lower price,” he said.
Rosol also said beginning October, the self-test kits would not only available at pharmacies and clinics, but also at other types of premises such as supermarkets and convenience shops.
“However, the ministry must first ensure that these premises have sufficient information on the conditions for the sale of the COVID-19 self-test kits, including complying with the product labelling requirements and handling methods to facilitate the public in getting the items,” he said.
Two Malaysian Youths To Represent Malaysia At Y4C Summit In Milan
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Two Malaysian youths will represent Malaysia at the Youth4Climate: Driving Action (Y4C) Summit in Milan from Sept 28 to 30.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Malaysia and Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD), in a joint statement, said the youths are Sahana Kaur, 17, and Mogesh Sababathy, 23, who are co-organising the Pre-Youth4Climate Workshop with UNICEF Malaysia, jointly supported by MYD, the British High Commission, and the Italian Embassy.
The outputs from the Pre-Youth4Climate Workshop which will be held on Sept 25 will be incorporated in a climate youth report reflecting youth voices from Malaysia that will be conveyed at the summit in Milan.
“At the Pre-Youth4Climate Workshop, Sahana and Mogesh, in partnership with UNICEF Malaysia, hope to promote youth engagement in climate action and highlight opportunities in local and global platforms for youth in Malaysia to take action.
“The inputs and feedback gained aim to build an evidence base of climate-related impacts on young people to position the rights of the youth at the centre of climate policy discussions and negotiations in Malaysia and international circles,” the statement said.
The statement also said that UNICEF Malaysia is providing support to Sahana and Mogesh in the lead-up to the Y4C Summit, as the international aid agency is committed to protecting children’s rights in climate change and facilitating youth engagement and advocacy.
The summit, hosted by the Italian government, is one of the preparatory steps to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will take place in November in Glasgow, Scotland.
Meanwhile, UNICEF Representative to Malaysia and Special Representative to Brunei Darussalam Dr Rashed Sarwar said UNICEF will continue to join forces with the youth and key stakeholders in advancing children’s rights to a safe and sustainable future.
“Sahana and Mogesh represent a new generation of young people who recognise the climate crisis as a child rights crisis. This is because children and young people are the most vulnerable to climate change and will bear the brunt of climate-related impacts despite contributing the least to climate change”, he said.
The British High Commission and Italian Embassy in a joint statement congratulated Sahana and Mogesh’s selection to the Y4C Summit and they expressed their support to the two youth for their contributions in advancing youth advocacy in the climate sphere.
The statement also said that the UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index recently revealed that 1 billion children are at ‘extremely high risk’ of the impacts of climate change with Malaysia ranking 61st place on least performing countries where children are most at risk.
According to the index, Malaysia is among the top 100 countries at risk of increasing child vulnerability as the unpredictability of floods, heatwaves, and climate-related illnesses such as malaria and dengue grow.
This was also confirmed by the National Youth Climate Change Survey Malaysia conducted by UNICEF and UNDP with support from EcoKnights in 2020, in which nine in 10 Malaysian youth said to have experienced climate and environment-related effects in the last three years.
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