With your permission, I will speak in Malay for my next speech.

Health of the Malay-Muslim community

In his address to the nation, President Tan had outlined the ways in which we will be strengthening our social safety nets, including our healthcare system. Even as the Ministry of Health works towards this goal, we should remember that staying healthy is the actually the best option. I am happy to say that there are encouraging signs in our Malay community. In 2013, more Malays had undergone health screening. 79% of Malays had gone for screening for hypertension compared to 74% in 2012; 79% of Malays had gone for screening for hypercholesterolaemia in 2013 compared to 73% in 2012; and 33% of Malay women attended breast cancer screening in 2013, compared to 29% in 2012.

The positive changes show that Malays are conscious of the need to stay healthy and more importantly, Malays have taken steps to make the necessary changes. Together, we will strive for greater improvements by helping each other take greater responsibility for our health. Last month, my Ministry unveiled the Healthy Living Master Plan (HLMP), which seeks to bridge connections between different stakeholders and to ensure that healthy living becomes something that is effortless and natural. During the public consultations for the HLMP, participants shared stories on how they made lifestyle changes to keep themselves in the pink of health. For instance, a participant shared that with her family’s support, she managed to change to cooking with healthy ingredients. Her husband loves eating healthy dishes, and her children now look for new healthy recipes for her to try. Staying healthy became a collective effort by the entire family.

Health-promoting Environment

In line with the vision of the HLMP to create a health-promoting environment, HPB will be partnering mosques to promote an integrated and holistic approach to improve the health of the Malay community. We will be working with the mosques to offer health programme packages which include health screening, physical activity, nutrition and smoking cessation. Thus far, Ar-Raudhah Mosque, Alkaff Kampung Melayu Mosque, Al-Mawaddah Mosque, An-Nur Mosque and Al-Ansar Mosque have pledged their commitment to take up these health programme packages.

Building good healthy habits from young is also important. As the Malay saying goes, “to bend the bamboo stem, do it when it is still a shoot”. Parents lead the way by teaching their children good habits from young. HPB provides guidance for young parents through the Healthier Child Brighter Future (HBCF) initiative to inculcate healthy habits in their child from young through workshops. Young parents are also provided with the HCBF resource toolkits, which provide useful and age-appropriate health information and tips for raising healthy children. This sees them through the early years of the child, from pregnancy to early childhood. The HCBF resource toolkits are available in all languages, including Malay. HPB is also working with the madrasahs to create a health promoting environment so that the madrasah students also have the opportunity to learn healthy habits from young.

Our families also play a big role in providing support to make changes. Children whose parents do not smoke are less likely to smoke as adults. Therefore, we should reduce the smoking habit in our community so that we can be positive role models, and our children can enjoy smoke-free environments. This year, HPB will organise the annual “I Quit 28-Day Countdown” during the fasting month of Ramadan, in collaboration with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS). I look forward to seeing more Malay men quit smoking this year.

For the women, we had released the “Good Health, Better Life” calendar last year, in partnership with the Young Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS). This calendar is designed to specially help meet the health needs and interests of busy Malay women and also their families. This pictorial calendar has cost-saving tips (such as encouraging early screening), healthy recipes as well as providing further information on hotlines and numbers for social and financial help. This calendar has proven to be been well-received. I have been asked by many of my constituents to provide them with copies for their households. We will be exploring ways on how we can continue and improve on this initiative.

Working together with stakeholders

These initiatives are exciting and have been successful in bringing the different sectors together. MOH cannot realise the vision of the HLMP on its own; success will come only when various stakeholders work with us towards the same goal. MUIS has been invaluable in identifying partner mosques for HPB and has been a strong supporter of our Ramadan Challenge. Similarly, the People’s Association has also partnered HPB to identify the sites for the Wellness Programme which will provide health screening.

The Muslim Healthcare Professionals Association (MHPA) has also come on board. Doctors from the MHPA have conducted health-promoting talks at mosques in conjunction with other events organised by the HPB.  Our colleagues in the media have also taken up this challenge. Just last weekend, Berita Harian organised the Berita Harian Health Forum in partnership with Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Prior to this, in 2011, Mediacorp had worked together with HPB to produce “Cabaran Segar” or “Fresh Challenge”, a television programme featuring Malay celebrities who are trying to quit smoking.

 I would like to invite even more partners to join us on this journey because in order toimprove the health of the Malay community requires people with the knowledge and understanding of our culture and traditions. Our community is known “gotong-royong” spirit, and strong social support. With more partners who are able to share their expertise and experience, we will be able to help our Malay community make healthy living everyday living.

Sir, I support the motion. Thank you.


In Malay

Madam Speaker

With your permission, I will speak in Malay for my next speech.

Kesihatan Masyarakat Melayu-Islam

Dalam ucapan beliau kepada negara, Presiden Tan telah meggariskan bagaimana pemerintah akan menguatkan jaringan keselamatan sosial kita, termasuk sistem penjagaan kesihatan kita. Malah sedang Kementerian Kesihatan bekerja untuk mencapai matlamat ini, kita harus ingat bahawa memelihara kesihatan sebenarnya adalah pilihan yang terbaik. Saya gembira untuk mengatakan bahawa terdapat tanda-tanda yang menggalakkan dalam masyarakat Melayu kita. Pada tahun 2013, lebih ramai orang Melayu telah menjalani pemeriksaan kesihatan.

79% orang Melayu menjalani pemeriksaan untuk darah tinggi pada tahun 2013 berbandingkan 74% pada tahun 2012; 79% orang Melayu telah menjalani pemeriksaan untuk kolesterol tinggi pada tahun 2013 berbanding dengan 73% pada tahun 2012; dan 33% wanita Melayu telah menjalani pemeriksaan barah payudara berbanding dengan 29% untuk tahun 2012.

Perubahan-perubahan positif ini menunjukkan bahawa masyarakat Melayu sedar akan perlunya kita memelihara kesihatan dan yang pentingnya, kaum Melayu telah mengambil langkah untuk membuat perubahan yang diperlukan. Untuk mencapai taraf kesihatan yang lebih tinggi, kita harus berganding bahu untuk memikul tanggungjawab terhadap kesihatan kita sendiri. Bulan lalu, Kementerian saya telah melancarkan Pelan Induk Kehidupan Sihat (HLMP). Pelan in berusaha untuk merapatkan hubungan antara pemegang-pemegang kepentingan yang berlainan untuk memastikan bahawa kehidupan sihat adalah suatu yang mudah dan semula jadi.

Semasa rundingan awam bagi Pelan Induk Kehidupan Sihat, para peserta telah berkongsi kisah mereka tentang bagaimana mereka telah membuat perubahan pada gaya hidup mereka supaya mereka terus berada dalam keadaan sihat. Contohnya, seorang peserta menceritakan bagaimana dengan sokongan keluarganya, beliau telah berjaya mengubahsuai masakannya dengan menggunakan bahan ramuan yang lebih sihat. Sekarang, suaminya suka memakan lauk-pauk yang lebih sihat and anak-anaknya menolong beliau mencari resipi sihat. Mengamalkan gaya hidup sihat menjadi usaha kolektif seisi keluarga.

Persekitaran yang Menggalakkan Kesihatan

Selaras dengan visi HLMP untuk mewujudkan persekitaran yang menggalakkan kesihatan, Lembaga Penggalakan Kesihatan (HPB) akan bekerjasama dengan masjid-masjid untuk mengambil pendekatan yang bersepadu dan holistik agar kita berupaya meningkatkan kesihatan masyarakat Melayu.

Kita akan berkerjasama dengan masjid-masjid untuk menawarkan pakej kesihatan yang merangkumi pemeriksaan kesihatan, kegiatan jasmani, pemakanan berkhasiat dan rancangan berhenti merokok. Sejauh ini, Masjid Ar-Raudhah, Masjid Alkaff Kampung Melayu, Masjid Al-Mawaddah, Masjid An-Nur dan Masjid Al-Ansar telah berikrar untuk menawarkan pakej kesihatan tersebut.

Memupuk tabiat-tabiat sihat dari kecil juga penting. Bak pepatah Melayu, “kalau mahu melentur buluh, biar dari rebungnya.” Ibu bapa menunjukkan jalan dengan mengajar anak mereka mengenai tabiat-tabiat yang baik sejak dari kecil dan menunjukkan contoh yang baik mengenai kehidupan sihat. HPB memberi panduan melalui bengkel-bengkel kepada ibu bapa muda melalui inisiatif “Anak Lebih Sihat, Masa Depan Lebih Cerah (HCBF)” supaya mereka boleh menerapkan tabiat-tabiat sihat dalam diri anak mereka dari kecil. Ibu bapa muda juga diberi kit sumber HCBF yang menyediakan maklumat yang berguna dan disesuaikan dengan umur anak untuk membesarkan