59th MALAYSIA DAY : DO YOU REALLY WANT TO SAVE MALAYSIA?

Posted on September 15, 2022

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By Jayanath Appudurai

This Malaysia Day we have nothing to crow about!

Tired of the same old toxic ‘R&R’ politics that paralyses our Nation.

Even more tired of the pundits, commentators and netizens pontificating and recycling the negativity and toxicity that we really do not need!

And I really do not care who helms the government – BN, PH, PN, Muafakat Nasional, Perpaduan Ummah, Borneo First, Gerakan Tanah Air, Gabungan Katak Malaysia; etcetera, etcetera!

These are just games played by the ruling class and its cronies to stay in power or get into power. All totally of no value to the Rakyat jelata!

So this Malaysia Day can we please just focus on the real issues that affect the daily lives of our People?

Once Again: Who are we Saving Malaysia for?

If you are into saving Malaysia for yourself, you can stop reading, now!

If you are motivated to save  Malaysia for Our Children, then read on.

First, the snapshot of key data to reflect on.

Population:

The current population of Children (below 18 years) is 9.2 million[i].

Our Children make up 28% of the total 32 million population.

It is estimated that some 60% reside in the three million poor and low-income households.

Nutritional Status:

Of the 2.4 million Children below 5 years old[ii]:-

  • Underweight [14.1%]- approximately 1 in 7
  • Wasting [9.4%] – almost  1 in 10
  •  Stunting [21.8] –  more than  1 in 5

Mental Health:

Our Children face mental health problems that affect their well-being and optimal development. These problems go largely unrecognised and under-diagnosed:-

  • The overall prevalence of mental health problems was 7.9% [ 730,000 kids]
  • Higher prevalence for Children aged 10-15 years old [9.5%] compared to Children aged 5-9 years old [5.9%}
  • Children from the B40 income group showed the highest prevalence of mental health problems [8.8%].

Education[iii]

Every year about 450,000 Children eagerly wait to start their schooling odyssey.

  • For a variety of reasons, almost 20% of Children in the 5 – 6 age group never get the opportunity to enrol in Pre-School
  • Almost 11% of the Primary School cohort do not transition into Lower Secondary schooling
  • Almost 12% of the Lower Secondary cohort do not go on to Upper Secondary schooling
  • Only 25% of those that complete Upper Secondary go on to some form of post-secondary education.

Why is this so? The annual national examination results provide some insights:-

  • UPSR (Primary) – of the 443,000 that sat for the exam, only 70% attained the minimum proficiency in all subjects.
  • SPM (Upper Secondary) – of the 382,000 that sat, 68% passed all subjects

In short, about 30% of our Children did not meet the minimum requirements to obtain a full certificate in both national exams!

The public and the media are too busy crowing about the glorious achievements of the 2 – 3 %  “straight A+ and A students” [~10,000], to worry about the Bottom 30%!

Children Involved in Crime

The numbers may look insignificant in terms of total population but the fact that 5342 of our children were involved in criminal activities, and that 30% of the crimes were ‘drug -related’ must surely be cause for concern. And this is only what has been captured by the official statistics!

Bottomline

The implications of the issues enumerated above for the inter-generational transmission of poverty and inequality are abundantly clear.

The System has failed our Children!

 We have collectively failed our Children!

So, this Malaysia Day do we really want to do something positive?

If so, let us demand of the Government (whichever it may be) to focus on the future of Our Children!

Demand that the incumbent MPs and potential GE15 candidates craft and pledge to implement a ‘Manifesto for Our Children’. The Manifesto must spell out the policies, programmes, and the commitment to allocate resources, specifically for the vital areas of Nutrition, Health and Quality Education.

Let us dedicate the next 12 months to Saving Our Children.

Then, we will really have something to celebrate on the 60th National Day in September 2023.

And yes, another 450,000 Anak Bangsa Malaysia would have joined us by that time!

Selamat Menyambut Hari Malaysia ke-59.

15 September 2022


[i] Child is defined as a person under the age of 18 years as stipulated in the Children Act 2001.

[ii] MOH,National Health & Morbidity Survey, 2019

[iii] DOSM, Statistik Kanak-Kanak Malaysia, 2021

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