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6 theSun | MONDAY NOVEMBER 24 2008

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by Maria J. Dass

PETALING JAYA: Free optional immunisation

vaccines or their listing in the basic
immunisation schedule, a balanced diet in
school canteens and the standardisation
of curriculum in government and private
What Malaysian parents want They also indicated that the most
schools ranked high in the priority list of what PAG online survey highlights reliable source of parenting is the extended
Malaysian parents want for their children, family as parents believe the best source
according to a survey conducted by ProActive
parents Group (PAG).
This is followed by hopes for increased
of parents would like to see optional vaccines made available
for their children for free or to be listed in the basic
immunisation schedule.
of advice on caring for their children still
comes from their parents, in-laws and
law enforcement to ensure the security of On education, Malaysians feel that
their children – especially with the slew of
recent news of child kidnappings and sexual
of parents would like a standardisation of curriculum for
government and private schools. supplemental and enrichment classes (art
classes, music lessons, etc) will widen
predators – by incorporating a digital warning children’s exposure to non-academic
system (i.e. Amber Alert in the United States
and Canada). 83%
of parents think food served at school canteens need to be
regulated to ensure their child receives a well-balanced diet subjects.
On nutrition, the survey revealed that up
The Amber Alert programme is a to 72% of respondents serve their children
partnership effort between law enforcement
agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies 38%
would like to see increased law enforcement actions
incorporated in Malaysia or the implementation of a digital
warning system to ensure the security of their children.
on average only one to two servings of fruit
and vegetables in a day.
and the wireless industry. A child abduction 100 80 60 40 20 0 The eating habits of Malaysian children
alert bulletin will immediately be distributed remain a real cause for concern as core
via commercial radio, television, cable, digital meals during school hours are supplied
billboards, email, electronic traffic condition licence plate number and other important namely health, nutrition, enrichment and and served by school canteens. Hence, 83%
signs and SMS text messages upon the information which will be distributed safety. of parents want to see healthier food served
suspected abduction of a child. throughout the base by email, phone and The results show that despite the in school canteens.
The system works to quickly get critical other means. increasing cost of living and medical To ensure parents are equipped with
information out to the public should a child The nationwide survey on contemporary expenses, health remains a the right information and
abduction occur in a local area where law parenting opinions regarding children’s core priority for Malaysians Visit for tools as they raise their
enforcement officials gather specifics about health, safety, education and nutrition was and their families. Hence, an more details about PAG children, PAG has created
the case, such as a vehicle description, released by PAG. overwhelming majority (95%) an interactive online portal
More than 800 Malaysian parents were indicated their preference devoted to parents for
surveyed in the 15-minute, four-part for optional vaccines, and parents.
questionnaire over two weeks in October. information about them, to be made free The group hopes to be a valuable
The survey solicited opinions regarding or subsidised for their children under the resource for parents to tap information and
four key pillars as highlighted by PAG, National Immunisation Programme. connect with other like-minded parents.

Retrenched foreigners could Press Digest

by Kong See Hoh
become ‘ticking time bomb’

AS the economic slowdown hits lice to heighten their alert and making any move. slipped into recession, retrenches
home, the country’s commercial strengthen monitoring to prevent He agreed with the view that half a million Malaysians now
and industrial sectors, the first to the crime situation from getting amid the slowdown, various working in the republic, it will
feel the impact, may start to lay worse.” sectors may retrench workers have a huge impact on the
off foreign workers. Syed Hamid also urged mem- or hire fewer foreign workers or country.
The government is worried bers of the public to work with not at all. He said the government has
the retrenched foreigners would enforcement agencies to ensure “What is most important is to adopt a more open economic
become a ticking time bomb. that public security is not com- that at this crucial time, employ- policy and push for greater devel-
Home Minister Datuk Seri promised by retrenchments. ers should not bring in more opment of the knowledge-based
Syed Hamid Albar said the global He said apart from helping foreign workers or depend too economy to face the challenges
economic crisis has posed a se- the economic sector, the govern- much on them. They should start posed by the economic crisis.
vere challenge to the country’s ment will also pay attention to hiring locals instead.” Second Finance Minister Tan
economy. social problems, such as illegal He also urged Malaysians to Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said
Once a lot of people, including moneylending and other crimes, change their mentality about the country is ready to absorb
foreign workers, lose their jobs, brought on by the downturn. employment as there are still Malaysians retrenched by Singa-
the crime rate will go up, he told He also said the government vacancies in the country and that pore.
Nanyang Siang Pau. is considering imposing a tem- they need not go abroad to look He disclosed that there has
He stressed that no matter porary freeze on applications to for jobs. been an outflow of talents to
what, the government will pay import foreign workers or revoke Statistics from the Human Singapore, Hongkong, Taiwan
even greater attention to public permits issued to employers who Resources Ministry showed that and Macau and Malaysia is fac-
security at this trying time. have yet to bring in their work- this year up to Nov 20, a total of ing shortage of labour and skilled
“When a lot of people lose ers, to prevent an oversupply of 21,308 workers, mostly from the workers.
their jobs, the crime rate will rise, labour. manufacturing sector, have been “We can absorb skilled work-
and we need to find out how to However, he said, the govern- laid off. ers who return home to help
strengthen law enforcement ment will first find out the needs Meanwhile, Gerakan president develop the economy,” Nor Mo-
resources,” he said. of various sectors, especially the Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon warned hamed said at the WIT College
“We have directed the po- construction industry, before that if Singapore, which recently Convocation over the weekend.

Don’t cut power to schools, Tenaga told

DEPUTY Education Minister errant commercial users. on Saturday, Wee said Tenaga the state were served notice of
Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong has urged Said Wee: “As a commercial cannot deem the matter as disconnection if they fail to settle
Tenaga Nasional Berhad (Tenaga) company, Tenaga is only doing strictly business as it has to be arrears totalling RM122,811.
not to cut supply to 17 Chinese what is natural to disconnect concerned about its corporate Wee said he has directed the
primary schools which together consumers who do not pay up, social responsibility, because the Seremban education depart-
owe the utility giant more than but it has to understand the pupils will be the ones to suffer ment to handle the matter and
RM100,000 in arrears. whole issue (of non-settlement if power supply to the schools is expected a report this week.
He said Tenaga must not of bills by 17 schools) in order to cut off. He said he would not make
forget it is a government-linked resolve the matter.” Negri Sembilan MCA liaison any speculation before he gets
company, and should not handle Speaking to the press after chief Datuk Dr Yeow Chai Thiam the report but gave an assurance
non-settlement of bills by these attending a function for children disclosed recently that 17 pri- that the ministry will look into the
schools the same way it treats with autism in Kuala Lumpur mary Chinese primary schools in matter.

ACA can take part in raids by other agencies: Nazri

KUALA KANGSAR: The He said the ACA’s anything that is unusual,” he and Transport, Nga Kor Ming,
Anti-Corruption Agency, participation in such raids was told reporters after closing on Friday questioning the
as an investigation body, normal in seeking information an awareness programme presence of ACA and police
has the right to take part in to be used as evidence on cervical cancer, here personnel in a raid conducted
raids carried out by other against anyone suspected of yesterday. by the Enforcement Division
enforcement agencies, committing an offence. Mohamed Nazri was of the Ministry of Domestic
said Minister in the Prime “The ACA can act on its commenting on the statement Trade and Consumer Affairs
Minister’s Department Datuk own or together with other by the chairman of the Perak on a house at Taman Hijau,
Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul enforcement agencies. State Committee on Education, Taiping on Thursday evening.
Aziz. “The ACA is not doing Local Government, Housing – Bernama

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