Fellow colleagues from MUIS, HPB and PA
Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
1. Thank you everyone for joining us today at the Sihat Bersama JKJU event. I would like to firstly extend my congratulations to the recipients of the awards today. You do important work and I am grateful for your contributions. But there is more that we can do together. Today is an opportunity for many community partners to gather and review all that we have done so far to encourage healthy living in the Malay community. It is an opportunity for us to learn about what different partners have been working on and think about how we can do better in rallying the Malay community towards leading a healthier lifestyle. This is aligned with the Healthier SG efforts that the Government has announced recently and I am happy to see our community participating and contributing actively.
2. Actually, we have been building on these efforts in the Malay Community much earlier. In 2017, the Jaga Kesihatan Jaga Ummah (JKJU) Network was set up to bring together partners and make healthy living accessible to the Malay community through a myriad of health promotion activities. This included health carnivals, exercise groups and various campaigns. We started building this network with the mosques, but over the years, this network has grown to include about 64 mosques, MMOs and MAECs, as mentioned earlier by Minister Masagos. This afternoon, we have over 150 partners gathered here from the JKJU Network as well as those in the healthcare sector, various VWOs and M3@Town partners.
3. We have the right people in the ecosystem, and we need to continue growing this family, but it is also important to be strategic and focus on areas of concern in our community so that we can move the needle with our outcomes. The Malay Community Outreach (MCO) Workgroup was set up to review our strategies in five pillars – nutrition, screening, physical activity, mental health and smoking. The workgroup is committed to shape preventive health efforts to improve the health and well-being of the Malay community. Members of the workgroup and their sub-committees help provide the expertise and insights so we can steer the curation of our activities to make them more meaningful and impactful.
4. I hope that you found the health discussions on key health concerns in the Malay community and the sharing of best health practices by the leads of the MCO workgroup, Dr Wan Rizal, Dr Elly Sabrina and Dr Djoni Huang insightful. There are many good ideas and suggestions from today’s event, so let us work together on the action plans to carry out them out.
5. At the national level, there is a wide range of healthy living programmes to support Singaporeans, including the Malay community, in adopting and prioritising healthy living. Through the Healthy 365 mobile app, we can access and sign up for programmes that support our health and lifestyle goals, such as the National Steps ChallengeTM, Community Physical Activity Programme and workshops on healthy ageing. I encourage everyone to download and use the Healthy 365 app so that you can participate in these existing programmes which are available islandwide.
6. Besides tapping on existing programmes, we also now have a specific initiative for the Malay community to support partners in creating and enhancing their own health programmes. I would encourage you to join our Saham Kesihatan initiative, which was launched this year, where more Malay Muslim residents can keep healthy through community-led interest groups. Basically, Saham Kesihatan is a back-end package or playbook for organisers to build meaningful programmes. Through the initiative, you have the flexibility to customise your own local health promotion programmes tailored to the needs of your residents or congregants. Please approach any of our HPB colleagues to find out more on how you can participate in the initiative.
7. Ultimately, health is a personal responsibility. I encourage everyone to take charge of their own health and take active steps towards a healthier lifestyle. But, we can all play a part to support each other and to create the ecosystem, making healthier choices and healthy living accessible for everyone in the community.
8. As part of the Healthier SG initiative, community partnerships and active collaborations to encourage healthy living are key. As community leaders, we have an important role in providing a supportive and conducive environment for the Malay community to improve their health and well-being. There are many types of health promotion programmes for the JKJU Network and partners to tap on, in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation, health screening and mental well-being. We can connect you with resources and provide you with the tools, like Saham Kesihatan. I hope that you can join me to rally more community partners to join the JKJU Network and continue organising meaningful health promotion activities so that together, we can make healthy living more accessible to the Malay community.
9. Thank you.