Fellow Malay Muslim Advisors
Colleagues from Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), MENDAKI, M3@Towns, PA and HPB
Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
Good morning. I’m happy to see so many of you at the M3 Saham Kesihatan Family Festival. I hope today’s event will inspire you and our community to take charge of our health to lead a healthier lifestyle.
2. Indeed, a main thrust of Healthier SG is to help all Singaporeans take ownership towards better health. In support of Healthier SG, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) will continue to empower Singaporeans to adopt healthy living habits by collaborating with more community partners to provide more health promoting programmes for everyone.
3. Our community has rallied together in the spirit of gotong royong – collective helping – to uplift our community and come out of challenges: from strengthening marriages and reducing recidivism rates to improving education, quality of employment and housing outcomes. We have grouped these initiatives into four areas under M3 to better coordinate community efforts, working together to strengthen families, support ex-offenders, empower and mentor youth, and facilitate good employment.
4. Beyond these areas, we must also take care of ourselves and our health. Thus, we will add a fifth Focus Area – community health. A steering committee will be set up to oversee this, led by Mdm Rahayu Mahzam, Senior Parliamentary Secretary of Health. Fellow Malay/Muslim advisors Dr Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah and Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin will also be on the Steering Committee, and MOH and HPB will be providing support.
5. HPB already has targeted Efforts to address the health needs of the Malay/Muslim community. In the past year, the Jaga Kesihatan and Jaga Ummah (JKJU) network and HPB collectively reached out to over 29,000 Malay/Muslim residents who have taken part in healthy living programmes including physical activities, health talks and functional screenings. But we must get more of our community to take charge of their health.
6. We have introduced Saham Kesihatan for the Malay/Muslim community. Community-led interest groups can design their own activities, such as group exercises, to meet the needs of participants within their own communities. Two successful pilots have been conducted in M3@Towns, in Jurong and Tampines, in 2022. These form the many building blocks of the new Focus Area on Community Health.
7. I am heartened to announce that 13 partners from M3@Towns and Malay/Muslim Organisations, which include MENDAKI and MUIS will be coming on board Saham Kesihatan. These partners will collaborate with HPB to tap on a range of health promotion programmes, facilities and services offered, as well as to track their health by monitoring their Body Mass Index (BMI), blood glucose and cholesterol levels. For example, currently, MENDAKI organises weekly activities such as brisk walking, Futsal and Zumba. Close to 100 staff participate in these activities every month. Under Saham Kesihatan, MENDAKI will be working with HPB to enhance their programmes for staff, incorporating a wider range of activities across all age groups, such as hiking and yoga.
8. Health promotion requires a whole community’s effort. Our close working relationship with partners from the JKJU network and M3@Towns has helped to increase the accessibility and availability of healthy living programmes in the community and engage residents to adopt healthier lifestyles. I encourage the M3@Towns, MENDAKI and MUIS to lead by example and work with HPB to begin their own Saham Kesihatan programme for their communities. Together, we can motivate one another to start leading healthier lifestyles.
9. Health is each of our personal responsibility. It is an Amanah – a moral responsibility of fulfilling our obligations – to keep ourselves healthy so that we can prevent the onset of chronic diseases and lead a better quality of life. When we are healthy, we can better support our families and our community. We can start by making small changes in our daily lives such as drinking plain water and taking the stairs instead of the lifts. I encourage all of you to take active steps to stay healthy so that we can live long and well and our families and community can thrive.
10. There are many exciting activities lined up at today’s M3 Saham Kesihatam Family Festival. I wish everyone an enjoyable day ahead.
11. Thank you.