Speech by Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, at the launch of the “Pilot of the Malay Health Calendar” event on 22nd December 2013 at PPIS FSC (West), 9.30am

Good morning Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower,

Madam Maznah Masop, Chief Executive Officer, Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura,

Good morning everyone.

1.            It is my privilege to join you here today for the launch of this meaningful project.

 

2.            The Malay community in Singapore is an intrinsic part of Singapore’s unique culture. Malay culture, including its history, traditional clothing, music and of course, its food, is rich in flavour and heritage. It is of utmost importance that we continue to preserve our unique culture.

 

3.         The World Health Organisation defines health as physical, mental and social well-being. A recent study conducted by Health Promotion Board in March 2013 among 120 women in Singapore found that Malay women placed great importance on positive mental well-being as key to being healthy. This feedback is encouraging, because good mental well-being is indeed important. We also know that our Malay community is a close-knit one which centres around the family, and this provides us with good foundation and support to achieve good health.

 

4.         The National Health Survey 2010[1] found that chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol are more prevalent in the Malay community. However, the screening rates for these chronic conditions and for cancer were lowest among the Malay ethnic group. In addition, lifestyle risk factors such as obesity and smoking were also most prevalent in the Malay community – about 1 in 4 Malays were found to be obese, and 1 in 4 were regular smokers. We can do more to adopt healthier lifestyle habits, and improve our health screening practices.

 

5.         It is, therefore, important that we empower our Malay community to take charge of their health by making it easier for everyone to adopt healthy lifestyles. In our in-depth interviews with Malay families from lower-income backgrounds, many expressed concerns on the cost required to go for health screening. The interviews also revealed that many felt that healthier food options were more expensive and less tasty.

 

6.         To encourage health screening in the population, MOH recently announced enhancements to the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) to facilitate easier access to screening programmes, and follow-up. I believe this Malay language health calendar will serve as another useful resource to us and our families in the journey to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. When I read through it, I saw that it contained simple health tips that are specific to our Malay culture, such as tips on fasting, and recipes on how to prepare healthier sayur lodeh or even healthier nasi lemak. It can serve as a guide on how we can adopt healthy living within a Malay-specific cultural context. Adopting a healthier lifestyle does not mean diluting our culture or drastically changing our lifestyle overnight. It simply means making small but determined steps in our daily living that will eventually make a significant impact on our health outcomes.

 

7.         Today, we also have a Malay woman Health Ambassador, Ms Hazlin Bte Tahar, from HPB present here, who will be highlighting to you some tips that she find particularly useful and relevant to for the Malay community. After today’s event, this calendar, which is being launched as a pilot project, will be available at selected Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS) branches for up to 3,000 Malay households.  With this tool, I am confident it can help educate and enable our community to achieve a better awareness of good health and healthy habits, and in turn, motivate you to take small steps toward healthy living. 

 

8.         On this note, let me thank you all for joining us at this event, especially PPIS and HPB for co-organising this meaningful event.

 

9.         I wish you all a healthy and wonderful year ahead. Thank you.

 

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Ucapan oleh Setiausaha Parlimen, Kementerian Kesihatan & Kementerian Pengangkutan, Profesor Madya Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, di Majlis Pelancaran “Kalendar Perintis Kesihatan Melayu” pada 22 Disember 2013 di PPIS FSC (Barat), 9.30 pagi

 

Selamat pagi Dr Amy Khor, Menteri Negara Kanan, Kementerian Kesihatan dan Cik Maznah Masop, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif, Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS).

 

Selamat pagi semua.

1.         Saya rasa amat berbesar hati kerana dapat bersama anda hari ini untuk pelancaran projek yang amat bermakna ini.

 

2.         Budaya masyarakat Melayu di Singapura adalah sebahagian dari budaya unik Singapura. Budaya Melayu, termasuk sejarah, pakaian tradisi, muzik, dan tidak lupa juga, makanannya, kaya dengan perisa dan warisan. Oleh itu, ia penting sekali untuk kami terus memelihara budaya unik kami.

 

3.         Pertubuhan Kesihatan Sedunia (WHO) mentakrifkan kesihatan sebagai kesejahteraan fizikal, mental dan sosial. Kajian baru-baru ini yang dijalankan oleh Lembaga Penggalakan Kesihatan (HPB) pada Mac 2013 yang melibatkan 120 orang wanita di Singapura mendapati bahawa wanita Melayu amat mementingkan kesejahteraan mental yang positif sebagai kunci untuk terus sihat. Maklum balas ini amat menggalakkan kerana kesejahteraan mental yang baik sememangnya penting. Kita turut maklum bahawa masyarakat Melayu kita mempunyai pertalian yang rapat dan menekankan kekeluargaan. Ini memberi kita asas dan sokongan yang kukuh untuk mencapai tahap kesihatan yang baik.

 

4.         Kajian Kesihatan Nasional 2010[2] mendapati bahawa penyakit kronik seperti tekanan darah tinggi dan kolesterol darah tinggi lebih tersebar luas di kalangan masyarakat Melayu. Walau bagaimanapun, kadar saringan untuk penyakit kronik dan barah didapati paling rendah di kalangan Melayu. Selain itu, faktor risiko gaya hidup, seperti kegemukan dan merokok, turut lebih ketara dalam masyarakat Melayu. Contohnya, lebih kurang 1 dalam setiap 4 orang Melayu didapati gemuk, dan 1 dalam setiap 4 orang pula perokok tetap. Kita mampu berusaha lebih gigih untuk mengamalkan tabiat gaya hidup sihat, dan memperbaiki amalan pemeriksaan kesihatan kita.

 

5.         Oleh itu, penting bagi kita menolong masyarakat Melayu untuk menguruskan kesihatan mereka, dengan menyediakan laluan yang mudah bagi setiap orang untuk mengamalkan gaya hidup yang sihat. Dalam temu bual lebih lanjut dengan keluarga Melayu dari latar belakang berpendapatan rendah, ramai yang menyatakan kebimbangan mengenai kos yang perlu dibiayai untuk menjalani pemeriksaan kesihatan. Temu bual tersebut turut mendapati bahawa ramai yang berpendapat pilihan makanan lebih sihat lebih mahal dan merasa kurang enak.

 

6.         Untuk menggalakkan rakyat Singapura menjalani pemeriksaan kesihatan, baru-baru ini Kementerian Kesihatan (MOH) telah mengumumkan penambahbaikan kepada Skim Bantuan Kesihatan Masyarakat (CHAS) untuk memudahkan lagi peserta menjalani program pemeriksaan dan susulan. Kalendar kesihatan bahasa Melayu ini pula boleh dijadikan sumber berguna untuk kita dan keluarga kita dalam usaha mengamalkan gaya hidup sihat. Apabila saya membacanya, saya memerhatikan  bahawa ia mengandungi petua kesihatan yang ringkas dan cocok dengan budaya Melayu kita, seperti petua berpuasa dan resipi untuk menyediakan sayur lodeh atau nasi lemak yang lebih menyihatkan.

 

7.         Kalendar ini menyediakan panduan tentang cara kita boleh mengamalkan hidup secara sihat mengikut konteks budaya Melayu. Mengamalkan gaya hidup lebih sihat tidak bermakna kita harus mengabaikan budaya kita atau mengubah gaya hidup secara mendadak. Kita cuma perlu melakukan perubahan kecil dengan mengambil langkah yang tegas dalam kehidupan seharian kita, yang lama-kelamaan akan memberi hasil positif dan ketara untk kesihatan kita.

 

8.         Hari ini, turut hadir bersama kita ialah Cik Hazlin Tahar, Duta Kesihatan wanita dari HPB. Beliau akan mengetengahkan beberapa petua berguna dan relevan kepada masyarakat kita. Selepas majlis hari ini, kalendar yang akan dilancarkan sebagai projek perintis ini boleh didapati di cawangan Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS) terpilih untuk seramai 3,000 keluarga Melayu. Dengan wahana ini, saya yakin ia dapat membantu mendidik dan membolehkan masyarakat kita mencapai kesedaran terhadap kesihatan yang lebih baik dan tabiat yang lebih sihat, dan seterusnya, mendorong anda mengambil langkah-langkah kecil ke arah gaya hidup yang sihat.

 

9.         Dengan ini, saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada anda kerana sudi bersama kami di majlis ini, terutamanya PPIS dan HPB yang telah bersama menganjurkan acara penuh bermakna ini.

 

10.       Saya berharap agar anda semua senantiasa sihat di tahun baru ini. Terima kasih.

 

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ANNEX A

  1. Health screening practices by Singapore residents (%)

Characteristics

Diabetes screening at least once in the past 3 years

Hypertension screening at least once in the past year

High blood cholesterol screening at least once in the past 3 years

Percentage of Singapore female residents aged 50 to 69 years who went for breast cancer screening within the last 2 years

Percentage of Singapore female residents aged 25 to 69 years who went for cervical cancer screening within the last 3 years

Percentage of Singapore residents aged 50 to 69 years who went for colorectal cancer screening (FOBT) within the past one year

Percentage of Singapore residents aged 50 to 69 years who went for colorectal cancer screening (colonoscopy/sigmodoscopy) within the past 10 years

Total

63.5%

70.8%

61.2%

39.6%

47.9%

10.3%

12.3%

Ethnic Group

Chinese

63.8%

70.5%

61.6%

41.7%

49.1%

11.3%

13.5%

Malay

54.2%

66.5%

53.6%

22.9%

39.4%

2.9%

4.5%

Indian

74.4%

80.3%

68.5%

41.9%

48.2%

1.1%

10.3%

Source: National Health Survey 2010

 

  1. Prevalence of chronic conditions among Singapore residents (%)

Characteristics

Prevalence of obesity among Singapore residents aged 18 to 69 years

Prevalence of diabetes Singapore residents aged 18 to 69 years

Prevalence of hypertension among Singapore residents aged between 30 and 69 years

Prevalence of high blood cholesterol among Singapore residents aged 18 to 69 years

Total

10.8%

11.3%

23.5%

17.4%

Ethnic Group

 

 

 

 

Chinese

7.9%

9.7%

23.4%

17.1%

Malay

24.0%

16.6%

28.0%

22.6%

Indian

16.9%

17.2%

19.3%

12.6%

Source: National Health Survey 2010

 

  1. Health Behaviour / Habits among Singapore residents (%)

 

Characteristics

Percentage of Singapore residents aged 18 to 69 years who smoked cigarettes daily

Percentage of Singapore residents aged 18 to 69 years who engaged in regular exercise during leisure time

Prevalence of hypertension among Singapore residents aged between 30 and 69 years

Prevalence of high blood cholesterol among Singapore residents aged 18 to 69 years

Total

14.3%

19.0%

23.5%

17.4%

Ethnic Group

 

 

 

 

Chinese

12.8%

19.2%

23.4%

17.1%

Malay

26.5%

15.3%

28.0%

22.6%

Indian

10.1%

21.7%

19.3%

12.6%

Source: National Health Survey 2010

[1] The relevant statistics are listed out in Annex A.

[2] Perangkaan yang berkaitan ada disenaraikan dalam Lampiran A.

 

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