PM raises mental health, education, emerging health threats at Asean-Australia summit

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob believes mental health and education are two key areas Southeast Asian nations and Australia can work on.

Ismail, who addressed the Asean-Australia summit earlier today, thanked Australia for its strong support in the region’s efforts to mitigate Covid-19.

“Almost A$700 million have been earmarked for various initiatives. This would greatly assist Asean in pursuing its comprehensive recovery framework to implement recovery strategies and build a future that is sustainable and resilient,” said Ismail Sabri.

“Asean and Australia should also prepare for public health emergencies and emerging diseases through the exchange of knowledge and capacity-building programmes, including by leveraging on digital technologies.

“Another area that demands our attention is mental health.”

He added Malaysia, Brunei and Australia have been working closely on this subject.

“In Malaysia, we have launched the Mental Health Strategic Plan 2020–2025 and are planning to establish the National Centre of Excellence on Mental Health.

“In this context, Malaysia looks forward to working with (Asean) member states and Australia to make mental health care more accessible and available by using digital platforms.

“Additionally, Malaysia looks forward to the proposed Asean-Australia Mental Health Experts’ Meeting,” he added.

Ismail also spoke about the region and Australia working on education.

“Malaysia would like to underscore the importance of Technical Vocational Education and Training, and how it can contribute to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and start-ups.

“MSMEs account for more than 60 per cent of employment in the region. In strengthening the cooperation in this area, Asean can work together with Australia to equip the under-served communities, including youth, women, and children in the region, particularly with critical ICT skills.”

He added this would significantly assist in upskilling, and developing skilled workers.

“It would also enhance the quality of the labour force, increase the effectiveness and efficiency of MSMEs and start-ups, and ultimately, boost supply chain and manufacturing productivity in the region.”

Here are Twentytwo13’s news highlights today.

EDUCATION MINISTER MEETS STUDENTS OVER PERIOD SPOT CHECKS CLAIMS

Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin went to a school in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, and met students there, following claims of period spot checks being carried out.

Radzi, who was accompanied by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Yusran Shah Mohd Yusof, and Education director-general Datin Seri Nor Zamani Abdol Hamid, also sought an explanation from the school’s principal and teachers on the matter.

“The ministry is always committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment in schools and hostels,” Radzi wrote on his social media platforms.

KJ NAMED VICE-PRESIDENT OF WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY

The Western Pacific member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) unanimously elected Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin as the vice-president of the 75th World Health Assembly.

Khairy thanked those who nominated Malaysia, adding “we will bring the voice of the Western Pacific to the world assembly, especially on the principles of equity, solidarity and accountability.”

The assembly sees the participation of 194 nations, and determines WHO’s policies.

HIGH COURT SETS ASIDE MAT SABU’S SON’S JAIL SENTENCE

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has set aside Ahmad Saiful Islam Mohamad’s eight-month jail sentence for drug abuse.

Ahmad Saiful is the son of Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.

Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah said the urine test conducted by the police against Ahmad Saiful was not in accordance with the rules.

On June 24 last year, magistrate Mohamad Aizat Abdul Rahim, sentenced the accused to eight months’ jail after finding the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case.

Ahmad Saiful was accused of using THC-type drugs at a hotel here, at 2.05am on Jan 5, 2019.

67-YEAR-OLD BOMOH CHARGED WITH RAPE, CLAIMS TRIAL

A traditional healer (bomoh) was charged at the Pasir Mas Sessions Court this morning with raping his patient on Oct 14.

The 67-year-old accused claimed trial before Pasir Mas Sessions Court assistant registrar, Ruzaidi Yaacob.

The man allegedly raped the 23-year-old woman inside a room of a house at Lot 253, Kampung Perangkap, near Bunut Susu in Pasir Mas, Kelantan.

ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE OWNER, PATRONS SLAPPED WITH RM260K IN FINES

An entertainment outlet owner and 43 patrons were slapped with compounds amounting to RM260,000 for violating Covid-19 standard operating procedures, following a raid by Kuala Lumpur police last night.

Kuala Lumpur Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department chief Datuk Azman Ayob, in a statement today, said the 27 men and 16 women who visited the outlet, violated Regulation 19 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act, 1988, by “engaging in activities at an entertainment outlet during Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan.”

Police also issued a RM25,000 compound to the premises owner and seized 431 bottles of various types of liquor, worth RM220,500.

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