KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 -- Appreciation for frontline personnel who tirelessly helped curb the spread of COVID-19 was a focal point during the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's royal address at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.
All the government MPs and those in the opposition bloc who took part in the debate thanked the national heroes for their efforts which have led to Malaysia being recognised as one of the five best countries in the world in containing the pandemic.
Opening his debate by proposing that the government create a special day to celebrate frontline personnel, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (PH-Sepang) said the move was to express gratitude for all the sacrifices that have been made by those involved.
"It is time for us to express our gratitude for their (frontline workers) sacrifices with lasting appreciation like 'Frontliners Day' or Dataran Frontliners to honour those who sacrificed their lives for our safety," he said.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (BN-Pekan) who also touched on the same issue said Perikatan Nasional had taken over the government at the right time and implemented firm and uncompromising efforts to curb the epidemic.
"I would like to thank the Perikatan Nasional government and frontline personnel for making Malaysia one of the few countries in the world that successfully curbed the spread of the disease," he said.
Commenting further, the former prime minister said compared to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) ruling, the PN government was seen to be more focused on curbing the spread of COVID-19.
He asked the government to act decisively to control import cases involving Malaysians returning home or among foreign visitors as it was one of the main reasons other countries had to once again enforce their respective restricted movement orders after believing they had managed to contain the pandemic.
Sharing his sentiment was Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort) who praised the efforts and wisdom of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in handling the spread of the disease with the support of cabinet and government officials, as well as the people who worked together to comply with government directives.
"Thank you and our appreciation goes out to the Director-General of Health, frontliners, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, Royal Malaysia Police, Fire and Rescue Department who ensure that the country's problems are addressed together, even though the PN government has just taken over," she said.
Today's debate session also touched on the issue of national education that got the attention of Dewan Rakyat members such as Steven Sim Chee Keong (PH-Bukit Mertajam) and Azizah who raised the issue of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
In his debate, Sim suggested that the government implement a drastic shift in TVET education in line with the job market that prioritises the importance of the Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0. because the TVET approach cannot be limited to the technical stream alone.
Azizah, on the other hand, suggested that TVET graduates be given employment opportunities, especially graduates from the B40 group to help them get out of poverty.
Also getting much attention was Datuk Johari Abdul's (PH-Sungai Petani) proposal for the National Service Programme to be reintroduced with improvements through military involvement for an estimated one-year period to ensure the country produces a much braver and more disciplined future generation.
"I am confident of this after seeing some countries like China which in just 40 years has come out of poverty. Look at our former soldiers who have served the country. Their style, the way they carry themselves, act and think are different. They are not only able to help their family become successful but can help develop the country too,” he said.
The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues Monday.
Malaysia National News Agency
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