KUALA LUMPUR: A National Social Policy, aimed at creating a balanced society, was launched here yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Drawn up to enhance social development, its main objective is to forge noble values at all levels.
It would be used as a mechanism to plan, implement and monitor all related programmes comprehensively at federal and state levels.
Speaking at the launch at the Putra World Trade Centre, Abdullah likened the policy to a prime mover for achieving social development amidst balanced development.
He chaired the first meeting of the National Social Council, the implementation agency of the policy, immediately after the launch during which it was agreed that 50 Community Service Centres would be set up in places with serious social problems.
The centres, to be run by the National Unity and Social Development Ministry, would be increased as the need arose.
“We'll ensure there are community centres nationwide to implement the policy,” he told a press conference. .
Abdullah stressed that the council met so urgently because there was a pressing need to tackle social problems such as rapes, murders and child abuse.
“The social problems we are facing now are very frightening,” he said.
In his speech, Abdullah said the key to achieving real reforms in the national social landscape would be changes in attitudes and mindsets.
He also stressed the importance of strengthening human capabilities and the role of the family in building a community that was balanced and based on noble values.
“The opportunities for building human capabilities come not from one social project alone but more through the development of healthy and open minds,” he said.
Such efforts, he added, should begin at the level of the smallest social unit – the family.
“Therefore, parents, guardians and educators have a big responsibility to instil noble values in the young generation and to create awareness of the importance of knowledge, cultural arts, the environment, cleanliness and healthy living in their daily life,” he said.
He urged the people to complement the government’s efforts by contributing time, ideas and energy towards the realisation of these objectives.
“For example, voluntary bodies and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) can interact closely with the people at the local level so that they can contribute ideas,” he said.
The National Social Council set up at federal level to act as the co-ordinating and implementing centre would bechaired by the Prime Minister, with members comprising ministers involved in the social sector.
The National Unity and Social Development Ministry would be its secretariat, assisted by the National Social Development Committee and National Social Development Working Committee at federal level.
At state and district levels, state development councils and district development working committees would be responsible for coordinating the planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of social programmes. – Bernama