PETALING JAYA: Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin has called on Members of Parliament to join Malaysian schools in observing National Kindness Week on the first week of April, to help end the increasingly “hateful” rhetoric across the country.
The #StandTogether National Kindness Week campaign by R.AGE and SP Setia aims to empower students to create a culture of kindness in schools, and Khairy hopes all Malaysians will follow the students’ example.
“Things have just become so toxic. We are losing our compassion and empathy.
“We hide behind walls of digital anonymity to post things which are really thoughtless and heartless. It’s timely that young Malaysians are building this movement from the ground, to promote kindness,” said the former Youth and Sports minister.
Students nationwide will be organising Kindness Projects during Kindness Week (many through grant funding from R.AGE and Setia), while schools will be encouraged to kickstart kindness initiatives as well.
Last year, over 30 student Kindness Projects received funding, while over 80 projects have already been submitted so far this year.
Submissions can be made online at bit.ly/stcompetition.
Khairy urged his fellow MPs to support the students’ efforts during the next Parliament sitting, which coincides with National Kindness Week, as people still look at elected representatives as some sort of a role model.
He also congratulated the hundreds of students who helped kickstart the campaign last year and urged more to do the same.
“I believe that there are still young Malaysians who haven’t been tainted by this cynicism and malicious desire to delight in somebody else’s misery.
“It may sound a bit (absurd), but if you say nice things, that rubs off on people,” he said.
Khairy was joined by Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching in supporting the campaign last week.
Teo signed up for the campaign’s “Kindness Challenge”, where participants will receive a daily act of kindness to complete through a WhatsApp “Kindness Chat Bot”.
She also nominated Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim and Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto to take on the challenge as well.
The #StandTogether campaign was developed in 2017 by R.AGE and SP Setia, with expert input from partners including Unicef Malaysia, Digi, Study Hub Asia, and International Medical University (IMU).
Schools can participate by registering their support for National Kindness Week, after which they will receive free educational resources and kindness programmes.
The campaign also includes a free Kindness Workshop in every state, organised by Digi and IMU to equip teachers and students to be “Kindness Ambassadors” in their respective schools.