National Principles Secretariat to boost unity, says Halimah

JOHOR BARU: The National Principles Secretariat (NPS) will play a crucial role in boosting the national unity agenda in line with the Malaysian Family (Keluarga Malaysia) initiative, says Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique.

The National Unity Minister added that the ministry was also planning to set up more NPS at all public and private universities besides providing a larger allocation for the students to conduct the unity and integration programmes next year.

"Currently, there are 187 NPS at public and private universities across the country. These secretariats have been introduced with the close cooperation of our ministry together with the Education Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry," she said.

"The National Unity Ministry is also working on introducing a module of activities that the students can conduct either at their campus or when they conduct their community engagement programme," added Halimah.

She said this when met by reporters after the closing ceremony of the Debat Perpaduan Keluarga Malaysia at Dewan Sultan Iskandar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai, here on Saturday (Aug 13).

Halimah added that her ministry was currently having a discussion with the Finance Ministry on finalising the amount of allocation that would be announced in the coming national budget.

"The ideas from the module are also from the students themselves, where we wanted them to take the lead on programmes and activities that they think can nurture and strengthen our national unity agenda," said Halimah.

"We wanted them to decide what kind of programmes that can attract the most participation and give the most impact," she added, saying that the programme must truly translate the unity and multi-racial colours that the country has.

These university students will also become unity ambassadors for the ministry and turn their campus into a place of integration for all races in the country, she added.

Meanwhile, Halimah said that her ministry has also introduced five language classes at all 1,781 Perpaduan kindergartens to foster better understanding through communication amongst children aged 4, 5, and 6.

"The language classes are Mandarin, Tamil, Iban, Kadazan, and sign language in the hope that this will help improve their social skills when entering primary school," she added.

On the programme, the Debat Perpaduan Keluarga Malaysia has received participation from 30 local universities with 120 debaters. The first round of debate was on Aug 6 and 7, while the final round was on Aug 12 and 13.

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