Malaysian Government Sets Sights On Improving UN Human Development Index Ranking: Anwar

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim unveiled Malaysia’s ambitious plan to elevate its position in the UN Human Development Index, aiming to rank 25th. The primary focus of this endeavor, as highlighted during the launch of the ‘Madani Economy: Empowering the People’ initiative, lies in bolstering health and education outcomes.

Recognising the critical importance of access to quality healthcare and education, the government intends to increase allocations accordingly, within the limits of its financial capabilities. One of the key goals is to enhance the sustainability of the healthcare system, ensuring the well-being of the citizens. In line with the recommendations of the Health White Paper, the government is committed to allocating five percent of GDP for health services. This will be achieved by optimising both the public and private healthcare systems and implementing strategies outlined in the Health White Paper over a 15-year period.

To demonstrate its commitment to improving healthcare access, the government has initiated projects like the National Disease Control Centre in Negeri Sembilan, with a budget of RM305 million. The center serves not only as a referral facility for diseases but also as a preparation hub to tackle potential future pandemics.

Furthermore, the government is fostering a paradigm shift in public health, emphasising disease prevention and empowering individuals to take charge of their own health. This approach aims to instill self-reliance among the people in maintaining, protecting, and improving their well-being.

On the education front, the government remains dedicated to creating a conducive learning environment with top-notch facilities for students. Efforts have been made to streamline processes, increase allocations, and enhance internet connectivity through the Jendela project, ensuring that all schools have access to the internet.

In a bid to make national education more demand-driven, the government is forging stronger collaborations with industries and employers, particularly in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Partnerships with entities like the Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC) are instrumental in bridging the gap between education and industry needs.

Acknowledging the dynamic nature of the global economy, the Prime Minister stressed the necessity of a progressive lifelong learning approach for all Malaysians. To support this vision, the government has allocated RM42 million through the Social Security Organisation (Socso) for the Career Building Programme. This program aims to upskill informal workers, including gig workers, who possess Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) qualification and below, providing them with opportunities to enhance their skills and thrive in an ever-evolving job market.

In summary, Malaysia’s ‘Madani Economy: Empowering the People’ initiative envisions a future where improved healthcare and education outcomes lead to enhanced well-being and a higher ranking on the UN Human Development Index. Through strategic investments, collaborative efforts, and a lifelong learning approach, the government aims to make significant progress in achieving these goals.

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