Malaysiakini News

We won't exploit kids unlike 'northern state leader', Najib jabs Guan Eng

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Without mentioning his name, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak landed a jab on Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng over the latter's rendition of an anti-GST song with children during the launch of a free tuition centre.

The blow was delivered when Najib was speaking on measuring a nation's success other than based on its per capita income or physical development.

He emphasised that it should also encompass the ability to develop a concerned and caring society with good values, or a kinder and softer Malaysia.

"This is what I had included in the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) initiative, that we are not just aiming for Malaysia to be ranked among the top 20 countries, but also for good values to be instilled in our society, so that we shall always be able to care and show compassion for the poor and less fortunate.

"This is the government we have today, unlike the opposition leader in a northern state who was using children to nurture hatred of the federal government, dancing to the GST song.

"Let him be with his ugly antics. We are working for the children's future and will not exploit children," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

According to Najib, this is what made BN leaders different from their counterparts.

He also speculated that this could be the reason behind four DAP leaders - Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him, Duyong assemblyperson Goh Leong San, Bachang assemblyperson Lim Jack Wong and Kesidang assemblyperson Chin Choong Seong – quit the party last year.

Najib was speaking when officiating the groundbreaking ceremony for the Southern Zone Permata Kurnia Centre Project in Bukit Katil, Malacca, today.

Earlier, the police said it is investigating Lim over the anti-GST song incident, a video clip of which had gone viral and resulted in several police reports being lodged.

Parents of autistic children must discard superstition

Meanwhile, Najib, in his speech, an intervention programme, such as Permata Kurnia, has an important role in unleashing extraordinary talents of children with autism and thus shaping them to become active citizens who contribute to the nation's success.

He said early intervention could guarantee a better future for children, especially those with autism, and this was important in the government's efforts to develop a more concerned and caring Malaysian community.

"Autistic children usually have extraordinary ability in one area, but may lack the ability in other areas. My wife has met with a six-year-old (autistic) child who has the ability to do chemical and mathematics calculations at the SPM level. So, there is a need for an intervention to unleash their hidden talents.

"It is possible that an autistic child, like the one who my wife had met, will become a scientist one day. This is one of our dreams for the future of children with autism," he added.

Najib also called on the public, especially parents of autistic children, to discard their superstitions about spells and black magic with regard to autism conditions and treatment, and to opt for modern treatment instead so that the children would be successful in the future.

"I once asked a manager of an autism centre in Sentul (Kuala Lumpur) whether parents from poor or B40 families were also sending their autistic children there.

"Unfortunately, the manager said those who sent their autistic children there were mostly in the M40 group. When I asked why, the manager said it was because most of the parents in the B40 group believe in superstitions. They believe that their (autistic) children are victims of black magic spells," he added.

Also present were his wife Rosmah Mansor, who is also the patron of the Permata Negara programme, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim and Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron.

The RM6.5 million Southern Zone Permata Kurnia Centre, would be equipped with learning facilities, consultation rooms, gymnasium, playground, swimming pool and jogging track.

The construction work is expected to begin next month and be completed by early 2019.

The centre, which would be able to cater to the needs of up to 250 children with autism from Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor, would also provide access to preschool, early intervention service and community education programmes.

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