Mental health issues: Annuar Musa’s diagnosis of ‘humanizing humanity’
I haven’t written in a long time due to quite hectic in my new place. Since my university study is in political science with major disciplines in the aspects of politics and government, I want to tell you a little bit about success stories in the field, hopefully this story can meaningfully contribute to the national development, particularly in mental health issues.
Lately we have presented with issues related to mental health and the struggle of the people so much so creating phenomenon that some of them have to ask for help in any kind of ways. This situation needs urgent help.
In that context, the people cannot be blamed because of the current situation which is not normal due to the prolonged Covid19 pandemic.
All of this grips the mind and life of anyone with various emotions such as trauma, excessive anxiety, and uncomfortable that eventually contribute to mental health problem as failing to adapt to this very challenging situation.
Aware on the situation, I see the Minister of Federal Territories Annuar Musa without delay has come forward with immediate actions to address it.
Even before, I saw that he was the only central minister who was at the forefront in raising the problems of the people at the grassroots.
The most interesting part for me was when he managed to change the paradigm of homelessness in Kuala Lumpur from homeless given place to live, no job- but then trained with entrepreneur skills and agriculture where they eventually manage to sell short-term crops, vegetables and some even managed to sell durians. All of these contained in the ‘Wawasan Kemakmuran Bersama 2030’ particularly in the aspect of building self-identity, human capital development and humane development.
Meaning, people who initially have nothing could be developed into responsible human beings, independent and dignified. Psychologists such as Mehdi Golshani, Akbar S. Ahmed, Victor E Frankl and even Maslow cite it as admirable efforts to humanize humanity.
In the context of good governance, among Annuar Musa’s quick actions was immediately discuss the solution with the leaders of the Majlis Perwakilan Penduduk (MPP) at the Zone and Sub-Zone levels in the Federal Territory online through webinar, since they are the closest to the community and individuals who may need emotional and material support.
This day or two, I saw on medsos, Annuar Musa also had a discussion with mental health experts and the leaders of Non -Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have experienced in helping people with mental health problems. This is a great form of collaboration from experts and those who have been involved in mental health issues.
In the future, I would like to propose that he collaborate with mental health experts at the University of course the scientists certainly have lots of ideas to solve mental health related issues.
Interestingly, Annuar Musa also at the same time has engaged with parties who can contribute efforts, facilities and funds to implement programs designed to help the people and groups at risk of mental health problems.
Among those that caught my attention is the ‘Inisiatif Rumah Prihatin’ which was designed to help at least seven aspects related to mental health.
First, the ‘inisiatif Dapur Prihatin’ which serves as a centralized kitchen to provide free food, 1,000 packs a day to the homeless, the poor, frontline workers, travellers and those who cannot afford.
Second, hotel rooms that benefits to travellers, individuals who are required to undergo quarantine and nomads who cannot afford with the concept of BSM (Bayar Minimum Sekadar Mampu – Pay minimum that you afford).
Third, hotel rooms that are free for students and nomads who are required to undergo quarantine but cannot afford the high cost of accommodation fee.
Fourth, the Inisiatif Khidmat Sahabat Kesihatan Mental “WE CARE” and counselling session conducted individually and maintaining the personal confidentiality of individuals receiving these services.
Fifth, the Vaccination Services for the disabled that required need special assistance.
Sixth, the Food Bank and Deliveries (FnD) for the poor who really in need.
Seventh, Perkhidmatan Bantuan Pelajar Miskin – the Poor Student Assistance Services.
Actually, I noticed this was not the first time Annuar Musa come forward to help the people affected and face difficulties since the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since appointed as the Minister of Federal Territories, many initiatives have been introduced and proven have helped to relieve hardship in the Federal Territory’s citizens and helped them generate income.
In fact, in his new one-month tenure, Annuar Musa has announced an assistance package under the Ministry of Federal Territories called the Inisiatif Wilayah Cakna. The initiative was introduced by him following the difficulties faced by the community, the front line and their families affected by Covid-19. This assistance package then follows the Pakej Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat announced by the Prime Minister.
Among the actions of Annuar Musa that are still remembered to this day is how he made it easier for Che Na to get a food truck business license after 10 years of waiting and commuting from Rawang.
I have still remembered a military retiree from Sabah who live in Kuala Lumpur, have asked me to propose to Annuar Musa that the granting of food business licenses to be simplified. Since I knew Annuar Musa for a long time, so I immediately submitted the proposal.
Less than 24 hours later, the next day, DBKL officers have approached the traders on roadside and offered them a temporary license before a permanent license was granted a week later. This is the approach that should be practiced by leaders where we bring our leadership into the community instead of waiting for the problems of the people in office.
Also, the talk of the town to this day is the Free Trade Territory Initiative and Mary’s Stall which enables more than five thousand jobless people to make a living through hawking activities.
The concern and speed of action of Annuar Musa as well as new ideas that can ease the burden of the people deserves to be praised and emulated by more leaders whether at the level of ministries, agencies or GLC companies especially when the struggle facing Covid-19 will take longer and demanded the resilience of the government and the people.
Even last month, I saw Tan Sri Noh Omar asked municipal councils in the state of Selangor to learn from Annuar Musa how to manage the welfare of traders and hawkers on the roadside. Since becoming the Federal Minister, I have never heard of a traders’ tent being demolished by DBKL enforcers. Well done and Congratulations Tan Sri.
Dr Hj. Al-Azharri Siddiq Hj. Kamunri,
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiapost