We are a ‘sick’ nation

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates.


FEB 5 — Everybody wants to be hero.

They are eager to implement changes, big plans to fulfil bigger agendas with politics laced all over their scheme.

While the majority go about wanting to be the next Superman — or trying very hard to make an impression — here’s food for thought:

● 2.6 million Malaysians aged 18 and above suffer from diabetes
● 5.8 million Malaysians aged 18 and above have hypertension
● 6.2 million Malaysians aged 18 and above have some sort of cholesterol issues.

That amounts to 14.6 million Malaysians out of a population of 29 million (assuming each person suffers from just one out of the three non-communicable diseases listed). In short, 50 per cent of our population is “ill”. 

Then we have the dengue threat which, sadly, till today is still being taken for granted.

According to the Health Ministry, there were 7,370 cases and nine deaths recorded from January 1 to 26. That averages to about one death in three days.

But we’re more bothered about an unnecessary by-election in Kajang, continue to harp over religious matters, trying to reinvent the wheel despite numerous failed attempts in the past and entertain childish political antics carried out for a cheap shot at glory.

When you add that up, perhaps we do live in a ‘sick’ nation. 

The Malay Mail, two weeks ago, interviewed people, many of whom were unaware of the spike in dengue cases. Some even claim getting dengue is as common as getting chicken pox!

Clogged drains are evident in many housing areas. No thanks to the tidak apa attitude, most households carry on with their daily routine, disregarding that their backyard could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

On Monday, our reporters spoke to more people over their eating habits after a Health Ministry expert said 22 per cent of Malaysians would suffer from diabetes by 2020. 

Many interviewed said there was hardly any choice for healthy food — which is very true.

I am often left dumbfounded during dinner as my current working hours do not permit me to have a decent meal outside the office. I am often left with no choice but to get someone to tapau (pack) some food.

As most of my colleagues end up at a mamak restaurant, it leaves me with a very limited menu to choose from, having to often order a packet of mee hon goreng kurang minyak (fried noodles with less oil) which cost me RM3.50.

And when I do have time to eat, I would order a bowl of Caesar salad only to end up disappointed as there is hardly anything in it but for salad leaves.

I am then forced to pay between RM15 to RM20 for it.

Unhealthy food with more ingredients is cheaper than a healthy menu with lesser ingredients. That’s the mathematics of food in Malaysia. 

It is easy to point out the obvious. So what is the solution?

We are the solution.

We need to be more mindful of our surrounding. We must realise that we live in an eco-system where every one is dependent on the other and thus our actions will have an effect on to those around us. 

We need to start from young. We must ensure our children have versatile taste buds and not just fixated with one type of food. Do away with fast food and other junk food. They should learn that picking up proper eating habits coupled with plenty of exercise go a long way.

The ministry and relevant agencies need to step in and address these issues. A sick population would mean a decrease in productivity, bigger hospital bills and a lower average life span.

Perhaps the thought of hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes and dengue may not be as exciting as some silly remark or action made by a ‘politician’.

But let’s leave the silly talk and ambitious plans to the jesters in the name of entertainment. Let’s get real and address pressing matters that lie in front of us. Let’s make a difference and turn Malaysia into a healthy nation.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.

You May Also Like

Related Articles