The Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin has on Thursday (11 November) launched the Agenda Nasional Malaysia Sihat (ANMS) or the National Health Agenda, aiming to improve the people’s overall health and wellbeing.
During the launching, Khairy also touched on topics such as cardiovascular wellness, nutrition, chronic illnesses and mental health, and he said that Malaysians needed an attitude adjustment to get themselves healthy without depending on the government.
However, netizens on social media flooded with opinions that they government needs to address before they pushes the responsibility back to the people.
Netizens then pointed out that among the 3 main issues Malaysians faced were the following.
1. Low wages and long working hours
Whether blue-collar or white-collar workers, netizens said that Malaysians are generally not earning enough to live a healthy lifestyle.
Netizens also pointed out that some people who are making minimum wage, are forced to work overtime or find a side hustle to increase their income.
As explained, people would have lack the money, time and energy to either prepare or purchase healthy food, exercise or even visit the doctors, what more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“My colleagues and I work in the mall for five days per week, 12 hours per day. After a workday, most of us do not have the time and energy to prepare food for that night and the day after.” a netizen said.
“We cannot afford to eat healthy food. We have to work more hours. Too tired to work out. Health becomes a luxury.” another netizen said.
2. High cost of living and expensive health food
Apart from earning a low wage, Malaysians are facing the hike in cost of living. The cost of healthy meals and medical bills had been on the rise in the recent years, which makes it a luxury and not something a layman can afford.
A netizen wrote “It’s very simple why Malaysians don’t have a healthy diet. A lot of Malaysians know too many carbs are unhealthy. But we still eat a lot of rice because it’s cheap and filling at the same time. Fruits and vegetables are healthier but more expensive and less filling.”
While another netizen pointed out that the vast difference in the price between healthy food and maggi soup, adding that eating healthy can dig into someone’s budget.
“Leading a healthy lifestyle is expensive, high cost of good quality food, supplements, non-existent work-life balance.” a netizen commented.
3. Lack of facilities for a healthy lifestyle
A netizen also highlighted that our cities, towns and even villages lack proper infrastructure and facilities for its citizens to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Most had agreed on the remark and had chipped into the remark, adding that most parts of the country were car-centric and there is not enough pedestrian-friendly streets, and lack the green and public spaces.
“Gym fees and facilities are not cheap and not available everywhere. Open spaces and recreational parks are small, limited, too far, crowded.” a netizen said.
“Well maybe if you provided more greenery and parks and naturally-shaded walkways, maybe people would be keener to take a walk after a meal.” another shared.
Do you share the same opinion? Share your thoughts!