Malaysian PM takes food security stand

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Tun Razak has recognised that food security and health nutrition have become increasingly critical issues in Malaysia and other ASEAN nations in his welcome speech at the Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) meeting in Kuala Lumpur on November 1.

In a world of swelling populations, finite resources and disrupting climate change, he said, Malaysia must reach out to international organisations to address problems of over- and under-nutrition.

“We have noticed a fast-increasing rise in non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension,” he noted to a crowd of academics, governmental organisations and NGOs.

“It’s an alarming trend,” he said.

Malaysia has the highest rate of obese people in Southeast Asia, who are defined as having a body-mass-index higher than 27.5. According to the Malaysian Health Ministry, one in six Malaysians is qualified as obese.

Social detriments such as this – largely resulting from the mismanaged allocation of food and poor nutritional education – are highlighted as major issues to be solved through the country’s Economic Transformation Programme in order to ensure a healthy and productive population.

During his speech, Najib pointed to innovations in food production technology, improved irrigation and better management of manpower as solutions to food security issues.

As one of the world’s major agricultural basins, Southeast Asia faces a serious threat in its developmental course due to natural disasters, climate change and the deterioration of soil quality.

“The issue of food security is intertwined with other issues such as energy, environmental and water conservation,” the prime minister said.

Members of the GSIAC held talks with organisers of Iskandar Malaysia, a government-run development project, on the possibility of implementing practical solutions and cutting-edge technology.

“We need great ideas, brilliant ideas,” Najib said.

“These thinkers that we have assembled are willing and fully committed to partnering with Malaysia and helping us through a forum that can lead to the successful implementation of these ideas,” he added.

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Tun Razak has recognised that food security and health nutrition have become increasingly critical issues in Malaysia and other ASEAN nations in his welcome speech at the Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) meeting in Kuala Lumpur on November 1. In a world of swelling populations, finite resources and disrupting climate change, he said, Malaysia must reach out to international organisations to address problems of over- and under-nutrition. "We have noticed a fast-increasing rise in non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension,” he noted to a crowd of academics, governmental organisations and NGOs....

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Tun Razak has recognised that food security and health nutrition have become increasingly critical issues in Malaysia and other ASEAN nations in his welcome speech at the Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) meeting in Kuala Lumpur on November 1.

In a world of swelling populations, finite resources and disrupting climate change, he said, Malaysia must reach out to international organisations to address problems of over- and under-nutrition.

“We have noticed a fast-increasing rise in non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension,” he noted to a crowd of academics, governmental organisations and NGOs.

“It’s an alarming trend,” he said.

Malaysia has the highest rate of obese people in Southeast Asia, who are defined as having a body-mass-index higher than 27.5. According to the Malaysian Health Ministry, one in six Malaysians is qualified as obese.

Social detriments such as this – largely resulting from the mismanaged allocation of food and poor nutritional education – are highlighted as major issues to be solved through the country’s Economic Transformation Programme in order to ensure a healthy and productive population.

During his speech, Najib pointed to innovations in food production technology, improved irrigation and better management of manpower as solutions to food security issues.

As one of the world’s major agricultural basins, Southeast Asia faces a serious threat in its developmental course due to natural disasters, climate change and the deterioration of soil quality.

“The issue of food security is intertwined with other issues such as energy, environmental and water conservation,” the prime minister said.

Members of the GSIAC held talks with organisers of Iskandar Malaysia, a government-run development project, on the possibility of implementing practical solutions and cutting-edge technology.

“We need great ideas, brilliant ideas,” Najib said.

“These thinkers that we have assembled are willing and fully committed to partnering with Malaysia and helping us through a forum that can lead to the successful implementation of these ideas,” he added.

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