Article contributed by Anusha Gopala Krishnan, Officer, Safer Malaysia Committee
The Family Wellness Club (“FWC”) in Ipoh, Perak is a multiracial, multireligious and apolitical non-governmental organisation (“NGO”), which is dedicated to the well-being and welfare of families and the community. It was formed in March 2014 by a group of dedicated individuals who viewed that many of the problems in society can be greatly reduced by focusing on the family unit.
In conjunction with this year’s United Nations International Day of Families, the FWC, in collaboration with the National Population and Family Development Board (Lembaga Penduduk dan Pembangunan Keluarga Negara, “LPPKN”), organised a forum in Perak based on this year’s theme of “Families, healthy lives and sustainable future”.
Many speakers were invited to speak on various components for healthy and harmonious families, such as love, values, communication and problem solving, safety, health (physical and emotional), and knowledge.
The Bar Council Safer Malaysia Committee (“Committee”) was invited to participate in the forum. Sarah Kambali, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, was one of the panel speakers for the forum, and presented on the component of “safety” for families. Richard Wee Thiam Seng, Co-Chairperson of the Committee, was also present.
The forum was held on 15 May 2016 (Sunday) from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Dewan Saidina Omar, Ipoh, Perak. The forum was divided into two sessions. Sarah Kambali was allocated 30 minutes to deliver her presentation in the afternoon slot.
Among the speakers who were present at the forum were as follows:
(1) Ahmad Munawir b Abdul Aziz, Member of the Bar; Member, Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board;(2) Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh, Senior Consultant Community Paediatrician Head, Paediatric Department, Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh, Perak;(3) Dr Edward Weng Lok Chan, Principal Consultant Psychologist, International Psychology Centre, Kuala Lumpur; President, Malaysian Psychotherapy Association;(4) Dr Fauziah Mohd Sa’ad, Head of Counseling Unit, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tanjung Malim, Perak; and(5) Dr Yek Sing Chee, Family Physician; President, Private Medical Practitioners’ Society, Perak; Mentor, Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia.
The event was well attended, with approximately 100 participants from all segments of society. It was a bilingual event with English and Malay used interchangeably. Speakers generally talked to the participants in their preferred language so that parents, youth, and monolingual families understood what was going on at all times.
Sarah Kambali began by thanking the organiser and the moderator, Dato’ Dr Anwar Hassan of FWC, for organising the event, and inviting the Committee to be a part of the event. Sarah Kambali then continued her presentation by providing the participants with some insight as to the background of Safer Malaysia, and the Committee’s objectives. The participants were also introduced to the three main elements of combating crime: vigilance, deterrence and prevention. These elements were discussed from its social, criminological and legal aspects. As the presentation was limited to 30 minutes, Sarah Kambali placed more emphasis on the element of vigilance, and discussed it in greater depth.
Sarah Kambali conducted a few exercises to demonstrate the importance of being alert at all times. Among the exercises were identification skills to improve participants’ powers of observation. She requested the participants to provide a detailed description of the person who was seated next to them. She also questioned the participants on the venue’s surroundings, ie the colour of the seats, the units of air fresheners and so on. This exercise was to train the participants to be alert at all times, and to take note of the most trivial things.
Before Sarah Kambali ended her presentation, she suggested a workshop collaboration with FWC. This suggestion was well-received and the moderator welcomed the Committee to conduct a workshop on safety for family in the future.
In conclusion, the forum organised by FWC had given the Committee a chance to create more awareness towards the elements of preventing crime. The audience definitely benefitted a great deal from the presentation, and the Committee believes that the presentation was an eye-opener to many attendees. The participants will now view crime in a different light and realise the importance of preventing crime as it impacts the quality of life.