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Penang’s State Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin has urged private sector employers to allow employees whose children have been diagnosed with hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) to take unrecorded leave, as reported in Free Malaysia Today.
“I would like to urge private sector employers whose workers have children diagnosed with the disease to be given unrecorded leave [separate from annual leave]. This will help prevent the spread of the disease,” he said.
Bahardin commented on how job commitments might hold parents back from tending to their children and remedying their condition which usually requires them to be quarantined.
In the meantime, HFMD cases have seen a spike of 56.6% in the first half of this year compared with the corresponding period last year until July 10.
Presently, civil servants in Malaysia are eligible to take up to five days of unrecorded leave if their children are suffering from HFMD and similar comminicable diseases.
Bahardin urged parents to take the quarantine seriously and not to allow their infected children to go out to public spaces or shopping malls.
“If not, it will cause further infection to other children in public places. Parents should take note of this,” he said. The total number of facilities closed in the first half of this year is 61, with 17 remaining closed to date.
Meanwhile, the small and medium-sized industries (SMIs) in Sabah are expected to provide 600,000 job opportunities by 2023. Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said up to 2015, the SMIs had been able to offer about 450,000 job opportunities, as reported in The Borneo Post Online.
He said that the rapid growth of SMIs in the state could provide a platform for entrepreneurs and generate income locally.
“As the country heads into 2023, the SME sector under the leadership of the Ministry of Trade and Industry hopes to provide 600,000 job opportunities,”Adpal said during the launch of the Sabah Small Industry Festival (FIKS) in Tamparuli on 11 July.
“Efforts such as the One District One Small Industry (OD1SI) programme will invigorate the local entrepreneurs, create more job opportunities and boost local incomes,” he added, as reported in Bernama.
OD1SI aims to improve the state’s SME sector with its adoption of a three-pronged approach. It comprises:
- The launch of Sabah Small Industry Festival (FIKS) in every district, which will be a a platform for showcasing, business matching, business networking and business sharing for the SME owners.
- The implementation of the District Flagship Product, whereby the cluster product of a district will be cultivated based on the district’s own resources.
- The formation of a coordinating committee that will be headed by Tangau, who is the State Minister of Trade and Industry.