LETTERS: I applaud Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for tabling the Social Workers Profession Act in Parliament. We have been advocating for this for the past 20 years.
I laud Dr Wan Azizah and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry for recognising the thousands of social workers, who put the causes they advocate above themselves.
Many of us are professionals who choose to walk down this path to make a difference in the lives of others. We do this for the betterment of society. We are passionate about who or what we advocate for.
Let’s not forget the funding responsibilities. Now that social work is recognised as a profession and upgraded, I am confident that many will get involved in non-profit and advocacy work. This will lead to many more Malaysians being employed.
Many of us have been conducting training and development programmes for social workers and fundraisers. I am engaged by neighbouring countries and obtained my certification internationally.
It’s music to my ears that we will streamline professional courses, which will benefit social workers, especially those who play advocacy roles.
Having Dr Wan Azizah advocating for this is another feather in the cap for her and her ministry following the reforms undertaken by the government last year to promote and protect the rights of women and children.
The ratio of one social worker to 8,756 people is too low compared with developed countries. The United States has a ratio of one to 490, Australia one to 1,100, and Singapore and the United Kingdom one to 3,000.
With strong advocacy, support and recognition, I foresee the closing of this gap in the next five years. I support the move to reactivate the Malaysian Social Protection Council. Much can be done as the talent pool in this sector is large.
I believe that the latest development, beginning with the proposed act, will contribute to the betterment of society and the nation.
DATUK ALIYAH KAREN
Chief executive officer, MAA Medicare Charitable Foundation
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times