PRESS STATEMENT: For Immediate Release
Date: 19 November 2020
Post-pandemic World: Civic sector’s transition for nation-building very important
Civic society has a duty to stop the spread of subversive, destructive and divisive ideologies, INSAP chairman tells International Conference on Nation-Building 2020
By Dato’ Sri Ti Lian Ker
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19:
The role of civic sector and how it interacts with society has to be rewritten and continue to evolve with the new norm due to the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the International Conference on Nation-Building 2020 held in Bangkok, Thailand was told yesterday.
The civic society plays a significant role in nation building as it is a politically neutral entity and thus, is in the best position to bring communities together. In this regard, the civic society has a duty to stop the spread of subversive, destructive and divisive ideologies, where fake news and unverified information can threaten the peace and calm of communities.
We are praying that the pandemic may soon draw to a close. Soon, the world and Malaysia have to start preparing for a post-pandemic future once we fully reopen the gates to kickstart the economy. As the Malaysian government has been prioritised to receive the Covid-19 vaccine from China once it has been approved, civic societies should adopt a more forward-looking concept.
The civic sector has a number of roles to play in supporting the government:
Firstly, the civic society is a crucial entity for social media monitoring, aiding to deter the spread of incorrect and emotionally-sensitive information that can threaten the government. Secondly, it can coordinate and bridge efforts to deliver specific aids more effectively to affected groups such as youth upskilling. Thirdly, it can establish strategic collaborations with other organisations and government bodies for better outreach and achieve higher impact factor. They can also support other government initiatives such as the current rehiring programmes.
The role of the civic sector can be further strengthened through the following suggestions:
Promote a pro-active landscape for more impactful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, e.g. increasing the ceiling amount for CSR activities eligible for tax exemption and relief, create stronger communication and networking for both the government and private businesses to foster strategic collaborations.
The civic organisations are encouraged to register themselves to be more visible to the public eye, facilitating opportunities for joint collaborations and offer greater outreach. The government should also introduce better tax relief incentives for these organisations to improve their cash flow, so that their resources can be better distributed and allocated.
Driven by the cause for humanitarian assistance, helping citizens survive and adapt to the pandemic has vastly surpassed the political agenda of any government. Despite the global transformation during the pandemic-age, the civic sector can greatly contribute by looking towards the future and participate in a long-term post-pandemic plan for all members of society.
Senator Dato’ Sri Ti Lian Ker is the Deputy Minister of National Unity and chairman of Institute for Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (INSAP)
The Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (INSAP), established in 1986, is one of the pioneer think-tanks in Malaysia, focusing on political-economic research. A not-for-profit organisation, INSAP develops long-term strategies and policies which are relevant to the interests and aspirations of Malaysians. Since its early days leading to its corporatisation in 1995, INSAP has produced strategic reports and recommendations for the Malaysian government.
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