Noh urges Education Ministry to step up water safety knowledge

Tan Sri Noh Omar outlined a five-point election manifesto for the 14th general election. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

PUTRAJAYA, March 8 — The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry will recommend the Education Ministry include comprehensive water safety knowledge as part of its co-curriculum.

Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said this is in light of the increase in the number of drowning cases at recreational spots over the past two years.

“Based on data from various government agencies, there were 260 drowning cases reported in 2016 that increased to 327 cases in 2017.

“Up until last month, there were 65 drowning reported so far, 42 of those cases occurred at rivers/drain channels, eight at waterfalls, and four at lakes or disused mining pools,” he said after the Water Activities Safety Council (MKAA) meeting.

Noh said the Education Ministry’s existing water safety course is basic and should be expanded.

“It should also focus on swimming skills and how to react in water (when faced with an emergency), such as what to do when you are drowning or how to aid someone who is drowning,” he said, adding that MKAA would leave it up to the ministry on when and how to implement it.

Along with this, MKAA also approved an action plan at the meeting, aimed at raising public awareness on holistic water safety and to reduce drowning cases in the country.

“Among the things included in the plan are guidelines and by-laws, setting up warning signs, providing rescue amenities among others,” Noh said.

The amenities would be put to use at 12 identified hotspots located in Sabah, Selangor, Kelantan, Pahang and Penang, where the most number of drownings have taken place.