Noh: Equip playgrounds to compete with virtual world
PUTRAJAYA: Playgrounds should no longer be just about swings, slides and see-saws but a place where children can also improve their knowledge and develop social skills.
This is the kind of playground needed to get the young ones to come out and play, said Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.
He said the digital era has resulted in children spending more time in the virtual world instead of engaging in physical activities and interacting with their peers.
He said that gone were the days when large open spaces awaited the young, enticing them to play games such as konda-kondi, catapult, police and thieves, and others that encouraged physical, mental and social development.
“This is why our playgrounds must now include elements of knowledge building and discovery so that children can boost their intelligence and social skills.
“This is important, apart from ensuring that these spaces are comfortable, safe and can be used by children of different ages and abilities,” he said.
His speech was read out by ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek at the opening of a seminar on children’s playgrounds and the use of standards to set up these facilities.
Noh said the Government, aiming to make Malaysia “a country in a garden” by 2020 and encourage positive growth among the children, created 45 public parks between 1997 and 2013, spending a total of RM500mil for this purpose.
“For the first two years of the 11th Malaysia Plan, RM57mil has been approved for the opening of five public parks and 38 other projects such as playgrounds and mini exercise areas,” he said.
Noh said that while the Government is determined to give the people a good quality life, the onus is on them to ensure the facilities provided are not vandalised.