IN the realm of education, Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Dr Mohamad Abdul Hamid found his North Star in the Penang2030 vision.
With the vision as his compass, he hopes to embark on a transformative journey to enhance the educational landscape.
“Digital and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) have been the focus areas in Penang.
“I hope to bring the digital library system to schools. With the cooperation of the industry players, perhaps we can select a few schools in Seberang Perai as model schools. We plan to also bring the Penang Islamic Digital Library system to the Islamic religious schools.
“I must work together with the state executive council members and the state agencies to grow the digital and STEM education landscape,” he told Buletin Mutiara recently.
As an executive council member, Dr Mohamad oversees the Islamic Development, Education and National Unity portfolios.
In the context of Islamic religious development, the Batu Maung assemblyman said he hoped to continue to strengthen and enhance the zakat and wakaf ecosystem.
“The management of zakat collection and distribution has been robust. We are committed to furthering and solidifying these activities with the addition of new innovations.
“In terms of wakaf, the focus is on property development, effectively utilising wakaf lands that can be developed in collaboration with the financial industry, particularly Islamic finance.
“Another aspect of Islamic development is Islamic education, encompassing religious schools (Sekolah Kebangsaan Agama), Quran and Fardhu Ain classes (Kafa), Tahfiz schools, and community religious education.
“We should not deviate from the Penang2030 framework to strengthen Islamic schools.
“In the context of STEM education, these schools should not lag behind the targeted development goals of Penang2030, ensuring they are aligned with the broader progress envisioned in the plan,” Dr Mohamad said.
On promoting national unity, he said the people’s cooperation is crucial.
“We will be working closely with the government agencies, Village Community Management Councils (MPKK), and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to promote unity,” he said.
Dr Mohamad, who is from Kepala Batas, also said there is a need for the state to address the spread of disinformation among the community.
“According to what I read from The Star, the term disinformation is to deliberately mislead or provide biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda.
“The issue of disinformation in Penang is real, and that has caused the loss of support from some people, especially the Malay community, towards the Government.
“More efforts need to be made to address the matter, and I believe that if the information is conveyed accurately and disseminated effectively, the Malay community, with an open mind, will be more inclined to support the current Government,” he added.
Dr Mohamad said his guiding principles include sincerity and integrity in carrying out his duties.
“My aspiration is to observe enduring national unity and harmony among our citizens,” he added.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Muhamad Amir Irsyad Omar