Call for united fight against cancer

James Kon

Cabinet Ministers turned up for the World Cancer Day weekend event, despite the heavy rain yesterday, in a gesture of solidarity for World Cancer Day (WCD).

Organised by Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC) at the open plaza area of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex, the event was attended by special guests, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II and Chairman of PJSC Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister of Health and Deputy Chairman of PJSC Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar, Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof, Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein, and Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof, and their spouses.

Legislative Council (LegCo) members, deputy ministers, foreign dignitaries, PJSC’s Goodwill Ambassador and Messenger of Cancer Awareness Wu Chun, and several cancer survivors also attended.

Executive Director of PJSC Dr Haji Mazrul Adimin bin Haji Besar said, “Led by the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC), World Cancer Day is the one singular initiative commemorated every February 4, under which the entire world acts and unites together in a collective voice to raise awareness on cancer. We are no exception to this commitment.

“Today’s gathering of solidarity, with the presence of Cabinet Ministers and deputy ministers and spouses, as well as dignitaries, demonstrates the one government and one whole nation approach to the commitment.

The World Cancer Day weekend at the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex was a beehive of activity yesterday. Photo shows Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof; Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud; and Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar being briefed during a tour of the exhibition.
Cabinet Ministers join attendees for the Tai Chi session by Zhao Chun Jie. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR
Cabinet Ministers with cancer survivors
Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II and Chairman of PJSC Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah hands over a certificate

“2021 is the final year of the three-year ‘I Am and I Will’ theme campaign, which has shown us that our actions have an impact on everyone around us. The more we know and open up around cancer, the more proactive measures we can take as a community to spread awareness and prevent the occurrence of late-stage cancer for a better outcome.

“To adhere to the new norm of the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of holding our annual event of walk, run and cycle at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, one of the highlights for the WCD celebration this year is the I Will Virtual Run, where we have received 604 registrations.

“The Virtual Run, held in collaboration with our event partners Aewon and Fitness Zone, started on February 7 and will go on until April 30, 2021.”

Following the initiation of the World Cancer Day weekend event, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew launched the trishaws that will travel along a two-kilometre route, while bearing the three-year campaign message of ‘I Am and I Will,’ which is an empowering call to action, as well as a reminder that the enduring power of cooperation and collective action matter for a healthier, brighter world without cancer.

This year’s campaign theme is ‘Together All Our Action Matter’, which urges personal, community and leaders’ commitment to create a future without cancer.

International superstar Wu Chun said in a comment, “Let us remember that we have the voice and power to influence others through a domino effect, to act towards a cancer-free future. I am a Bruneian and will use my voice and my resources to speak up about cancer, and what we can all do about it. Prevention is better than cure.”

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew also presented certificates of appreciation to event sponsors and partners, after which the Cabinet Ministers toured an exhibition at the event, showcasing art works by cancer survivors and patients.

Held in collaboration with the Rainforest Gallery, the artworks symbolised the courageous journey of cancer survivors and patients in a psychotherapeutic way.

There were also exhibitions hosted by the Early Detection and Cancer Prevention Services, The Brunei Cancer Centre (TBCC) and Maxillofacial, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Centre and the Non -Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit at the Ministry of Health (MoH), along with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and others.

Other exhibitors included event partners, as well as local food and beverage vendors.

The Cabinet Ministers also joined a tai chi session led by Brunei’s national Wushu coach Zhao Chu Jie to encourage physical exercise, which is one of the crucial weapons against cancer and many other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Meanwhile, PJSC also reaffirmed its pledge to fight cancer at the weekend event. It reached out to the public by organising an opportunity for the public to meet PJSC cancer experts and staff of the various specialty departments, including the Early Detection and Cancer Prevention Services, the Nuclear Medicine Department and the Radiotherapy Department, all of which are under TBCC, and also from the Maxillofacial, Facial Plastic Reconstructive Centre with the aim to educate the public and debunk myths.

Earlier this year, PJSC lit up its building in blue and orange, in joining the rest of the world to shine a light on World Cancer Day. On February 4, it organised ‘An Expression of Support Through Music and Songs for World Cancer Day,’ with event partner Expression Music Academy, while the staff at TBCC participated in musical performances and songs.