Sarawak: Focus on women’s welfare

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YB Datuk Hajah Fatimah Abdullah, Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development in Sarawak

The Ministry of Welfare, Women and Family Development was established in Sarawak just in 2012 to further prioritise the welfare and educational needs of women and children in the state. YB Datuk Hajah Fatimah Abdullah discussed with Inside Investor her role in education and the incidence of obesity in Sarawak.

Q: Can you give us examples of the purview of your roles in this ministry?

A: After the state election in 2011 there was a reshuffle and amongst changes that takes place the Ministry of Welfare, Women and Family Development was created. Previously, welfare women Bureau used to be under the purview of the Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation. The fact that a Ministry specially created to look after the welfare of poor, disadvantage  and needy shows how concern of the government is for its people. Similarly, women family development, emphasis on the important of women and family for social wellness. The government separated welfare into this a ministry of its own to show government emphasis to welfare, women and family matters.  This was done so with the fact in mind that whenever you speak of poverty, it is women and children who are affected the most.

Q: What are the roles and objective of the Ministry of Welfare, Women and Family Development?

A: It is a new ministry. It is a manifestation of the priority and emphasis of the government on general welfare of our people. It also shows the concern of the government on women and family affairs and the important role that women can play in nation building and nation social wellness. We ensure the well-being of the people of Sarawak through strengthening the family institution, provide assistance for the needy, promoting volunteerism and empowering women.

Q: What is being done in Sarawak to improve women’s role in society and participation in the economy?

A: Capacity building for women through opportunities to education and skills training to generate income, various assistance from various government agencies to enable them to become entrepreneurs. Throughout Sarawak, there are 1,263 primary schools and 185 secondary students. This provide schooling opportunities for all including women. With better education attainment women are thus able to play active roles in all fields – politics, economic social. In the field of entrepreneurship women are now involved in business that are normally associated with men.

Q: What support programmes are being implemented for people in rural communities?

A: To further support disadvantaged, poor including those in rural communities, we have abolished examination fees and provide uniforms, as well as nutritional food free of charge, a programme that also covers needy people in urban areas. ‘Rancangan Makanan Tambahan”. We are currently conducting five pilot projects under eradication of poverty programme (1 AZAM) throughout five zones in Sarawak that will aim to address economic, infrastructure, housing, health and education issues in remote communities. During preliminary visits, assessment of needs is done. Respective government agencies we check the drop out cases, health issues and to long-term economic activities that can be provided, as well as basic amenities.

Q: Malaysia is the most obese country in ASEAN. What is the picture of the epidemic in Sarawak and the percentage of the population that is overweight? How is education being funded to address this?

A: Sarawak is not an exception when it comes to rising obesity rates. In fact, we seem to be moving towards this trend because of better incomes and change in lifestyles. Obesity among middle-aged and young children are of concern. Young children are already showing signs of becoming overweight even in Kindergarden. In Kindergarden it is compulsory that they provide menu that must be approved by health department. Ministry of education has embarked on programme ‘One Sport One Child’ which not only emphasize a balance curriculum but also a healthy lifestyle.

 

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

YB Datuk Hajah Fatimah Abdullah, Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development in Sarawak

The Ministry of Welfare, Women and Family Development was established in Sarawak just in 2012 to further prioritise the welfare and educational needs of women and children in the state. YB Datuk Hajah Fatimah Abdullah discussed with Inside Investor her role in education and the incidence of obesity in Sarawak.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

DHF
YB Datuk Hajah Fatimah Abdullah, Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development in Sarawak

The Ministry of Welfare, Women and Family Development was established in Sarawak just in 2012 to further prioritise the welfare and educational needs of women and children in the state. YB Datuk Hajah Fatimah Abdullah discussed with Inside Investor her role in education and the incidence of obesity in Sarawak.

Q: Can you give us examples of the purview of your roles in this ministry?

A: After the state election in 2011 there was a reshuffle and amongst changes that takes place the Ministry of Welfare, Women and Family Development was created. Previously, welfare women Bureau used to be under the purview of the Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation. The fact that a Ministry specially created to look after the welfare of poor, disadvantage  and needy shows how concern of the government is for its people. Similarly, women family development, emphasis on the important of women and family for social wellness. The government separated welfare into this a ministry of its own to show government emphasis to welfare, women and family matters.  This was done so with the fact in mind that whenever you speak of poverty, it is women and children who are affected the most.

Q: What are the roles and objective of the Ministry of Welfare, Women and Family Development?

A: It is a new ministry. It is a manifestation of the priority and emphasis of the government on general welfare of our people. It also shows the concern of the government on women and family affairs and the important role that women can play in nation building and nation social wellness. We ensure the well-being of the people of Sarawak through strengthening the family institution, provide assistance for the needy, promoting volunteerism and empowering women.

Q: What is being done in Sarawak to improve women’s role in society and participation in the economy?

A: Capacity building for women through opportunities to education and skills training to generate income, various assistance from various government agencies to enable them to become entrepreneurs. Throughout Sarawak, there are 1,263 primary schools and 185 secondary students. This provide schooling opportunities for all including women. With better education attainment women are thus able to play active roles in all fields – politics, economic social. In the field of entrepreneurship women are now involved in business that are normally associated with men.

Q: What support programmes are being implemented for people in rural communities?

A: To further support disadvantaged, poor including those in rural communities, we have abolished examination fees and provide uniforms, as well as nutritional food free of charge, a programme that also covers needy people in urban areas. ‘Rancangan Makanan Tambahan”. We are currently conducting five pilot projects under eradication of poverty programme (1 AZAM) throughout five zones in Sarawak that will aim to address economic, infrastructure, housing, health and education issues in remote communities. During preliminary visits, assessment of needs is done. Respective government agencies we check the drop out cases, health issues and to long-term economic activities that can be provided, as well as basic amenities.

Q: Malaysia is the most obese country in ASEAN. What is the picture of the epidemic in Sarawak and the percentage of the population that is overweight? How is education being funded to address this?

A: Sarawak is not an exception when it comes to rising obesity rates. In fact, we seem to be moving towards this trend because of better incomes and change in lifestyles. Obesity among middle-aged and young children are of concern. Young children are already showing signs of becoming overweight even in Kindergarden. In Kindergarden it is compulsory that they provide menu that must be approved by health department. Ministry of education has embarked on programme ‘One Sport One Child’ which not only emphasize a balance curriculum but also a healthy lifestyle.

 

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