To celebrate 1Malaysia National Family Month, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development has organised a month filled with fun activities for the whole family. We caught up with the minister, Dato’ Sri Rohani Abdul Karim, to find out more.
Her World: What is the main goal and aim of the 1Malaysia National Family Month?
Dato’ Sri Rohani (DS): “The 1Malaysia National Family Month is one of the initiatives under the 1Malaysia Family First Movement (1MFF), which is a national agenda to encourage all levels of society to give priority to the family institution. Family is a very important social component in Malaysian society, and also as a foundation for human development to create a prosperous nation. As a continuous commitment, the National Family Month will be welcomed every year. The theme ‘I Love My Family’ (Saya Sayang Keluarga Saya) will also be used this year to reinforce the concept of K.A.S.I.H, the five pillars of a happy family.”
HW: How does the ministry plan to instill stronger family values in today’s youths?
DS: Implementing good moral values is an important element in the process of establishing our children’s identity and personality. Good behaviour, obedience to family and religion, civic-mindedness, and manners are among the examples of noble values that parents need to impart to their children. Strengthening the family institution is in line with the government’s focus as outlined in the 11th Malaysia Plan. Based on the Malaysian Population and Family Survey (KPKM) conducted by the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), parents are still sharing with their children the same values as previous generations. The results of the study show that consistent application of good values by parents – such as respect, obedience to God, knowledge, and discipline – results in a magnificent improvement in their children’s behaviour. Various programmes have been organised and implemented by the ministry.
HW: What can families expect to experience during the Family Month?
DS: Recently, the ministry and several other strategic partners organised an exciting programme to mark the launch. We have noticed that internet and social media usage in our country is very high. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has recorded the number of internet users in Malaysia at approximately 20 million. Although it is a positive development and shows that Malaysians are IT literate, certain values are lost when everyone is preoccupied with their gadgets. Therefore, I would like to use the 1 Malaysia National Family Month to bring families together. Her World’s No Gadget Hour campaign is the main agenda at the Family Month celebrations as we want to encourage families to forget about the use of gadgets during family activities.