Activist: Crammed homes cause social ills

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 25 Jun 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: Crammed homes of large families may be among the causes of social ills, such as incest and domestic violence, a family development activist said. 

Asia Pacific Forum on Families (APFAM) president Datin Prof Jamilah Ariffin said more effort should be made to find solutions to the social ills in the wake of the high rate of divorce among couples and violence against women.  

The manner in which families live playsa key role in determining the society's well-being, she said at the APFAM-organised conference on “Facing up to Global Challenges: Building Resilient Families and Caring Communities in a Troubled World” here. 

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Osman opened the meeting on Monday night.  

He also launched a book. 

Prof Jamilah said the authorities should look into how pre-marital courses, especially those conducted for Muslims, were doing. 

“In Johor, the syllabus of the course is comprehensive and meant for a life-long term, “ she said, adding that it outlined not only how to go through the process of getting married but also how to make the marriage a success.  

Ghani said it was time everyone took a serious look at ways to build resilient families to overcome social ills.  

Both the Government and the community should work to consolidate the family institution, he said. 

“So much attention has been given to economic and political issues while social problems have not been given their dues,” he said. 

He said efforts in moulding bumiputras to become a resilient community stressed on making them economically strong but the Government has since realised the real problem lay with their mindset. 

“After more than 30 years of the New Economic Policy launched in 1970, they are still unable to stand on their own and depend much on the Government to lead and protect them, especially in the economic field. This also applies to the family institution,” he said. 

The three-day conference, which ends tomorrow, is organised by the Family Development Foundation of Johor, Institute of Sultan Iskandar of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, APFAM Malaysia, APFAM International in Sydney, Australia and School of Social Works and Social Policy, La Trobe University, Australia. 

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