Divorces rise due to pandemic

ALMOST 78,000 divorce cases nationwide have been recorded since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak began, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).

He added that a total of 10,346 non-Muslim couples and 66,440 Muslim couples were divorced between March last year and August this year.

“From the total (non-Muslim divorces), Selangor recorded the highest number with 3,160 cases, followed by Kuala Lumpur (2,893) and Perak (1,209),” he said in a written reply to Datuk Dr Hasan Bahrom (PH-Tampin) at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

On Muslim divorce cases, he said that the highest number of divorces was recorded in Johor (7,558) followed by Kedah (5,985) and Kelantan (5,982).

Ismail Sabri acknowledged that the pandemic and subsequent movement control orders had led to pressure on couples and the family institution.

“The Covid-19 crisis led the government to implement the MCO since March last year and the community, particularly those at risk, were advised to stay home to prioritise their health and safety.

“Life under the new normal is seen to have impacted several aspects of life, especially the family institution,” he added.

In light of this, Ismail Sabri said the National Population and Family Development Board conducted a survey between March 5 and 14.

The survey involved 1,148 married couples who have children between the ages of seven and 24.

He said the findings showed that 80% of parents began to experience economic and mental pressures during the third wave of the pandemic.

He said 28% of married couples said that their economic situation had worsened during this period compared to the earlier MCOs.

“This is evident as 84.1% faced emotional stress such as anxiety, nervousness and worry during the third Covid-19 pandemic wave,” he said.

The survey, he added, found that 63% had undergone bouts of depression.

Ismail Sabri said the effect of depression resulted in 20.4% of the parents surveyed saying that they have been finding it hard to control their temper.

“This was followed by difficulty in falling asleep peacefully (16.8%) or constantly having headaches and tummy aches (15.8%),” he added.

On a more positive note, Ismail Sabri said that 96.1% of parents agreed to get vaccinated with their families.

He said the government wouldcontinue efforts to assist those affected through new comprehensive initiatives.

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