KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will continue to provide assistance to families to ensure that they continue to cope with their lives in the post-pandemic period.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said various forms of aid have been given out to affected families.
"Assistance in the form of food and money have been handed out through Bantuan Sabah Prihatin (BSP) 1.0, 2.0 and the latest 3.0 to those whose income has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.
Speaking in conjunction with the state-level Malaysian Family Month launch organised by the state National Population and Family Development Board on Monday (Nov 29), the Chief Minister said the findings of studies on parental challenges and stresses in facing the pandemic showed 79.9% of families have been affected by the third wave.
"Therefore, it is only pertinent that the family institution must be given support in handling Covid-19-related issues.
"We are fortunate that our country's leaders are committed to restoring the nation from the problems and effects of the pandemic.
"The Prime Minister's Malaysian Family approach is most apt," he said.
Hajiji said a nationwide survey on the pandemic's effects on behaviour and livelihood, working from home as well as family planning found one out of four respondents saying there was a big change in their lives.
The most glaring effect was on family financial management, with 49% of respondents no longer eating outside, 44% cutting down monthly expenses, 40% digging into their savings and 28% looking for part-time jobs in the gig economy.
"Although we have to live with Covid-19, it should not be an obstacle to strengthening our family relationship. A strong parent-child bond will act as the first line of defence to help family members who are facing stress and negative effects," he said.
The Chief Minister also hoped the private sector, NGOs and community would do their part to ensure family well-being programmes can be implemented successfully.
"I also hope Malaysian Family Month, which is celebrated every November, will be able to unite families in facing the economic and Covid-19 crises," he said.