KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — A committee will be formed under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) to discuss the best approach to address issues on domestic violence through engagement with stakeholders.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the committee would also serve as a monitoring and coordination platform between government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in efforts to address the problem.

“In addition, the committee will also serve as the facilitator and mediator to ensure laws relating to domestic violence, including the Domestic Violence Act 1994 (Act 521), standard operating procedures of government agencies and guidelines on domestic violence are implemented well and effectively,” she said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2020 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also women, family and community development minister, said the ministry is focused on increasing the number of childcare centres, especially at government agencies, as a family support system to encourage more women to return to work.

In an effort to increase the number of childcare centres, she said KPWKM, in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change was offering a 20 per cent discount on electricity bills for childcare centres that were registered with the Social Welfare Department from tomorrow until December 31, 2020.

On another development, Dr Wan Azizah said that as of September this year, 16.6 per cent of the seats for board members in the private sector had been filled by women, while in the public sector, 37.6 per cent of decision-making posts at JUSA C level and above were filled by women as of May this year.

She said the government was concerned with challenges facing the family institution, especially young working couples, in trying to balance their family life with their career.

As such, the education programme on parenting skills will be continued next year with the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) offering funding for private employers registered with Human Resource Development Berhad (HRDF), she added.

Realising that most breakups in marriages were due to financial problems, she said, KPWKM, through LPPKN and with the collaboration of the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK), had developed an online pre-marriage module called “I Do You Do Duit Together” in September this year.

The module is aimed at helping couples intending to get married in terms of financial management based on their income after marriage.

For married couples with problems to have babies, she said the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will introduce a new category of withdrawal for its subscribers to go for fertility treatments such as In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

“Apart from that, the income tax relief of up to RM6,000 on medical treatment for serious illnesses, will be expanded to cover the cost of fertility treatment,” she added.

Dr Wan Azizah said KPWKM is launching the Malaysian Family Declaration this year which outlines the commitment of Malaysian families to build a united, clean, healthy, harmonious and vibrant Malaysia Baharu. — Bernama