KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Government will continue to provide assistance to families so that they can proceed with their lives in the post-pandemic era.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor said various aids have been given particularly to affected families.

“Assistance in the form of food and monies have been handed out through the Bantuan Sabah Prihatin (BSP) 1.0, 2.0 and the latest 3.0 to those whose income have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Speaking in conjunction with the state-level Malaysia Family Month launch organised by the State National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) today, the Chief Minister said finding by the studies on the parental challenges and stress in facing the new wave of Covid-19 pandemic had shown that 79.9 per cent of the 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 Malaysia Family approach is most apt,” he said.

Hajiji said a survey on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the behaviour and livelihood, working from home as well as family planning conducted by LPPKN in the country showed that one out of four respondents said there was a big change in their lives.

The most glaring effect was on the family financial management with 49 per cent of respondents no longer eating outside, 44 per cent cutting down monthly expenses, another 40 per cent having to dig out their savings and 28 per cent having to look for part time jobs in the gig economy.

“Although we have to live with Covid-19, it should not be an obstacle for us to strengthen our family relationship. A strong parent-children bond will act as the first line of defence to help family members who are facing stress and negative effects due to the pandemic,” he said.

The Chief Minister hoped the private sectors, NGOs and community would also do their part to ensure the family well-being programmes can be implemented successfully.

“I also hope the Malaysia Family Month, which is celebrated every November will be able to unite the Malaysia families to face the economic and Covid-19 crisis,” he said.