By Michelle Ng

This June we celebrate Father’s Day! Allow me to extend my heartfelt greetings to all fathers, grandfathers, and father figures in Subang Jaya and across Malaysia.

Being a father today comes with its unique set of challenges. In an era of equal responsibilities, fathers are expected to provide, protect, be emotionally present and actively engaged in their children’s lives.

One of the critical issues facing fathers today is mental health. The societal expectation for men to ‘man up’ and suppress their emotions can be incredibly damaging. Many fathers struggle silently with anxiety, depression, and stress, feeling that they must bear these burdens alone. It is crucial for us to recognise that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. As a community, we must create an environment where fathers feel safe to express their vulnerabilities and access the support they need.

Single fathers, in particular, face significant challenges. Raising a child alone demands a delicate balance between work, home responsibilities, and personal time, often without the support system that dual-parent households enjoy. Single fathers must navigate these challenges while contending with societal biases that still view parenting as primarily the mother’s domain. This can leave single fathers feeling isolated and overwhelmed.

In response to these pressing issues, the Selangor state government is committed to providing comprehensive support for all fathers. We recognise the evolving dynamics of fatherhood and the need for inclusive policies that address these changes. One of our key initiatives is the expansion of the Bantuan Kehidupan Keluarga Selangor (BINGKAS) programme from only providing coverage for single mothers, to now include single fathers. This programme provides financial assistance of RM300 a month to low-income families, ensuring that families with children under 18 years of age, regardless of their household structure, have access to essential resources and opportunities.

By extending BINGKAS to single fathers, we acknowledge the vital role they play in their children’s lives and affirm our commitment to supporting them. This initiative aims to alleviate some of the financial pressures single fathers face, allowing them to focus more on nurturing their children and less on making ends meet.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us also reflect on the importance of fostering an inclusive and supportive community for all fathers. Each one of us can contribute by offering empathy, understanding, and encouragement to the fathers in our lives. Whether it’s a simple gesture of appreciation or a helping hand, our collective efforts can make a significant difference.

To all the fathers in Subang Jaya, thank you for your unwavering love and dedication. Your strength, resilience, and compassion are the pillars that uphold our community. Today, we honor you and pledge to continue working towards a society that values and supports you in every aspect of your fatherhood journey.

Happy Father’s Day!