Sarawak working on an online system to support single mothers

Farid (right) presenting a souvenir to Fatimah as Assistant Minister of Community Wellbeing Datuk Francis Harden Hollis (fourth from right) and Assistant Minister Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus (third from right) look on.

By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, March 7: The Ministry of Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development is working with Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (Sains) to develop an online database to register and keep track of single mothers in Sarawak.

Its minister, Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, said her ministry had been working with Sains to develop the system since last year.

She said she would not be able to tell when the online system would be ready, but it is definitely in the works.

With the system, the ministry would be able to track single mothers, especially those who need assistance from the government. The system would also be able to enrol single mothers online in order for them to be eligible for government aid.

“We are preparing that system. We are working with Sains,” she told reporters after receiving a courtesy call from Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Md Farid Rafik at Bangunan Baitulmakmur in Petra Jaya here this afternoon.

Fatimah, however, pointed out that the current challenges facing the online database system would be Internet coverage in the rural areas, as that is where most of the needy single mothers reside.

“Many of these single mothers are from the rural areas, so manual data entry by government officers is still necessary,” she said.

Fatimah (centre) speaking to reporters as Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus and Farid listen in.

Meanwhile, Fatimah also revealed that to date, there are more than 16,000 single mothers registered with the Sarawak Single Mothers Association (Pitsa) Kuching alone, not including other organisations like Carnation Club of Kuching and Samarahan.

This indicates that there is a substantial number of single mothers in the state, including those that are not registered with the government or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

This meant tracking and registering them would be challenging, but Fatimah hoped that when the online database system is up and running, the single mothers would be able to register themselves, and this would make it easier for the government or NGOs to channel aid to them. — DayakDaily