KUALA LUMPUR: Women, Family and Community Development Ministry aims to raise the national wellbeing index for families by 2020. Deputy minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun told Dewan Negara that a study carried out in 2011 by the ministry through the National Population and Family Board revealed that Malaysia achieved 7.55 out of the total score of 10. “This shows that the wellbeing level of Malaysian families is in satisfactory level. We aim to raise this to an index of 8 by 2020 through the various programmes by the board.” She said they include courses like SMARTSTART, Parenting@work, IlmuKeluarga@LPPKN, and SMARTbelanja@LPPKN. “These courses are hoped to improve knowledge and skills of family members in strengthening the family institution and ensure the wellbeing of the families. “However, as there are currently no international standards in gauging the families’ welbeing index, the ministry was not able to make comparisons with other countries.” She said the Gallup World Poll carried out by Gallup Incorporated was used instead. “According to the World Happiness Report 2013, Malaysia ranks 56 out of the 156 countries involved in the survey,” she said, responding to a question by Senator Datuk Lihan Jok. The Gallup World Poll surveys on issues such as food access, employment, leadership performance, and wellbeing. The wellbeing index for families in Malaysia covers relationship among the immediate family members, their health and safety, as well as having adequate income to meet the demands of a minimum standard of living.

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