Three days good, five better, seven best

MIRI: The three-day paternity leave proposal for fathers working in the private sector is well-received by many people here.

They said it is a good start from nothing and want the relevant authorities to keep an open mind about having a longer leave in the future.

Banker Caroline Siburat, 48, said, paternity leave should be given to all husbands so that they can take care of their older children, register the new birth and look after their spouses.

Caroline Siburat

“This is not an easy task, so I would say five days would be just right,” she said to the New Sarawak Tribune.

“With this leave privilege I believe husbands will be less stressed because they know that the moment their new babies come, they will be there to welcome their arrivals and to take care of their spouses,” she added.

Caroline, however, would want to see that the leave only applies to legally registered marriages and limited to the first five children.

Sharing Caroline’s sentiments was Iqbal Abdollah who said as a working parent he felt nervous the times his wife gave birth to their two children.

Iqbal Abdollah

“One consideration is always how many days you will get the day the baby arrives.

“Indeed, there are so many things that a father has to do, and I am talking out of personal experience,” he said, adding fathers would surely be relieved if they were accorded seven days paternity leave.

He said perhaps the authorities should consider giving a week paternity leave to fathers in some exceptional cases such as when mothers give birth by caesarean and the babies develop jaundice.

He said since Malaysia is always aiming to be a developed nation much like Singapore, it should try to emulate the island republic.

He said since 2017, Singapore has been giving to all eligible fathers an entitlement of seven to 14 days’ paid paternity leave fully funded by its government.

“Ours just fares slightly better than Indonesia where fathers in the private sector are given 2 days’ paid paternity leave,” he said.

Alan Yong

Batu Niah Lions Club president Alan Yong said the idea would definitely benefit private workers.

“It will surely help create a stronger and healthier family institution,” he said.