KL grant sought for child care centers Minister wants facility provided in State depts
Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun wants the Federal Government to extend its grant to set up child day care facilities in Government offices to the State. “The Federal Government, through the Welfare Department, has allocated the grant for its departments and agencies to set up a child day care centre in their premises. We therefore hope the Federal Government would extend this financial assistance to the State departments and agencies,” she said. Speaking at the launching of the State Level Breastfeeding Week here yesterday, Azizah said the State Government at the moment does not have any such assistance for its departments and agencies The State Government, she added, does dot have any immediate plans to provide such assistance but added, “I feel it is better for the Federal Government to just extend its grant to Sabah because we are after all, one Government.” According to Azizah, she will be discussing the matter with the Sabah Women Affairs Council and also with the State Government. Azizah also disclosed that despite the grant from the Federal Government, only two Federal Government agencies, namely Putrajaya and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), have the child day care centre in their premises. “Therefore I urge the other Federal Government agencies and departments to set up the facility as it will make the working mothers there morec productive at work. It will also help reduce their expenses as they need not send their children to a nursery or day care. “By being able to breastfeed their children, the working mothers also need not spend money on buying powered formula,” she stressed, adding that the provision of such a facility applies to all employers not only the Government sector. Mothers are everywhere, not only in the Government sector but also in the private sector, she said and expressed hope that the breastfeeding programme will be supported by everyone especially the Women non-governmental organizatiçrns in the State, she said. Meanwhile, in conjunction with the week long programme, a senior politician’s mother was awarded with the ‘Tokoh Ibu’ award for having brought up all her children with breast milk. Rosinah @ Ongut Sogondu, 71, is the mother of former Moyog Assemblyman, Philip Lasimbang. She breastfed Philip and his 12 siblings, and even her daughters are doing the same with their children. According to Rosinah, she married at the age of 21 and has 12 surviving children, one son passed away at the age of three. “In the old days, money was tight and it was not easy to get powered formula milk, so breast milk was the best choice for my children,” she said, adding that breast milk is free from impurities, and it was and still is used by villagers to disinfect sore eyes. Rosinah, whose children are all successful and famous in their own right, said she even became a wet nurse for her sister-in-law in the past. “My sister-in-law left the house to plant padi and when her baby started crying, I didn’t spare any though tand just breastfed the child,” she said.