Thursday, October 29, 2009

Address ‘Indai Blues’ problem, ministry urged

BINTULU: The Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation has been urged to look into unhealthy developments in the family institution and work at addressing them.
State DAP deputy chairman Chiew Chin Sing said he is particularly concerned with reports that said divorce rate is high among couples whose husbands are working far away and rarely coming home.

“Presently there could be no less than 50,000 Sarawakian men working overseas and a big portion of them are from here, and I’m concerned and I want to see that families of these people are intact,” Chiew said when asked for his comments on the ‘Indai blues’ story appearing in The Borneo Post on Thursday.

Under the heading, ‘Did you know that ‘Indai blues’ can also mean spoilt wives?” it was reported that husbands earning big money working overseas were sending their earnings home to their lonely wives (Indai blues) who went out to enjoy themselves to make up for their many nights alone.

It was reported that these ‘spoilt wives’ were the main cause of divorces.

Chiew, when asked for his comments yesterday, said it is unfair to put the blame for broken marriages on ‘Indai blues’.

According to Chiew, the blame game should not arise at all because a couple is jointly responsible for a happy family.

What should be done for couples forced to spend days on end separately because of work commitment is counselling and guidance, he said.

“This is where the Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation comes in — perhaps tell couples to open two accounts, one for day-to-day spending, and another, a joint account for savings purposes that can be withdrawn if both couple sign,” Chiew said.
Chiew also said perhaps the government may want to look at some of the contracts of these husbands with the view to getting employers to make sure that their workers are allowed to go home on company-expenses at least twice a year.

“Whatever we are — a general hand or an executive — we should not be leaving home for up to a year, or allow our spouses to survive on their own all because we are sending money home.

“Very important is we are all humans — both wives and husbands.

“We should have ample quality time together for our marriages not to falter under temptation of looking good, feeling good, and where every corner you turn there is the lure, the advertisements, the TV…” Chiew said.

“I thus urge the government to set up counselling units for those couples whose husbands are away for long periods.

“’Indai blues’ is no laughing or light matter. It strikes at the core of society because so many of our men are trying to create quality life by taking up challenging jobs far from home.

“Remember, these families should prosper with so much money coming in, as much as government should prosper because this money is being brought into the country,” Chiew said.

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