It is the day and age of fighting for equality between both men and women! This includes providing somewhat equal opportunity for new parents to be there for the first stage of their newborns life. A Malaysian rights group is advocating for new fathers to receive paid paternity leave.
The Current Situation
As of now, it is only civil servants who are allowed at least seven days of paid paternity leave. Some can take up to 14 days of paid paternity leave.
Of course there are a few companies in the private sector that provide paternity leave. However, most of these companies limit it between one and three days of paid paternity leave. If a new father wishes to spend more time at home with his newborn he might be forced to take unpaid or annual leave.
Petitioning For Paid Paternity Leave
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) has launched a petition requesting the government to review the policy. They are asking for the introduction of at least seven days of paid paternity leave in the private sector.
Recently, the Humans Resources Ministry has made proposals to amend the Employment Act. As of March 2019, the proposal only includes three days of paternity leave which is not what has been requested.
The reason that WAO is proposing at least seven days is that it allows fathers to take an active role. It allows for both new parents to share responsibilities which is beneficial to the wellbeing of the family. A more wholesome and well rounded approach is taken to caring for the child.
Another reason for this proposal is that it takes off some of the burdens from a new mother. This allows her to continue working and pursuing a career which gives her more opportunities. It also allows for our economy to continue growing.
Meanwhile, Singapore and the Philippines provides two weeks of paid paternity to leave.
You can sign the petition here.