Effective communication a critical skill in a healthy marriage: Yaacob

Families need to be strong and resilient to provide support to one another, said Minister of Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

"We want to reduce the risk factors and strengthen the protective elements (such as) effective communication between spouses, a very critical skill in a healthy marriage," said Dr Yaacob, who is also the minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs.

He was speaking to 300 participants on Friday at the Engaging Hearts & Minds Seminar, organised by the Family Development Network of the Community Leaders Forum and the Social Service Institute, and supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

Dr Yaacob also highlighted what the ministry has done to build family resilience. More than 2,000 Muslim couples about to tie the knot attend the Marriage Preparation Courses, known as Bersama Mu (Malay for "with you") by the MSF each year. A review of the course is underway, with the revamped curriculum to be fully implemented in January next year.

Dr Yaacob also encouraged families to "seek external help when it is beyond the family's capability to deal with the situation".

"It is this spirit of togetherness, of gotong royong and unconditional love that will keep families intact and resilient," he said.