Help newly-weds maintain strong, stable marriage

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim (second from right) talking to wedding solemnisers and couples during the announcement of the Bersamamu programme yesterday at the Al-Mukminin Mos
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim (second from right) talking to wedding solemnisers and couples during the announcement of the Bersamamu programme yesterday at the Al-Mukminin Mosque in Jurong East.PHOTO: REGISTRY OF MUSLIM MARRIAGES

I want to applaud the Muslim community for taking the lead in efforts to strengthen marriages among the Malays (New programme aims to strengthen Muslim marriages, May 3).

It is not the first time it has done this. For instance, it took the lead in making it mandatory for couples to go through pre-marital counselling.

In the latest initiative for Muslims, a wedding solemniser, the naib kadi, will continue engaging a couple for two years following marriage, offering them support and advice to help them lay the foundations for a strong and stable marriage.

I'm even more encouraged to note that such initiatives have bolstered the overall health of their marriages.

The statistics are testament to the positive outcome of such initiatives - while Singapore sadly recorded its highest number of divorces (more than 7,000), the number of Muslim divorces fell to a five-year low in 2017.

As a pastor who has helped countless couples in marriage preparation courses and journeyed with them in building a strong and stable marriage, I'm a firm believer in the benefits of such initiatives that seek to strengthen marriages.

On that note, I would urge all religious leaders to follow the footsteps of our Muslim leaders in providing such helpful initiatives and requiring their adherents to participate.

And the Ministry of Social and Family Development could do likewise for couples with no religious affiliation.

Lim Boon Seng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2019, with the headline 'Help newly-weds maintain strong, stable marriage'. Print Edition | Subscribe