09/12/2023 04:55 PM

KUCHING, Dec 9 (Bernama) -- More mass marriage solemnisation programmes need to be organised to ease marriage procedures in Malaysia and indirectly help boost the declining birth rate in the country, Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said.

Such events also benefited young couples, especially from an economic perspective, as they do not have to bear the high costs of weddings, she added.

"If they organise the ceremony themselves, whether in the mosque or at home, they have to pay for the rental of the space. So, we will see how the government can collaborate with the state religious authorities to help with organising more of such events as hopefully, it can boost the population in Sarawak and, consequently, Malaysia," she said after the Akad Semarak Ummah 2023 programme at Darul Hana Mosque here today.

According to Department of Statistics Malaysia’s statistics released October last year, the fertility rate in Malaysia has sharply declined over the past five decades, with the number of children per woman in 2022 being only 1.6 compared to 6.7 in 1957, making it the lowest rate ever recorded.

Nancy also said that her ministry would implement a campaign related to family building starting next year, which will include organising seminars to encourage young people to get married and subsequently build families.

She earlier witnessed the solemnisation of marriage for 30 couples at the Akad Semarak Ummah 2023 programme.