Since 2016, Bapa Sepanjang Hayat (DADs for Life) has encouraged active fathering among the Malay Muslim community, providing workshops for fathers to learn how to become a better dad and activities for dads to bond with their families. This year’s Malay Muslim Fathering Month, which was launched on September 1, engaged over 600 fathers and their families through various family bonding activities.

During the launch of the month-long series of activities, Member of Parliament Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim shared memories of his late father who paid a lot of attention to knowledge and understanding. Dr. Ibrahim reminisced, “We would discuss with him topics ranging from politics to domestic incidents in Singapore. He was like a friend to all my siblings to myself.”

He also reminded parents that as our children grow up into teens and adults, the techniques we used to handle them when they are children will not work. “They may not be everything that we want them to be. But they can be individuals in their own rights, confident that they can build a better future for their family, community and nation,” added Dr Ibrahim.

One of the highlights of the initiative was Jamming with DAD. Alvin Ho and his son, Elson, wowed the judges with their rendition of Bee Gees classic “Words”, and walked away with the top prize. A Chinese father and son pair winning the contest showed that the Malay Muslim Fathering Month was not only engaging Malay Muslim fathers but also impacting families of other ethnic groups.

Another highlight was the 4th Annual Parenting Seminar (featured photo at top) organised by the Centre for Fathering and AMP, with support from Berita Harian. Dr Ibrahim delivered the keynote speech, sharing his experience as a Dad to 170 guests. This was followed by an interactive discussion on the importance of shared parenting and how both fathers and mothers play an important role in the family.

Other fun activities fathers and their families took part in include dragon boating, cycling, a cooking workshop as well as fishing.