Civil servants between the age of 30 and 40 are the demographic constantly seeking counselling to deal with stress, according to Public Services Department (PSD) senior deputy director (psychology management) Dr Abdul Jalil Hassan.

He said financial issues was among the factors that contributed to the situation, as many in that age group are concentrating on building a family, having more children, buying a house and taking loans, as reported in Bernama.

"Most of those who seek counselling are doing it voluntarily, but some were referred to by their heads of divisions or departments," he told reporters after the opening of Public Service Psychology Conference 2016 by PSD deputy director-general (operations) Sabariah Hassan.

At the same time, Hassan pointed out that the stress level among civil servants, in general, was still stable and under control as their economic situation was good and they were receiving their salaries.

Nevertheless, he said stress was expected to become world's number one illness by 2020, which will bring about negative impacts to the society, if not properly tackled.

He called out two types of stress: eustress, which is positive stress to achieve success, and distress, which is negative stress that must be reduced.

Efforts to boost gender diversity in Malaysia "must not stop"

In another news, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, has said that efforts to increase the number of Malaysian women in the workforce and in business may have shown great progress but must not stop.

Speaking to The Star, he said 32.3% of the top positions in the public service were held by women while only 16% of women were on the board of directors among public companies in 2014.

Malaysia’s female labour-force participation was at 53.6% in 2014 against 46.8 in 2010, he said at the opening the Women Talentship 2016 seminar on 6 October.

Dr Wee said there was no reason why men and women cannot be equal in leadership positions, adding that any post must be won on merit and not just to fulfil a certain quota.

He added about the Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurship: "Under our RM100mil Chinese SME Fund, we are actively looking to benefit women entrepreneurs who need funds for expansion or to ease operating cash flow. So far, 49 women have received RM9.8mil of the fund."


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