Advocacy for family planning education and services in Malaysia began with the pioneering work of concerned individuals and medical practitioners in the early 1950s. The first Family Planning Association (FPA) was registered in 1953 in the state of Selangor and in 1958, four state FPAs formed the Federation of Family Planning Associations, Malaysia (FFPAM). Today the FFPAM with member-associations in all 13 states in the country is the leading non-government organisation advocating and promoting family planning, family life education and responsible parenthood.
The Malaysian Government introduced a national programme in family planning in 1966 with the passage of the National Family Planning Act (Act of Parliament No. 42 of 1966) and established the National Family Planning Board (NFPB) as a statutory inter-ministerial body to set the groundwork for achievement of the economic, demographic and social objectives of the country’s First 20-Year Development Plan, 1966-1985. Specifically, the demographic goal is to reduce the annual rate of natural increase from three percent to two percent over the 20-year period. The Board established its own network beginning 1967 but due to resource and logistical constraints, set up an alliance with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to integrate family planning into the maternal and child health (MCH) component of the Rural Health Services in 1970. A Central Coordinating Committee (CCC) was then set up to ensure proper planning, development, monitoring and evaluation of the programme by the three major implementing agencies, i.e. NFPB, MOH and FFPAM.