KUCHING: Application for any type of assistance will be accepted by the State Welfare Department (JKM) even though the country is in a period of transition.
This was assured by Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, who said that the department will not decline any application so long as the applicants meet the poverty line household income of RM990 per month.
“At the moment, we are still in the dark as to what policy will be implemented by the ministry at federal level but new applications must be accepted by JKM branches throughout the state.
“If the applicant requires immediate assistance, he or she can also apply through the Public Assistance which is allocated by the state government,” she said at the ‘Majlis Sejambak Kasih Gawai Raya 2018’ held at Maj’ma Mall Building here yesterday.
She pointed out that the number of recipients receiving welfare assistance under JKM continues to increase, from 56,621 recipients in 2015 to 57,588 recipients last year.
“For this year, we have already recorded 56,464 recipients up until March with a total expenditure of RM52,446,450 state-wide,” she disclosed.
Fatimah said JKM recipients who are receiving monthly assistance can rest assured they will continue receiving the aid.
She added that her ministry had also applied earlier from the federal government for additional allocation in addition to the allocation from the state government.
“The allocation is obtained from two sources, namely the federal government, which we have applied for last year and received on Jan 16 for distribution until this October to recipients under the Financial Assistance for Older Persons, Allowance for Disabled Workers, Financial Assistance for Care of People with Disabilities (OKU) and Financial Assistance for Care of the Bedridden and Chronically Ill.
“On the other hand, allocation for Financial Assistance for Foster Children, Financial Assistance for Children and Single Parents as well as Immediate Assistance have been received and will be distributed up till December this year,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Fatimah encouraged young and energetic people receiving the Monthly Financial Assistance to take up micro-entrepreneurship that provides a launching grant of up to RM5,000 to assist applicants in purchasing equipment.
“This assistance from the government is given regardless of race and religion so long as the applicant meets the requirement of a monthly household income that’s less than RM990,” she reiterated.
At the ceremony, a total of 130 ‘Sejambak Kasih Assistance’ recipients received an additional assistance of RM100 as well as hampers worth RM100 courtesy of Dynasty Hotel and Kuching Heng Hua Seng Ing Tong Association.
The annual event is held three times a year with the objective of reducing the financial burden of recipients as well as to celebrate the festive occasion of Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri with them.
Also present were Kuching Heng Hua Seng Ing Tong Association chairman Tay Soon Ann, Sejambak Kasih organising committee chairperson Ann Tay Choo Geok, Dynasty Hotel managing director Tony Pui and JKM Sarawak director Joni Naruddin.