Thursday, August 6

Fatimah: S’wak registers highest number of e-Kasih recipients

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KUCHING: A total of 100,387 poor people had been registered with e-Kasih as of April 21 this year.

Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said the figure is currently the highest throughout the country.

“The statistics is collected based on the head of the household and his or her monthly income,” she said in her speech prior to the earth-breaking ceremony of the inaugural Borneo Blitz Build comprising 14 houses at Jalan Datuk Stephen Yong here yesterday.

According to her, a household is considered hardcore poor if the income of the family head is RM600 per month, poor if the household income is RM920 and at risk group if the total income of the family is RM1,500.

Fatimah also noted that the e-Kasih data still included names of those who had a joint income with their spouses as they had either remarried, had been given some extra assistance to top up their income or had since passed away.

The best example, she said, was single mothers who had remarried and had since gained extra income from their husband.

“Their names are still in e-Kasih and they are not deleted just in case they might fall into the same category again,” she explained.

With the number of hardcore poor (based on the head of household income) currently at 28,507 and the poor at 30,752, Fatimah said the most common request from those under e-Kasih was to be provided with housing as they could not afford to own a house.

Under the Government Housing Assistance, she revealed that 453 poor people registered under e-Kasih last year would like to own a new house, while 3,053 requested to have their homes repaired, leading to a total cost of RM59,270,537.

“This year, the latest figure for those requesting for a new house is 3,145 whereas those with houses that need repair including roofs, floor and bathrooms number 4,116, making the total cost RM363,892,000.”

And out of the 3,145 applications, she said only 19 per cent (or 590) had been approved for new homes while 45 per cent (or 1,846) out of the 4,116 applications for home repairs had also been approved.

Fatimah also disclosed that urban poor registered under e-Kasih constituted those who had migrated to the city from rural areas.

“They have since been caught in the web of the city life where the cost of living is high, leading them to live in squatters in major cities in the state,” she said, adding that these people were also in need of housing.

The number of poor living in urban areas registered under e-Kasih is 15,757 while the number of those living below poverty and hardcore poor is 15,795.