Thursday, October 17

Sarawak gets biggest share of welfare aid, says deputy minister

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(Standing, from left) Chang, Lau, and Yeoh stop by at a work station where adults with disability are undergoing work training programme run by the Agape Centre. Standing at right is Wong.

SIBU: Sarawak receives the highest allocation of welfare assistance from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development among the states in the country.

According to Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh, Sarawak received RM209 million last year, followed by Sabah and Johor, which were given RM194 million and RM159 million, respectively.

She also said the ministry, through the Welfare Department, had given out a total of 35,630 OKU cards to individuals with disability in Sarawak.

“Of the recipients, 22,611 are males,” she said after officiating at the opening ceremony of the ‘Santuni Programme with the Disabled’ at Agape Centre here yesterday.

Yeoh said the ministry would also pay attention to all complaints received, including those regarding the process and period of OKU card application as well as the monthly allowance for OKU card-holders.

“My ministry needs more committed corporates to support and provide assistance to the disabled (individuals), especially children.

“These include providing a place for training of the disabled (people, for them) to be more independent.”

Smart partnership and strategic cooperation among government agencies, corporate bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the communities were important to ensure that the disabled community would not be left behind, she added.

Hailing the Agape Centre here as a prime example of achieving good cooperation from all quarters, Yeoh called upon the centre to enlist help from the elected people’s representatives regularly.

She also stressed about the importance of getting children with special needs to register with the Welfare Department, for them to receive their OKU cards.

Such registration, she explained, would enable the government to understand the needs of different groups of children with special needs.

“This would, in turn, enable them (government) to come up with a plan that suit their different needs,” she said.

Also present at the event were Lanang MP Alice Lau, Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang, Pelawan assemblyman David Wong, Welfare Department Sarawak deputy director Muhamad Ali Taib, and Sibu Health officer Dr Teh Jo Hun.