Wednesday, January 22

Fatimah: Ministry welcomes more strategic partners for Kenyalang Gold Card

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Fatimah (seated centre) and Women and Family Council members in a photo call after the meeting.

KUCHING: The Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry welcomes more strategic partners for its upcoming Kenyalang Gold Card, set to benefit senior citizens in the state.

Its minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said currently there are 20 confirmed strategic partners offering various services and products that are relevant and beneficial to those aged 60 and above.

“The list will go on, we hope more in the private sector will sign up with us to offer discounts and benefits to senior citizens.

“We are also hoping for strategic partners not just in Kuching but also in other parts of Sarawak because we want the benefits of the Kenyalang Gold Card initiative to be enjoyed not just by the senior citizens in Kuching but other divisions as well,” she told reporters after chairing the third series of Women and Family Council meeting today.

Fatimah said among the benefits that the card users can enjoy are treatment at clinic or hospital, flight or transportation discount, insurance coverage, purchase of daily necessities and others that are still in discussion and under consideration.

“We will look at the services and products that can make the lives of the elderly to have more quality, ensuring that they are socially connected and can travel, not just stuck at home.

“We want the benefits to cover as many areas as possible, at every stage of a senior citizen’s life including when sick or bedridden and even in death,” she said.

Fatimah added that the finer details and design of the card will be presented to the Cabinet in the December meeting for approval, before it can be launched in January 2020.

“The application forms will be made available once the Cabinet approved the card. It is suggested in this meeting that the Social Welfare Department at the district level will be tasked to handle the processing,” she said.

On the possibility of scam involving the card, Fatimah said there is need to establish an Ordinance and also the importance of identification card to go along with the card to minimise or prevent scams.

Other things discussed at the meeting included the work process when an application is received the duration for an applicant to get the card, and other related mechanisms.

The idea of gold card for senior citizens was first mulled by the ministry in July as a plan to assist the growing number of senior citizens, with 16 per cent of Sarawak’s population – roughly 526,000 – projected to be aged 65 and above by 2030.

Among those present at the meeting were Women, Family and Childhood Development assistant minister Rosey Yunus and ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Saadiah Samat.