KUCHING: A total of 26,808 newborns in the state have registered to obtain the Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS) since it was introduced early last year, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.
She revealed that as of July 31, 2019, 13,270 out of 19,429 total newborns born with ‘K’ status (or 68 per cent) had registered to enjoy the EFS benefits.
“For the same period this year until July 31, the total registration for EFS throughout the state is 13,538 or 79 per cent of the total number of Sarawak-born children, which is 17,196.
“The number of applications approved or the number of EFS accounts that have been opened by Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad as of July 31 this year is 12,184, involving a total of RM12,184,000,” she said at a press conference at her office today.
According to Fatimah, last year the state government allocated RM40 million for EFS while for this year it is RM30 million.
“This is the second year the state government has introduced EFS, which is to give a RM1,000 one-off to Sarawakian newborns starting January 1, 2019.
“This fund aims to help Sarawakian children when they reach the age of 18 to further their studies or as capital to start their careers,” she explained.
On Maternity Assistance (BIB), Fatimah said since its introduction earlier this year, the ministry has received 6,791 mothers with ‘K’ status or has Sarawak connections as of July 31.
She said of the total, 4,140 or 61 per cent had received their respective payments.
“The state government has channeled RM450 of assistance to each mother who has given birth with the status of ‘K’ (Sarawakians) or has Sarawak connection, or is married to Sarawakian starting Jan 1 this year.
“For that purpose, the state government has allocated RM19 million to help lessen the burden of mothers during confinement as well as provide for the needs of the baby,” she explained.
Also present were Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development assistant minister Datuk Francis Harden and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat.