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KUCHING, Feb 6: The Ministry of Welfare, Community Well-Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development (KWKPK) has received a total of 1,044 applications for the financial incentive offered to new mothers as of yesterday (February 5).
Its minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah revealed that the figure consisted of applications from various divisions in Sarawak as well as from Sarawakians residing in other states.
“For manual applications, the number was 569 and we have also received 475 online applications.
“From January and up to February 5, it is 1,044 applications,” she told journalists after visiting a post-natal care centre here today.
Fatimah revealed that the official launch for the financial incentive for new mothers will be conducted sometime in March.
She expressed delight with the overwhelming response especially with the number of applications although the initiative is yet to be officially unveiled by her ministry.
To recap, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg last year when announcing the State Budget 2020 disclosed that new mothers will be given an incentive of RM450 each to assist them with post-natal care services.
He revealed that the financial assistance will be given to new mothers effective January this year and that the state government has allocated RM18 million to assist new mothers with their post natal care services.
Meanwhile, Fatimah also stressed that the incentive was given to new mothers to help them with their post-natal care services during their confinement.
She revealed that the incentive was proposed to the state government after a study trip to Finland where the government has such a scheme for new mothers.
Nonetheless, Fatimah noted the incentive for new mothers implemented by the state government is different from the one in Finland as it has to tweak the system so that it is suitable to the local environment, for instance, the demographic and geographical locations of the citizens.
She also disclosed that the incentive is not just a one-off cash benefit for new mothers.
She pointed out that new mothers who have given birth this year may also apply for additional incentives in the future for their subsequent babies and that applicants will receive the incentive as a one lump-sum payment into their bank accounts once approved.
Fatimah also highlighted that a pregnant woman or an expecting mother who is 22-weeks pregnant may apply for the incentive as the information will be keyed into the ministry’s information technology (IT) system.
When the woman has given birth, she or a member of the family will need to submit the child delivery card or document to the ministry for the ministry to process and release the incentive. — DayakDaily