By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Nov 28: Parents of newborns yet to register for the Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS) have been reminded to do so before the Dec 31 deadline for this year.
Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, said her ministry is currently trying to locate parents who have yet to register.
EFS application for children born this year but missed the Dec 31 deadline (registering next year) will be treated as abnormally, she explained.
“One of the conditions laid by the ministry is that babies born this year must register this year. Any application which is late, we will treat it as abnormally,” Fatimah told DayakDaily today.
She reiterated that it is mandatory to register the children’s birth and that her ministry is hoping to register Sarawakian newborns who need government assistance.
“Our ministry is partnering with JPN (National Registration Department). Once a newborn is registered, the form to apply for EFS is there. The JPN officers will remind new parents to fill up the forms.”
As in October, a total of 30,151 babies were born in the state this year, out of which, 28,152 are Sarawakians. Out of the figure, a total of 21,283 Sarawakian newborns, or 75.6 per cent, have registered with the ministry. About 24.4 per cent have yet to register.
Fatimah said the ministry was puzzled by the huge number of newborns unregistered for the EFS and is now monitoring the situation.
She speculated that there may be some cases where parents are well off and preferred not to register with EFS.
“If that is the case, that is fine with the ministry. What I am concerned about are those in the B40 (group) who are poor and need the assistance and they somehow missed doing it.”
She said there are 52 JPN offices across Sarawak and officials from her ministry are looking into areas with low EFS registration.
Citing Serian as one of them, the Dalat assemblywoman said efforts to look for newborns in the division have been quite fruitful.
“We hope by the end of the year, we will get some more,” said Fatimah on newborns unregistered for the EFS. — DayakDaily