By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, Jan 29: The RM1,000 Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS), given to every Sarawakian newborn beginning this year, could double in value by the time the beneficiaries make their withdrawal at the age of 18.
Bank Islam Head of Deposits and Cash Management Zury Rahimee Zainal Abiden said the EFS account would enjoy a guaranteed profit rate of about 4.2 per cent annually.
“It is a fixed profit rate at about 4.2 per cent annually. The rate is guaranteed, meaning that within 18 years, they could receive about RM2,000.
“The certificate will be under the baby’s name (beneficiary). It is under a trust account,” he told reporters after an EFS media briefing session at Wisma Wanita here today.
Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah conducted the briefing.
Based on a simple calculation, the EFS current principal value of RM1,000, at the said 4.2 per cent growth rate, could reach RM2,097 within 18 years.
The Sarawak government is collaborating with Bank Islam to manage the individual’s EFS account. Upon reaching 18 years of age, the beneficiary only needs to produce his/her identification card at any Bank Islam branch to make a withdrawal.
Zury added that at the same time, Bank Islam would also give parents (of the beneficiaries) other privileges from their various products.
He said that special draws would be carried out from time to time to give opportunities for the parents to win some cash. Those with children who receive the EFS (managed by Bank Islam) are eligible for the lucky draw provided they open a savings account with the bank.
“The parents, who open an account with us, will be given extra eligibility unit for them to win cash. It is part of our added-value to the products,” he shared.
Meanwhile, Fatimah said Bank Islam was chosen as the state government’s partner for the EFS initiative due to its excellent service.
The banking institute also offered the best rate for the EFS investment, she added.
Fatimah, in her briefing earlier, said parents could register for the EFS starting March 1. Registration forms would be available at all National Registration Department (NRD) offices nationwide.
Sarawakians who have newborns overseas could obtain the forms at the nearest Malaysian consulate or embassy. NRD will compile and send the forms to Bank Islam every two weeks to be processed.
The RM1,000 fund would only be released when the beneficiary reached 18-years-old. The main objective of the fund is to act as a startup seed, especially for tertiary education or capital grant to support other ventures.
The EFS was officially launched by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Jan 16 this year. The initiative was first announced during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting last November.
The state government had allocated RM40 million for the EFS fund this year, which was based on the state’s average birth rate of 40,000 per year.
Abang Johari had previously said that the state would consider increasing the EFS amount in the future, depending on the economic situation. — DayakDaily