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By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, Jan 29: Registration forms for the RM1,000 Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS), to be given to every Sarawakian newborn beginning this year, will be available at all National Registration Department (NRD) offices from March 1 this year.
Sarawakian parents who have their babies abroad can obtain the form at the nearest Malaysian consulate or embassy, said Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.
“EFS registration can be made at any NRD offices nationwide. Parents of children born before March 1 this year would have to visit the nearest office to register, while those born from March onwards will be registered automatically when obtaining their birth certificates,” she told reporters after the EFS media briefing here today.
Fatimah reminded that 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 future ventures.
Those eligible for the EFS must be a Malaysian citizen with at least one of the parents a Sarawakian possessing a ‘K’ status Mykad.
For cases involving adopted children, they are eligible for EFS provided legal adoption papers are available and that one of the adopted parents must be a Sarawakian with ‘K’ status Mykad.
As for children born out of wedlock, they are entitled to EFS provided the mother is a Sarawakian and holder of the ‘K’ status identification card.
When asked on children of parents without proper identification documents, Fatimah said the child (born from 2019 onwards) would enjoy the full benefit of the EFS once the parents sorted out their Malaysian citizenship papers.
Fatimah said the state government was collaborating with Bank Islam to manage the fund. NRD would compile and send the forms to Bank Islam every two weeks to be processed.
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.
In the case of death before the beneficiary reaches 18, the minister said the nominated heir could make the withdrawal for funeral arrangements by providing the death certificate to the bank.
“For cases with anomalies, we have set up a special committee under the ministry, which is chaired by the sitting minister, to study and consider applications.
“The committee is also made up of the assistant minister as deputy chairperson, the ministry’s permanent secretary as well as state Attorney-General, State Secretary, state NRD director and state Health director, with our Childhood Development unit as the secretariat,” she continued.
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.
For enquiries on the EFS, the public may contact the ministry at its toll-free helpline at 1800-22-5566 or call the office at 082-448866. — DayakDaily