Endowment Fund Sarawak: Solution for unconventional cases

Fatimah (left) presents a cheque to one of the EFS recipients whose parents will then deposit it with Bank Islam.

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KUCHING, Feb 6: Parents who failed in their application for the RM1,000 under the Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS) initiative due to certain issues need not worry as the Ministry of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Child Development together with relevant agencies have come up a solution.

Minister Datuk Sri Fatimah Abdullah said they have received quite a number of unconventional cases, totaling 170 since its inception on Jan 1, 2019.

The cases involve underage parents (110), bankruptcy, blacklisted or mule accounts (30), single parents who are not citizens (7), joint application by non-legal guardians (22) and deceased parents or guardians (1).

“The committee has decided in our meeting on Feb 4 that for cases under underage parents, bankruptcy, blacklisted or mule accounts, single parents who are not citizen and jointly applied by non legal guardians, applicants may appoint their nearest next-of-kin but it has to be verified by the EFS committee.

“As for deceased parents, only legal guardians can apply and must go through a verification process by the committee,” she said in a press conference today.

In the case of deceased children, applicants (parents) can apply straight to Bank Islam to have the EFS monies withdrawn.

The EFS is one of the Sarawak government’s incentives to help secure a better future of every newborn Sarawakian.

The new policy, which took effect on Jan 1, 2019 gives every newborn a one-off incentive of RM1,000 which can only be withdrawn upon the child attaining the age of 18.

The money can be used for admission to college or university, or setting up a business if the child decides not to take further studies.

Meanwhile, Fatimah urged parents who have yet to apply for EFS for their child born in 2019 to do so as soon as possible.

“Every Sarawakian child with the ‘K’ on his or her identity card is entitled to receive EFS. Parents can apply for it at the National Registration Department (JPN) by producing the child’s birth certificate.

As of Jan 31 this year, 2,871 babies were born in Sarawak, but only 1,472 (51.2 per cent) has applied for EFS.

Last year, Sarawak registered 36,117 births, of which 33,304 were Sarawakians. Of that, 26,731 (80 per cent) has applied for EFS. — DayakDaily