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By Jayatheela K
MIRI, May 15: Forty-three women in Miri division today received the Sarawak Endowment Fund (SEF) meant for their newborn babies from Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.
They are the first batch from this division to receive the aid after Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced this initiative during the tabling of the state budget 2019 last November.
This one-off fund of RM1,000 per newborn baby can only be withdrawn when the child reaches 18 years of age.
Fatimah said as of April 25, a total of 5,070 or 49.14 per cent of 10,317 newborn babies have been registered for the SEF.
“Kuching tops the chart with the highest number of babies registered for the programme with 1,980, followed by Sibu (950), Miri (659), Bintulu (267), Sarikei (260), Sri Aman (223), Mukah (201), Limbang (178), Betong (118), Kapit (107), Serian (66) and Samarahan (61),” she told reporters at the ‘Sejambak Kasih Gawai-Raya’ cum handing over of the Fund at Dynasty Hotel, here.
Fatimah reminded parents to register their newborn babies for the Fund as the state government had allocated RM40 million for it this year.
“All Sarawakian babies are eligible for the initiative. Registration can be done at 52 branches of the National Registration Department (JPN),” she explained.
For the ‘Sejambak Kasih Gawai-Raya’ event, 200 individuals received goodies in the form of hampers and ‘duit Gawai-Raya’.
The annual event is a collaborative effort between the Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development with Dynasty Hotel to help ease the burden of those in need in celebrating Gawai-Raya.
Meanwhile in Miri, 2,318 people received Gawai aid, while 850 for Raya.
Statewide, 30,750 who would be celebrating Gawai have been given assistance, while 15,626 received Raya aid.
On the monthly assistance provided by the Welfare Department, 56,096 people have received their assistance in the first four months of this year involving RM67.3 million.
Also present at the event were Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus, Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau and Dynasty Hotel managing director Tony Pui. — DayakDaily