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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Feb 11: A total of 46 companies have become strategic partners for the Kenyalang Gold Card (KGC) initiative, offering discounts and rebates to card holders.
Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah urged more companies, retailers as well as private and commercial sectors to come on board as strategic partners and contribute back to the society.
“Of the 26 companies which have registered as strategic partners, 22 are in Kuching, 13 in Miri and 11 in Limbang.
“We are taking measures to increase the numbers of strategic partners so that the objective to improve the well being of our elderly population can be achieved,” she said at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with strategic partners for KGC at a hotel here today.
Today, the ceremony witnessed 18 companies signing the MoU and being presented with the KGC plaque and stickers.
They are Shine Pharmacy, Alpro Alliance (Sarawak), Newday Pharmacy, Plaza Merdeka, H&L Supermarket, Normah Medical Specialist Centre, The Spring, Hao Wei Restaurant, Star Health Foot Reflexology Centre, Longevity Homecare Services, Suria Indah Healthcare, Canaan Physiotherapy Enterprise, Rajang Energy, Chan Funeral Services, Goodrich Optical, Choice Supermarket, Freesia Express and Agensi Perkejaan T.S.G Limbang.
Fatimah also informed that there has been an overwhelming response to the KGC and as of Feb 10, 74,613 Sarawakian senior citizens have signed up for the gold card since applications opened last month.
“If compared to the projection of total elderly population in Sarawak, there are 334,500 Sarawakians aged 60 and above, the figure making up 22 per cent,” she said.
The KGC initiative was introduced because Sarawak’s ageing population is expected to reach 520,000 by 2030.
“This KGC is a way to show recognition, respect and love for our elderly citizens. We want to create these values in our society and community and hopefully help them to live a quality life that is active, healthy and independent,” she said.
“We hope to see more strategic partners join us in this initiative. We are heading in the right direction to become a caring and model state in Malaysia,” she added.
The KGC initiative, she explained, was still in the interim period as it has not been officially launched but improvements on the guidelines were actively being made to solve the teething problems.
The official launch for the KGC is expected to be on March 7 by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Fatimah reiterated that all Sarawakians aged 60 and above can apply for the KGC irrespective of race, locality and economic status.
“It is different from eKasih which is meant for the targeted group in the poor category. Whether you are in the rural or urban area, rich or poor, as long as you are 60 years and above, you are eligible.
“Except for the death compassionate assistance of RM3,000 for funeral expenses, only those eligible can apply for this assistance.
“But the money will not be given to you but to the close family members when the card holder has passed away,” she explained.
With the KGC card, holders can get discounts, rebates and free membership on goods and services offered by government agencies, private sectors and commercial sectors who are the strategic partners.
Cardholders can enjoy benefits from a variety of services include health, pharmacy, optical, food and beverage outlets, retail, groceries, supermarkets, saloons, public transport, and employment agencies.
Assistant Minister of Community Well Being Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting, Assistant Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus, permanent secretary to the Ministry Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat and Women and Family Department director Noriah Ahmad were present. —DayakDaily