By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Dec 13: The Sarawak state cabinet has approved the introduction of Kenyalang Gold Card (KGC) for its senior citizens aged 60 and above starting year 2020.
Minister of Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said that the introduction of KGC for its senior citizens was because the state was facing an ageing population by 2030.
“In Malaysia, 14 per cent of the country population in 2030 will be over the age of 60 and in Sarawak, the figure will be 526,000, or 16 per cent,” she said.
“The objectives of KGC is to enhance the well-being and the welfare of our elderly in Sarawak through the provision of certain privileges and enjoy benefits from organisations and the commercial sector.
“Second, it is to create a caring society who gives back and finally we want to tell the entire world that the government is caring,” she said at the press conference introducing Kenyalang Gold Card which was approved by the Sarawak government on Thursday (Dec 12).
She said the state government had allocated RM24.4 million for introducing and implementing KGC and eligible applicants could start applying in January.
Fatimah said that another benefit for KGC members is that they would be entitled to death compassionate assistance amounting to RM3,000 for funeral expenses, except for government pensioners and Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) contributors.
“The family of the eligible card members will need to apply for the help as they will treat it on a case-by-case basis,” she said.
She said to apply for KGC, applicants must be Malaysian citizens with a “K” status identity card, be permanent residents of Sarawak and must attain the age of 60 and above by January 1, 2020.
Fatimah added that with KGC, members could get discounts, rebates and a free membership on goods and services offered by a government agency, private sectors, the commercial sector who are strategic partners of KGC.
“The applicants can get the form from all the Welfare Department and also the District and Resident office statewide next year once they have printed the card,” said Fatimah.
Sarawak has now 315,100 old age people in 2019, where 163,200 are male and 151,600 are female.
The gold card policy similar to Australia and New Zealand was initially raised by Fatimah during the Women’s Day Celebration held at Borneo Convention Center Kuching in September 2019. —DayakDaily