by Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Jan 14: Sarawakian senior citizens who are 60 and above this year can now apply for Kenyalang Gold Card (KGC).
Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah announced that although the official launch for KGC was on March 7, applicants who are eligible can start to apply now.
“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. The applicants can get the form from all the Welfare Department, District, sub-district and Resident office statewide,” she told reporters today.
With the special KGC card, members can get discounts, rebates and a free membership on goods and services offered by government agencies, private sectors and commercial sector who are the strategic partners.
Among the discounts available are companies in health services, pharmacy, optical, food and beverages outlet, retail, groceries and supermarkets, saloons and bus express transportation.
“You can also use the card at employment agencies to employ maids,” Fatimah said, adding that the card was formulated using a similar concept which has already been implemented in Singapore and New Zealand with the tagline ‘Life Starts At 60’.
Fatimah assured that the ministry was continuously working hard to get more vendors especially those in health services to sign up with KGC.
“It is important that we have more vendors so there are more choices for our senior citizens. KGC will enhance the wellbeing and welfare of elderly in Sarawak, through provision of certain privileges and benefits from organisations and commercial sectors,” she asserted.
The introduction of KGC for its senior citizens was mooted because the state was facing an ageing population by 2030.
Fatimah revealed that in 2020 alone, senior citizens in Malaysia is expected to reach about 3.21 million.
For Sarawak, the figure will be 16 per cent, or 526,000 people.
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.
Meanwhile, applicants for Sarawak’s post natal care incentive can also obtain the application forms from the ministry’s office, Welfare Department, District, sub-district and Resident office statewide.
All Sarawakian mothers who are pregnant from 22 weeks onwards up to six months after delivery can apply and receive RM450 effective this year.
The financial assistance is intended to help lessen their financial burden when receiving post-natal care. —DayakDaily