Press Statement By Violet Yong:
The Sarawak Government has since the beginning of the year launched the Kenyalang Gold Card (KGC) for the senior citizens who are Sarawakians or Permanent Citizens in the state with aged 60 and above to apply.
The KGC is purportedly comes with instant discounts or rebates on everyday essentials like groceries, food, healthcare, telecommunication and transportation.
The government also claimed that the KGC include other benefits such as employment, tailoring, hair saloon and massages as well as high value special offers.
The question remains as to how could one truly benefits from being a KGC holder? The senior citizens in Sarawak definitely deserve more sincere care and help from the Sarawak State Government.
Unfortunately, so far, we have not seen any benefits offered by the state government which our senior citizens could enjoy to ease their financial burden. For many, the current KGC is only a mere shopping discount card with very limited choice due to not many participating merchants.
The state government should consider extending its scope of benefits to the senior citizens include those that could ease the financial burden like giving out periodic aged pension, old aged carer allowance, parenting allowance, widow allowance, dementia support programe, support for various essential services, assistant for household costs etc.
It is the responsibility of the state government to ensure our public funds are put to good use by maximizing the benefits and entitlement of KGC rather than sticking to the current range it could offer now.
In addition, I would like to urge the State Welfare Department to expedite the release of the RM3000 death compassionate assistance to the next of kins because we have been told that it requires at least more than a month for the department to process and verify, which in my view is considered way too long and unacceptable.
It is only right for the government to give frank and clear details about who are qualified to apply for the RM3000 death compassionate fund . From our understanding, not every KGC holders who passed away are eligible for the RM3000, particularly those senior citizens who have insurance coverage, Socso, EPF and owned properties etc.
ADUN for Pending