Fatimah (fifth right) presents EFS certificates to parents who applied for the initiative. Also seen are officials from NRD and Bank Islam. — Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING: The Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS) committee will be making improvements in its implementation to ensure all Sarawak newborns are able to benefit from the initiative, says Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.

The Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development said the improvements will seek to resolve cases where the infant's parents are underage, or declared bankrupt or are blacklisted, which prevents them from opening a bank account to received the RM1,000 in EFS funds.

“For now, the applicant can appoint the next of kin apart from the parents with the approval of the EFS committee. We hope to handle such cases related to accounts used by the recipients better this year," she told a press conference at her office, here yesterday.

Fatimah also reminded Sarawakian parents to register their newborns for EFS, saying only slightly more than 50 per cent of the 2,871 babies born in the state last month had been signed up.

She said parents who have yet to do so just have to submit a copy of their baby's birth certificate when registering for EFS with the National Registration Department (NRD).

The Sarawak government launched EFS last year with an allocation of RM40 million.

Each Sarawakian newborn is entitled to receive RM1,000, and the money can only be withdrawn when they reach the age of 18.

>Sources: Borneo Post Online