Fatimah (lef) handing over the aid to a recipient at the symbolic event.

KUCHING: Recipients of Sarawak Welfare Department's 'Sejambak Kasih Hari Raya Aidilfitri-Gawai Dayak 2020' programme will get RM100 credited into their respective bank accounts instead of receiving the aid at a function.

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said the aid normally includes a hamper aside from the RM100 cash but the ministry is doing away with this practice this year.

“Due to the current Covid-19 situation, we are not holding any event to hand out the aid. Instead recipients will get the RM100 directly into their bank account," she said during a symbolic event yesterday.

The event was a symbolic ceremony to hand over the aid to two recipients.

The programme has 26,753 recipients or 51.55 per cent for Gawai and 15,334 recipients or 29.55 per cent for Hari Raya Aidilfitri throughout the state, she said.

“These 42,087 recipients received total amount of RM4,208,700. They are the recipients of the State Welfare Department monthly aid. The objective of the 'Sejambak Kasih' programme is to increase the quality of life of the poor and needy folk," she said, adding the programme also serves to bring joy and happiness to them in celebrating the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai Dayak.

From January to May this year, JKM Sarawak had allocated RM78,666,700 for 51,894 monthly aid recipients all over Sarawak.

The biggest group of recipients are the elderly – 20,140 recipients who received RM34,662,650, she said.

Meanwhile, she expects the number of applications for aid to increase following the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused some people to earn less income and some even lost their source of income as they became jobless.

Thus, she reminded community leaders to be more aware of those who need help and assist them in obtaining the correct form to fill and ensure the forms are submitted with all relevant information and supporting documents.

“I hope community leaders will become facilitators in helping those who need help to apply for the aid. In line with our SOP (standard operating procedure) once we receive the completed application forms, we will process them quickly," she said.

Sources:> Borneo Post Online