State to continue welfare aid to lower income groups

Posted on : 24 May 2018  Source of News: borneo post online

Abang Johari presenting the ‘kuih raya’ to the Fire and Rescue Department which was received by its state director Nor Hisham Mohammad on behalf of the department. Also seen are (from left) state Women and Family Department director Noriah Ahmad, Fatimah, Juma’ani, Masing (partially hidden) and Abdul Karim. — Photo by Tan Song Wei

KUCHING: All welfare assistance including those given on a monthly basis to lower
income groups in the state will continue to be distributed to them.

This was assured by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who pointed out that the state still has sufficient resources to provide welfare assistance.

“Regardless of what kind of welfare assistance, we will continue to give them to welfare recipients,” he told reporters when met after officiating the ‘Sumbangsih Kuih Raya’ distribution ceremony at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex here yesterday.

He was asked to comment on the state government’s stand on this should the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government decide to cease allocation of welfare assistance.

Abang Johari pointed out that one of the measures taken by the state government to
reduce the burden of lower income groups in the state was the recent reduction of land premiums by 50 per cent for Resettlement Scheme and Village Expansion Scheme for 13-point residential lots with effect from May 6.

He explained that by reducing the premium rate, land owners need only pay RM2,500
compared to RM5,000 per lot previously.

“In fact, they can even pay their land premium by instalment within ten years and as such they only pay RM250 per year.”

He noted that the state government will also cover the cost of constructing drainage system, roads and levelling of sites prior to the construction of houses at these schemes.

“We have started this at resettlement schemes at Sungai Midin and Sungai Bedaun near here as well as at Kemuyang Sibu.

“This will allow government retirees including veteran army officers to pay only for
the cost of the house but the cost of infrastructure is fully borne by the state government,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Abang Johari said the distribution of ‘kuih raya’ served as a token of appreciation to personnel of enforcement agencies in the state who will be on duty during the festive season of Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“I would like to commend (Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister) Dato Sri Fatimah (Abdullah) and her team for their success in ensuring that the ‘kuih raya’ are distributed to safety personnel and enforcement agencies in the state particularly those who are on duty during both festivals.”

Abang Johari (fourth right) alongside Juma’ani (third right), Masing (sixth left), Fatimah (fifth right) and Abdul Karim (seventh right) giving the thumbs up while posing for a group photo with enforcement agencies and other guests. — Photo by Chimon Upon

He added that the state government would also consider increasing the allocation for ‘Sumbangsih Kuih Raya’ next year should the number of agencies receiving the ‘kuih raya’ increase.

This year, ten agencies received the ‘kuih raya’ namely the Malaysian
Armed Forces, Royal Malaysia Police, Fire and Rescue Department, State Prisons Department, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, state Immigration Department, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, Road Transport Department, Malaysia Civil Defence Department and People’s Volunteer Corps.

Among those present during the ceremony were Abang Johari’s wife Datin
Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, Fatimah and Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister
Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.