BY TANIA LAM & VOON YIH BOON

KUCHING: To date, a total of RM64,200 in Single Mothers Special Aid (BKIT) has been channelled to 214 recipients in Sarawak, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

She said more applications are still being processed and encouraged single mothers, who met the scheme’s criteria, to apply before the deadline — October 31, this year.

She said her ministry received 3,443 BKIT applications thus far — with 1,687 approved, 1,264 rejected, 80 kept-in-view (KIV) due to incomplete documentation — and the rest are still being processed.

She added that the main reason for rejected applications was that the applicants did not meet the poverty line income (PLI) eligibility criterion for the BKIT scheme. At the same time, she said 12 daily part-time workers were helping with the KIV applications by contacting the applicants in order to fulfil the required information.

“Under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana), a one-off RM300 of BKIT will be credited into the accounts of eligible recipients,” she said at a press conference at the Baitul Makmur Building here today.

She said that this was the federal government’s initiative to help single mothers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Fatimah, single mothers could be categorised as those who are widowed, divorced, or separated permanently with unmarried children in the same household.

“They can also be in the category of having a husband who is unwell and unable to work, and with unmarried children in the same household. Thirdly, they can be never married but with children (including adopted children or illegitimate children),” she said.

To be eligible for BKIT, she said that applicants have to be Malaysians residing in Malaysia, a woman who is a household-head based on the set interpretations, and have a household income below the PLI of RM960 or per capita of RM244.

“Application forms can be obtained from District Offices, Social Welfare Offices, or the Sarawak Social Welfare Department (JKMS)’s website at https://welfare.sarawak.gov.my/,” she said.

Also present were JKMS acting director Mohamad Guntor Rajaee; JKMS Rehabilitation and Legislation Division head Mohd Ali Taib; and Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Policy Division chief assistant secretary Caroline Cleophas Joseph.