Increased allowances for PDK officers

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has agreed to increase the allowances for officers and supervisors of Community-Based Rehabilitation Centres (PDKs) with immediate effect.

“For the PDKs, the teachers must have special skills. At the moment, there are not many teachers for PDKs,” he said when officiating at Sarawak Welfare Micro-Entrepreneurs Day (HUMKS) 2020 at Pullman Hotel here today.

He said his wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, who was present at the ceremony, had also expressed concern over this matter to him.

The allowance increment was one of four requests raised by Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah in her speech earlier.

Abang Johari said the other three requests – involving status change for the appointment of therapists, the addition of officers and staff under the Social Welfare Department (JKMS), and the quantum of assistance channelled to monthly welfare recipients, would be considered.

He said these matters would be referred to the State Secretary’s office as they involved terms of employment and financial implications. He added that these would be considered via a comprehensive approach.

“So wait for my budget in November. We will include the financial implication in the budget, as well as the terms of employment for the staff. God willing, we will fulfil this,” he said.

Earlier in her speech, Fatimah said that there were 55 PDKs operating throughout Sarawak with 297 officers receiving RM800 allowance monthly and 55 supervisors receiving RM1,200 monthly allowance.

“The federal government has estimated a threefold increase in welfare recipients once the new poverty line income (PLI) is implemented,” she said, adding that in Sarawak’s case, the number of monthly welfare recipients was expected to increase from 50,864 to 152,592 cases.

As such, she urged the state government to follow suit with the federal government’s intention of increasing the manpower capacity in all their welfare offices nationwide.

Fatimah also proposed increments in monthly welfare assistance for six schemes, including Children’s Assistance and Senior Citizens Assistance.