KAPIT: From January 1 until March 31 this year, 7,930 births of Sarawakians were recorded throughout the state but only 2,707 parents (34.12 pct) had applied for the Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS).
Of the 7,930 births statewide, 168 births were recorded in Kapit but only 46 (27.38 pct) parents here had applied for the fund.
Welfare, Community Well-Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah revealed this when presenting EFS certificates to 27 eligible recipients in Kapit Division here on Monday afternoon.
The ceremony took place at the conference room on the third floor of the State Office Complex here.
Fatimah, who was representing Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing at the event, reminded the public that EFS was not automatically given to each newborn.
“Parents need to apply for the assistance. After registration of the births, the National Registration Department will submit the applications every two weeks to Bank Islam which will later verify the applications and forward the documents to the Welfare, Community Well-Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry.
“The ministry will prepare payment vouchers and forward them to Bank Islam for payment to each of the applicants through their respective bank accounts. After this, Bank Islam will send a report on the payments back to the ministry,” she said.
Fatimah pointed out that the EFS was for all newborns effective January 1, 2019 irrespective of race, religious creed, social status as long as they were Sarawakians born in Sarawak or outside the state.
In her remarks, she said EFS was one of the many initiatives introduced by the Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“After their SPM examination results came out, some students applied to go to institutions of higher learning to further their studies. But they had problems purchasing their air tickets, paying for their admission fees and so forth.
“Realising this, the state government through the Endowment Fund Sarawak initiative has agreed to give a one-off assistance of RM1000 to each Sarawakian baby born with effect from January 1, 2019. Such assistance is for the future education and career of the children,” stressed Fatimah.
She revealed that the state government had allocated some RM40 million for the fund based on the statistics from the National Registration Department on the birth rate growth of 40,000 per year.
Among those present were Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister, Sharifah Hasidah Syeed AmanGazali, Bukit Goram assemblyman, Jefferson Jamit Unyat who represented the Advisor to the Chief Minister’s Office, Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi who is Kapit MP, Hulu Rajang MP, Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong, Katibas assemblyman, Datuk Ambrose Blikau Enturan, Pelagus assemblyman, Wilson Nyabong Ijang, Murum assemblyman, Kennedy Chuk Pai Ugon, Kapit Resident, Joseph Belayong Punan, heads of the various government departments and community leaders.