Fatimah speaks at the press conference. Photo: KWKPK

KUCHING: The criteria and requirements for single mothers in Sarawak to qualify for the one-off RM300 Financial Aid for Single Mothers (BKIT) scheme have been improved, including the poverty line income (PLI) eligibility being increased from RM960 to RM1,020.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said this was in response to a recent appeal by the state government to the federal government on the matter, and the standard operating procedure (SOP) was then improved on Sept 18.

She reiterated that the previous eligibility condition used the PLI of RM960 as per West Malaysia, but this was not suitable to be used in Sarawak as the PLI in Sarawak is RM1,020.

“If the PLI criterion of RM960 is used, many single mothers in Sarawak are unable to benefit from the federal government’s assistance under BKIT,” she explained at a press conference at the Baitul Makmur Building here on Friday.

She said that BKIT applicants in Sarawak must be Malaysian with an income of under RM1,020 or per capita of RM255.

Fatimah said that those who were eligible should meet one of the following criteria as well:

  • Widowed/divorced
  • Married but husband is unwell and unable to work
  • Has been married but does not have a registered marriage certificate
  • Single mother with dependants
  • Never married but has illegitimate or adopted children
  • Left by husband (husband is undetectable/in jail/in rehabilitation centre or detention centre)
  • Single mother declared bankrupt/jailed
  • Single mother affected by Covid-19

“For BKIT applications, documents such as a copy of identity card, a copy of bank statement/confirmation (if any), and a personal verification form should be included,” she said, adding that more documents were required previously, but this had been improved in the recent amendment.

As of Sept 24, she said that 4,386 single mothers – who were already receiving Financial Assistance for Children (FAC) monthly – had been channelled BKIT amounting to a total of RM1,315,800.

She said that single mothers who were already receiving the monthly assistance from the Social Welfare Department (JKM) need not apply as they were already in the system and would automatically be credited the RM300 BKIT aid. 

“In the next category, 214 single mothers who are not FAC recipients have been channelled BKIT aid amounting to a total of RM64,200,” she said.

She urged those who had not yet applied for BKIT to do so before the Oct 31 deadline this year.

According to Fatimah, applications can be submitted via the offices of JKM Sarawak, Women and Family Department Sarawak, and National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) Sarawak or via the official portal https://www.jpw.gov.my/.