KUCHING: A total of 199,797 Kenyalang Gold Card (KGC) applications have been received thus far, comprising 197,797 for the whole of last year and another 2,000 applications received this year as of Friday (Jan 22).
Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said that of this total, 184,084 cards (92 per cent) had been printed and 133,274 (72.4 per cent) had been distributed to applicants.
“As of Jan 21, we have 195 strategic partners registered as KGC vendors,” she said at a press conference at the Baitul Makmur II Building here on Friday (Jan 22).
Of these 195 vendors, 86 are in Kuching, Samarahan (11), Serian (6), Sri Aman (3), Betong (2), Sarikei (3), Kapit (1), Sibu (24), Mukah (5), Miri (32), Bintulu (12), and Limbang (10).
“We are still working on getting more vendors in different areas of Sarawak.”
At the same time, she said there were some KGCs which had been printed but the applicants had not come forward to collect them. Another issue, she said, was that some had changed their telephone number or address and thus could not be contacted.
“These are the challenges we face when distributing the cards. But we will try all means including calling, social media, service centres, ketua kaum, ketua masyarakat, and volunteers to help us inform applicants that their cards are ready.
“We also intend to post notices on notice boards of district offices to inform applicants to obtain their cards from the Sarawak Social Welfare Department (JKMS).”
She said that Kuching and Sibu were the key areas where the process of distribution was slowed by such challenges, noting that Sibu was currently under the movement control order and hoping the distribution process could continue after this period.
She explained that the facilities of KGC were in the form of discounts, rebates, or waived fees for goods and services offered by government agencies, the private sector, and commercial outlets who are KGC strategic partners.
Facilities offered are related to healthcare, public transport, and essentials such as groceries, clothing, optical, personal care, reflexology, massage and spa, manicure/pedicure, and hairdressing.
She said the aim of KGC was to enhance the wellbeing and welfare of the elderly in Sarawak through the provision of certain privileges and benefits from organisations and commercial sectors.
“This also gives an opportunity to corporate bodies and companies to provide facilities to senior citizens. We aim to create a caring society who gives back.”
To be eligible to apply for KGC, she said the applicant would need to be a Malaysian citizen with a ‘K’ status identity card, be a permanent resident of Sarawak, and be aged 60 or above.
Fatimah urged more eligible individuals to come forward and apply for KGC in order to enjoy the various benefits offered.
“The management of KGC is through the JKMS – all forms can be obtained from the JKMS office and also from our ministry. Beside that, applications can be done online.”
More information, including available vendors and benefits, can be found at the website https://kenyalanggold.com, while the helpline (082-514141) can be contacted for enquiries.