SIBU: Kenyalang Gold Card holders here are finding the card redundant as there are no participating businesses here.
They want the authorities concerned to look into the matter.
A public member, Pauline Ho, said there were even some hesitated to collect their card after being told by other card holders that they could not enjoy the benefits that come with it.
“A number of shops in Kuching and Miri are accepting this card by offering special discount for holders over 60 years old. In Sibu, there is none (shops),” she lamented.
Ho said her mother’s application had been approved. She received a letter asking her to collect it.
“At this moment, we are still thinking of whether to collect it since there are no merchants that are accepting it,” she said.
She said a 75-year-old woman, whose husband had passed away years ago, had sought her assistance to drive her to collect her card.
“But after finding out from others, she has put on hold the card collection. Three other card holders had also related to me that they have already put it aside as shops had told them that they were not accepting it,” she said.
The card is for senior citizens to enjoy special privileges and discounts from the applicable companies in optical service, health service, dental service, reflexology, bus transportation, food outlet, pharmacy, retail, tailoring, hair salon and even employment agencies involved in employing maids.
Another benefit is the ‘Death Compassionate Assistance’, which provides an amount of RM3,000 to cover the funeral expenses of the card holder who passes away.
But this benefit is only intended for those without next-of-kin, or those from poor family backgrounds and the monetary assistance will have to be applied and be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Senior citizens can apply for it at any Social Welfare Department office, Resident’s office or District’s office.
Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah had said that the state government had allocated RM24.4mil for the initiative.
She said the initiative was aimed at enhancing the wellbeing and the welfare of the elderly in Sarawak, through the provision of certain privileges and benefits from organisations and commercial sectors.
According to her, 16 per cent of the state population or 526,000 individuals, would consist of senior citizens aged 60 and above by 2030, from 315,000 senior citizens recorded in 2019. Of this number 163,200 senior citizens are male while the rest are female.