KUCHING: The State Cabinet yesterday approved a proposal to establish a Welfare Volunteer Services Allowance Scheme with an annual allocation of RM1.96 million starting this year.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the scheme was dedicated to welfare volunteers appointed to review cases of monthly welfare assistance.

“The scheme is one of the four papers I presented at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting to get the approval of the state council since it involves financial matters.

“I am grateful to the state government for approving it and hope with this scheme, our services will be more efficient,” she said when officiating at the Sarawak Social Welfare Department (JKM) Volunteer and Strategic Partnership Recognition Ceremony at Riverside

Majestic Hotel, on Thursday night.

A total of 350 volunteers involving 105 from the Pusat Komuniti Sukarela (PKS) attended the event which was also in conjunction with the Sarawak JKM Volunteer Conference 2019.

At the event, Fatimah also pointed out that the department had never appointed any individual or association to be agents of the department except the selected volunteers from every division in the state.

She reminded members of the public, especially the department’s target groups, to be careful of these fraud tactics and asked volunteers to spread awareness on the matter.

She further added, “The volunteers have no power to terminate monthly assistance. The jurisdiction of termination will only be under the responsibility of a JKM officer. The termination will only take place as a final resort, which is after a thorough case study and a solid reason for the termination.”

Based on the department’s statistics, there are 2,150 active volunteers as well as 241 homehelp services and 110 welfare services representatives in the state.