Helping hand for delivering mums

Posted on : 13 Aug 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari carves the sacrificial beef to mark the launching of the event. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday announced that the Sarawak government will be giving a new financial assistance for mothers who give birth, starting next year.

He said the amount will be revealed at the end of the year during the state budget announcement.

“I am still calculating how much to give and hopefully this will lessen the burden of the mothers,” he said in his speech at the ‘Majlis Ibadah Korban N8 Satok’ event held in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidiladha, here.

Abang Johari, who is Satok assemblyman, pointed out the new assistance will especially benefit mothers who are earning daily wages, seeing as they would not be earning any income during their maternity leave yet are burdened by the rising cost of living.

However, he said all delivering mothers will be given the proposed assistance, regardless of their social standing.

“It will be a fixed amount for all mothers. We do not discriminate. But the ones who really need the assistance will be the day-rated workers or even those who are not working,” he said, adding he regards the proposed plan as a ‘people-friendly’ policy.

He estimated that there is an average of 40,000 new births every year in Sarawak, meaning there would be some 40,000 mothers who may need the assistance.

The chief minister also said the assistance will be in addition to the existing Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS), which took effect on Jan 1 this year.

Under EFS, newborn Sarawakians who have been registered for the fund will get RM1,000 each, which can only be withdrawn when they reach 18 years old, to aid them when pursuing further education, starting a career, or as capital to start a small business.

On a separate note, Abang Johari said another ‘people-friendly’ policy being planned by the state is the setting-up of a special school for students with autism and other learning disabilities.

He explained that Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah has been tasked to come up with a report on the feasibility of the school, including the teaching expertise needed.

“If we do not have a detailed policy (about this matter), these children would be disadvantaged in education,” he said.

Meanwhile, when reached for comment on the new assistance, Fatimah told The Borneo Post that she was not at liberty to divulge any details of the plan, which will be announced by the chief minister in the coming State Legislative Assembly sitting during the budget announcement.

“It (the plan) is definitely good news that will benefit mothers,” she said.

Yesterday’s ‘Majlis Ibadah Korban’ event, organised by the N8 Satok Religious Bureau, saw six cows sacrificed with the meat distributed to 210 recipients from various branches and sub-branches of Satok constituency.