SIBU: Kenyalang Gold Card holders here are complaining that the card does not benefit them as there are no participating outlets in the area where they can be used.
They want the authorities concerned to look into the matter.
The card, which was launched on March 7 by the Sarawak state government, is supposed to provide senior citizens with privileges such as special discounts at selected food outlets, retail stores and for various other services.
Pauline Ho, whose mother had applied for the card, said there was no benefit in having it.
“A number of shops in Kuching and Miri are accepting this card by offering special discounts for the holders aged over 60. But in Sibu, there are none, ” she lamented.
Ho said her mother’s application for the card had been approved and she had received a letter asking her to collect it.
“At this moment, we are still wondering if we should bother collecting it since there are no merchants accepting it, ” she said.
The gold card is for Sarawak senior citizens to enjoy special privileges and discounts from applicable business operators such as optical service, health service, dental service, reflexology, bus transportation, food outlet, pharmacy, retail, tailoring, hair salon and even maid employment agencies.
Another benefit of the Kenyalang Gold Card is the Death Compassionate Assistance, which would provide RM3,000 to cover funeral expenses of the cardholder.
But this benefit is only intended for those without next-of-kin or those from poor families.
The monetary assistance will have to be applied for 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 said that the state government has allocated RM24.4mil for the initiative.
She said the initiative aimed to enhance the lives of the elderly in Sarawak, through the provision of certain privileges and benefits from organisations and commercial sector.
She said 16% of the state’s population or 526,000 individuals will 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.