KUCHING: Some 8,505 Sarawakian senior citizens have signed up for the state's Kenyalang Gold Card since applications opened this month.
State Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the Kuching division had the highest number of applicants with 3,010, followed by Sibu (1,641) and Miri (873).
"We have volunteers from various organisations, political parties, local councils and community leaders helping applicants to fill the form," she told reporters after chairing a Sarawak Women and Family Council meeting here on Wednesday (Jan 22).
The card, which will be launched on March 7, provides privileges and benefits, such as discounts on products and services, for Sarawakians aged 60 and above.
It also offers compassionate assistance of RM3,000 to cover funeral expenses on the death of cardholders who do not have next-of-kin or come from poor families.
Fatimah said the card currently had 31 strategic partners ranging from small grocery shops to large retailers and institutions.
She said her ministry welcomed more partners to provide discounts and services to cardholders.
"We are going towards a caring society. We have institutions and corporate bodies coming up and telling us they would like to contribute.
"It shows that we care for our senior citizens, we respect them and we would like to provide services for their wellbeing," she said.
Fatimah later received 539 applications from Kuching South mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng.
Wee said the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) had set up a counter at its premises for card applications.
"Our councillors are also going to markets and hawker centres during weekends to get applications," he said.