Disabled want their cash

PETALING JAYA: The persons with disabilities (PWD) community has reacted with dismay to the Welfare Department’s implementation of its cashless monthly aid payment, JKMPay, to its recipients.

The group said the move was implemented without its input and urged the government to carry out a review of the cashless monthly aid payment.

Independent Living and Training Centre Malaysia president G. Francis Siva said the group was shocked and saddened by the department’s new arbitrary policy, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.“Through this method, aid recipients will receive 50% of the total assistance in our bank accounts while the other half will be credited to the JKMPay cashless card.

“Initially, 100% of the allowance was credited to our bank accounts and we decided how to use our money.

“But now, aid recipients can only shop for basic necessities, daily essentials and medicines at stores registered with Bank Islam only. Items that are not on the list cannot be purchased via the JKMPay cashless card.

“This is taking away the voice and rights of the community to choose how and where to spend our money,” he said yesterday.

Francis said prior to the implementation of the policy, the PWD community could decide how they wanted to spend their monthly allowance.

“We have our commitments and forcing us to spend our money at designated shops is not right. Moreover, most of us are immobile and we find it difficult to head to the designated shops just to get our supplies.

“We were not consulted in any way before the project was carried out and our voices were not heard at all,” he added.

OKU Sentral president Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi said the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry should have conducted a comprehensive survey on JKMPay among the PWD community before the pilot project was expanded.

“The ministry should have also carried out an awareness programme on the use of the ewallet or epay for the PWD community, including highlighting the advantages of using the Touch ‘n Go e-Wallet, Grab Pay, Boost and Fave.

“The ministry needs to work with associations and NGOs related to the PWD community to disseminate information about JKMPay,” she said in a statement on Monday.

She added that the government had to consider the challenges faced by different PWD categories such as “Physical PWD” if JKMPay was only implemented in a few premises.

“I have received several complaints from the PWD community regarding the payment of welfare assistance through JKMPay,” she said.

However, she supported the government’s action, which aims to drive the transformation of public sector digital services towards creating a digital society.

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