‘Initiative is for new aid recipients and only to help their spending’

PETALING JAYA: Only new recipients registered with the Welfare Department (JKM) for cash aid will receive the cashless welfare assistance payments through JKMPay, a department spokesperson clarified.

The spokesperson said the cashless payment, which was introduced in February 2021, does not include existing recipients.

“This new initiative is to further strengthen the JKM’s assistance programme through a more strategic collaboration with several financial institutions while ensuring that the aid is used to help the people.

“Recipients will still receive cash aid based on their schemes but it will now be divided: 50% in cash and 50% cashless.

“This will also help recipients to better manage and control their spending, instead of it being used for unnecessary things such as cigarettes or alcohol,” he added.

He said there would be no extra charge for any cashless transaction, and the transaction would be safer compared to using cash.

At present, there are 3,722 new cash aid recipients participating in the JKMPay programme. Out of that number, 1,589 are persons with disabilities (PWD), 779 are OKU Workers Allowance recipients and 810 are OKU Inability to Work recipients.

Yesterday, several PWD non-governmental organisations submitted a protest memorandum to Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun at her office in Putrajaya.

Rina said she had acknowledged the matter and would get JKM to explain and give feedback for new cash aid recipients.

“The ministry is always ready to listen to any issues faced by the PWD community. We are always open to discussions and suggestions to improve the implementation of the programme, which will indirectly give recipients the chance to be part of the digital economy and a smoother payment process,” she said.The programme was first carried out at JKM Perlis and three District Social Welfare Office (PKMD) in Kubang Pasu and Kota Setar, Kedah, as well as PKMD Melaka Tengah.

It was then expanded to Perlis, Kedah, Melaka, Terengganu, Kelantan and Selangor.

The second phase of the programme began early this year, involving Sabah and Labuan, while the third phase will kick off in 2023 in all other states.

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