MIRI: The elderly and children now form the largest number of welfare recipients in Sarawak.
Out of the 57,588 people statewide who require monthly government aid, 22,509 of them are senior citizens above 55 while 12,029 are children below 12 years old.
The majority of these seniors and kids are in dire straits due to poverty and health issues.
State Welfare, Women, Family and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said from January to December 2017, the state spent RM192mil on welfare aid.
“Aid for the elderly and children comprised RM120mil out of the total.
“There are 22,509 seniors and 12,029 children on the welfare list now,” she said at the distribution of food aid and ang pow for Chinese New Year organised by Dynasty Hotel Miri and the Miri Welfare Department.
Fatimah’s speech was read out by Deputy Minister Datuk Rosey Yunus.
The ministry also provides monthly aid to the disabled, bedridden as well as single parents.
Fatimah called on more private entities to follow the hotel’s example and help the needy.
Miri Dynasty Hotel managing director Tony Pui said they donate food to the needy during Chinese New Year, Gawai, Hari Raya and Christmas every year.
“This is the 16th consecutive year we are giving food aid to the needy.
“A total of 150 recipients received aid worth RM125 and also ang pow.”
Sarawak Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin was also present.