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Friday, September 30, 2022

Use MyKad to document welfare aid recipients, says Yeoh


Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh says there is only one welfare worker for every 8,000 citizens.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is not making good use of the data it possesses to streamline its social welfare programmes, says Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh.

She suggested that the MyKad, which is a smart card, be leveraged to allow the authorities and relevant agencies to track aid being distributed.

This will show whether one has already received aid, she said at a pre-Budget 2023 discussion session.

Yeoh also called for the welfare of children and the disabled, currently under the purview of the welfare department, to be managed by their respective agencies or ministries.

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“Child welfare is one of many divisions in the welfare department, which means it does not have sufficient funding or workforce,” the former deputy women, family and community development minister said.

“For the disabled, we’re still talking about awareness of their rights, not enforcement yet, due to a lack of staff,” she said, adding that the current ratio of welfare workers was one for every 8,000 citizens.

She also said that duplication in the execution of welfare programmes was resulting in wastage.

“We have at least 110 welfare programmes but only 10% are from the welfare department, meaning 90% comes from other ministries, agencies or government-linked companies (GLC).

“For example, with back-to-school programmes, we find during site visits that one child can have up to five school bags, each with a different company’s logo,” she said.

Yeoh also called for more women to join the workforce.

“At the moment, only 54% of women work. The others have to care for their parents and children,” she said, suggesting that a “care economy” be established to enable them to work.

She said teachers could be paid an allowance so children could stay in school while their parents were working.

“By doing so, unused infrastructure can be utilised. We would only have to pay teachers an allowance, and children don’t have to go to babysitters. It’s a win-win situation,” she said. - FMT

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