IPOH, Aug 4 — Perak is working to roll out a healthcare and food card system for targeted groups in the state this year, Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said.
He explained that the assistance cards would resemble debit cards, where a certain amount of money is stored inside that will allow the targeted groups to buy items like sugar, rice, cooking oil and other daily necessities.
“A certain amount will be allocated for recipients to use at private health clinics, while the remainder can be used for daily necessities,” he told reporters during a two-hour long session with the media here.
He said the card is in accordance with one of the promises made by Perak Pakatan Harapan in its manifesto.
However, Ahmad Faizal did not elaborate on the specifics of who were in the state government’s target reach during the media briefing. An aide later told Malay Mail that the card was for the underprivileged, without disclosing further information.
He also did not elaborate on the stored value each card would have, but said it is expected to include a yearly amount for healthcare and a monthly stipend for food.
He added that his administration is still ironing out accessibility issues for rural recipients.
“We are ready to do it. But those living in rural areas may not have access to the devices necessary to use the card system.
“The platform we have now can be used in supermarkets but this doesn’t help the rural people. We need to equip sundry shops in these areas with the system.
“This will take some time, but I hope we can start this sometime this year,” he said.
Ahmad Faizal also announced that the Perak government would be allocating RM3 million in funding for Tamil and Chinese vernacular schools, Chinese independent high schools, and missionary schools in the state.
He said the amount would be distributed according to the number of students in each school.
“This RM3 million sum is only for this year. Under next year’s budget they will get some more. This is what we could give based on what is in the state’s coffers.”
At the same time, Ahmad Faizal said Islamic religious schools and tahfiz centres would also continue to get funding.