LABUAN, Jan 18 — The government has taken the first step by putting the welfare and interests of the elderly as a priority by allocating RM635 million this year for welfare assistance, care institutions and the Activity Centre for Older Persons (PAWE) programme, said Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff.

This is part Malaysia’s preparation as it moves towards an ageing nation status by 2030, she told reporters after attending the “Program Turun Padang ke Pusat Aktiviti Wanita” at the Women Development Office here today.

Siti Zailah said that from the amount, a total of RM607 million had been allocated for socioeconomic assistance involving 140,000 recipients and RM870,000 in pocket money given to the elderly involving 2,400 residents in 18 Senior Citizens Care Institutions.

She added that another RM19 million had been set aside for operating grants involving 275 non-governmental organisations (NGO), especially senior citizens care centres and another RM9 million distributed to strengthen 153 PAWE.

“The ministry has also allocated RM1.1 million for the operation of nine Senior Citizen Care Units (UPWE) and at the same time, the allocation for PAWE was raised an additional RM3 million, making the amount to RM7.9 million for the year 2022 compared with RM4.9 million in the previous year,” she said.

Siti Zailah said financial aid for the PAWE operations was successfully raised after 20 years from RM33,330 to RM50,000 annually for the year 2022.

“Before this, the allowance for supervisors was only RM650 a month, for the year 2022 the allowance has been raised to RM1,100, an increase of RM450.

“Meanwhile, the allowance for assistant supervisors was raised by RM200 to RM650 compared with RM400 before this, apart from the allocation of rental payment of RM3,000 per year,” she said

She added that a total of RM2.68 billion had been allocated under the KPWKM under Budget 2022 with RM2.5 billion set aside as operating expenses and RM175.42 million for development. — Bernama