GEORGE TOWN, Jan 20 — The Penang government has increased its annual aid for senior citizens and the disabled under its annual i-Sejahtera welfare programme to RM200 each this year, up from RM150 previously. 

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the cash payments under the welfare programme will benefit 217,868 registered recipients in the state. 

“The payment for 2022 is scheduled to start on January 25 through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT),” he said in a statement today.

He said the state is no longer dispensing aid payment in cash due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so all registered recipients must update their respective banking information to receive the payment. 

The aid payment will be released in phases to ensure all registered recipients receive the payment for this year, he said.

Chow said those who were unable to update their banking account details and missed their aid payments in 2020 and 2021, will receive the arrears once they update their banking details this year. 

“The aid payment will be released to those who missed the payments in 2020 and 2021 starting from March 2022,” he said. 

He reminded all recipients to update their banking details before June 30 to receive the arrears and those who failed to do so will not receive the payments. 

According to the state’s records, he said a total 31,162 i-Sejahtera welfare programme applicants have not updated their banking details in which 26,745 are senior citizens, 209 are the disabled, 867 are single mothers, and 3,341 are housewives. 

Applicants can update their banking information online through the i-Sejahtera system or at the nearest state representative’s service centre or district office by presenting their updated bank statement. 

The annual aid payment by the Penang state government was first introduced in 2009 and now it has a total 205,477 registered senior citizen recipients and 12,391 disabled recipients. 

Initially, the aid payment was RM100 annually before it was increased to RM130 and again in 2020, when it was increased to RM150.