KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) will put off introducing the Social Welfare Department’s (JKM) new cashless payment system, JKMPay, to more locations in the country.
It said the ministry’s deputy head of strategy, Rosmahwati Ishak, had informed related groups and agencies of the decision on Friday.
“The ministry has decided today to postpone the Social Welfare Department’s (JKM) Cashless Assistance Payment Pilot Project to other states and districts pending further studies.
“KPWKM always takes note of issues raised by the relevant parties and have taken into consideration their suggestions for improvement,” the ministry said in a statement today.
“We would like to add that this scheme will benefit only 4,722 new recipients of this scheme consisting of the elderly, poor and disabled while the remaining 519,409 aid recipients are not involved in this pilot project.”
JKMPay was mooted by Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun last year, when she said the new method was purportedly to regulate the recipients’ spending so that they do not buy liquor and cigarettes.
Phase one of the cashless payment pilot project in collaboration with Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (BIMB), involved JKM aid recipients in several districts in Perlis, Kedah and Melaka, with the participation of 246 premises.
It was then expanded across the three states as well as to Terengganu, Kelantan and Selangor.
The new scheme has come under scrutiny from the community that said it made life difficult for the recipients who could only buy products from designated retailers and would be cash strapped if an emergency happened.
Several NGOs protested the move and said the meeting last week was fruitless as the minister and her deputy were both absent, and are calling for the scheme to be discontinued in favour of the previous cash aid.