KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — The RM2,000 early incentive payment that civil servants received today is viewed as a timely “early gift” and has alleviated the concerns of many civil servants who wished to balance early preparations for their children’s schooling with the upcoming needs for Ramadan and Aidilfitri.

Overall, civil servants interviewed by Bernama showed gratitude and appreciation to the government for the aid, which can be utilised to cover family expenses.

In KEDAH, a police personnel Isma Ismail, 42, from Mergong, Alor Setar said the money will be used to provide for the schooling needs of his three children in primary school aged between nine and 12 years.

“With this year’s hectic pace, it’s a dizzying experience to think about the various expenses that will be incurred. The school session starts at the beginning of March, after that it continues with the month of Ramadan and then Syawal,” Isma said.

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In PAHANG, teacher Siti Mazura Shaikh Mustafa, 44, intends to use a bit of the windfall to buy souvenirs as encouragement or rather as an “incentive” for her new pupils who are about to start schooling for the first time.

“In addition to preparing for Raya later, I will use this money to buy gifts for the children so that they are excited and happy to come to school. Giving them this incentive really makes me happy and it is not wrong for me to share that feeling with them,” she said.

For Syafiq Ismail, 29, he is grateful to the government for the initiative and called the gift living proof of the MADANI government’s genuine concern for the needs of the people who are facing the current hike in cost of living.

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“As a civil servant for almost 10 years, it feels like this is the first time such a large sum is given at once. This assistance is timely and helps us make various preparations, especially for our children,” he said.

In SARAWAK, an assistant medical officer at the Sarawak General Hospital, Nur Farlina Abdullah, 39, who is also a single mother, said the early incentive payment will help finance the needs of her five school-going children.

At the same time, she plans to save some money, considering that there is still a long way to go in the year.

In SABAH, assistant accountant Angie Everlyn Amau, 41, from Berunggis in Tuaran said the incentive would help her enhance the quantity and quality of school supplies, especially clothes and shoes for her four children.

“Often, we opt for the cheapest items and limit our purchases due to budget constraints. However, these low-quality items typically don’t last long, especially with frequent use. With a larger budget, we can invest in more durable brands and a variety of shoes, perhaps three pairs for rotation, to prolong their lifespan,” she said.

In MELAKA, a Community Development Department (Kemas) kindergarten teacher, Norshamila Che Sabu who teaches at Sebelong Dam, Telok Mas, said the early gift will bring joy especially to Year One or pre-school children.

“I honestly couldn’t wait for it because of the overlap between school holidays, the start of the school year and fasting, all of which require significant expenses. This gift can cover a lot, especially during this very challenging economic time,” said Norshamila gratefully for the timely early gift. — Bernama