Tuesday, March 2, 2010

MP slams welfare dept for slow action

Source: http://thestar.com.my (2/3/2010)

SEGAMBUT MP Lim Lip Eng slammed the Federal Territory Social Welfare Department (JKM) for sitting on a financial aid application for more than two years, then approved it right on the spot when he intervened. He said kidney patient Lim Ah Kau had submitted his application in December 2007, but did not receive any favourable reply despite numerous visits to the department office at Grand Seasons Avenue in Kuala Lumpur.

Lim Ah Kau said he needed the RM300 monthly aid to feed his family. “I have to undergo dialysis treatment in Kepong three days a week while my wife, who is unemployed, takes care of our three school-going children. “We rely solely on donations and help from friends and relatives and it’s not easy to put food on the table,” he said. Lim Ah Kau said he came to the department more than 10 times after filing his application, but all he got from the officers was “to wait for the reply.”

However, when Lim Lip Eng met the officer-in-charge together with Ah Kau at the department office, Ah Kau’s application was approved immediately. “The officer said it will normally take three months to process the application, but Ah Kau’s application was filed through Women, Family and Community Development Ministry’s Project Cari, which was only forwarded to JKM in December last year. “But Ah Kau said he didn’t go through the channel. He has been visiting this JKM office personally to apply and follow up,” Lip Eng said.

Lip Eng said his requests to meet the department’s director Noormah Abdul Rauf were denied but Noormah, upon catching wind of the press conference in the waiting area, came to talk to him. She insisted that Lip Eng could not hold a press conference there without permission from JKM headquarters. “I enquired about the delay in Ah Kau’s application but was not given an explanation. “I also asked why I was no longer allowed to collect and submit application forms on behalf of the applicants. When I came here before Chinese New Year, I was told that the applicants have to come here personally but what about those bedridden ones?

“Noormah’s reply was that ‘it could be arranged’,” Lip Eng said.

He also brought along Yap Kiew, 81, and Choong Heng, 73, to apply for welfare aid. Both of them are single and live by themselves. “I will follow up with Noormah on their applications,” Lip Eng said.

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