KUALA LUMPUR (May 7): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the target group eligible for i-Suri will be expanded to include the Orang Asli community and indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak.
The Women, Family and Community Development Minister said the ministry would be coordinating the registration application process with the related agencies, including the Department of Orang Asli Development, in order obtain the list of people eligible for the programme.
"We are aware that the Orang Asli and indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak may need this safety net, and if possible we will coordinate the system to ensure no overlapping.
"The idea is good but we have limited funds,” she told the Dewan Negara sitting here today.
She said this in reply to a supplementary question from Senator Datuk Isa Ab Hamid who wanted to know whether the list of i-Suri applicants would be extended to the Orang Asli community who have not been included in the e-Kasih list. The e-Kasih list is used by the government to determine eligible applicants for the i-Suri programme.
Meanwhile in reply to an original question from Senator Asmak Husin on the achievement of the programme, Dr Wan Azizah said the ministry had targeted 100,000 women to register for the programme which was launched in August last year, and to date they have met the target.
In fact, she said as at April 30, the total number of applicants had reached 107,619.
There are three phases of the programme implementation, namely voluntary contribution with government incentives through the applicants’ Employees Provident Fund (EPF) accounts.
"The second phase is extension of social protection to housewives under the Social Security Organisation.
"The third phase involves two per cent EPF contribution for housewives, which will be deducted from their husband’s EPF contribution," she said.
She added that for the third phase, the draft for amendment to the EPF Act 1991 had been prepared and is expected to be tabled in Parliament in July and its implementation expected to begin in the third quarter of next year. — Bernama