Probe into dead getting aid

PETALING JAYA - A special task force has been set up to investigate cases of welfare assistance that were paid out to 145 dead people in Kelantan, Sabah and Negri Sembilan.

Women, Family and Community Deve­lopment Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim said the cases, revealed in the Auditor-General's Report 2012, served as a wake-up call for the ministry to improve the implementation of its programmes.

"It involves public interest," she said when she visited Menara Star yesterday.

The A-G's report had stated that those who had died were still "recipients" of the aid by the social welfare department.

For instance, 93 people from Pasir Mas, Pasir Puteh and Kota Baru in Kelantan continued to receive between RM65 (S$25) and RM120 per month even though they had died between 2005 and 2012.

Rohani said the cases were being investigated and action would be taken once the report is completed.

"The system is such that we cannot simply remove a recipient's name unless we have been notified by the National Registration Department that the person had died.

"It will take a few months," she said, adding that there were instances of recipients moving to another place or were too sick to report to the welfare department.

Rohani said the department would stop the aid temporarily if the recipients did not report back to any of its offices within three months.

On Budget 2014, which will be tabled on Oct 25, Rohani hoped that the Prime Minister would increase her ministry's allocation to sustain programmes benefiting the rakyat.

These include awareness programmes, mammogram subsidy and funds to provide vaccine against human papilloma virus to prevent cervical cancer.

"We hope these allocations will continue as they have a huge impact on the rakyat," she said.