Abang Johari presents the Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) Student Award in conjunction with the Maal Hijrah celebration to Ahmad Alwy Muhammad Hudari. The Premier is flanked by Dr Abdul Rahman (right) and Misnu. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (July 19): Sarawakians aged 60 and above will soon have free health check-ups provided by the Sarawak government, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this privilege will be parked under the Kenyalang Gold Card (KGC) which is managed by the Ministry of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development.

“I’ve recently instructed for health check-ups of senior citizens aged 60 and above to be included as one of the benefits of KGC.

“This means that the privilege of this card is not only from the point of view of giving discounts when purchasing goods, but also the cost of health examinations for this group will be borne by the government,” he announced at the state-level Maal Hijrah Assembly at here today.

Abang Johari said Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah will include this new initiative under the list of facilities and benefits for KGC holders.

KGC was introduced to allow senior citizens in the state with the ‘K’ status on their MyKad or Sarawak permanent residents to enjoy special privileges and discounts from participating companies involved in optical service, health service, dental service, reflexology, bus transportation, food outlet, pharmacy, retail, tailoring, hair salon, and more.

There are currently more than 200,000 KGC holders.

Abang Johari said that the state government will be able to bear the cost of the check-ups under KGC affiliated health facilities as the state’s revenue has increased.

“I dare to do so because Sarawak’s revenue has increased from RM6 billion to RM12 billion in the span of four years.

“In view of this, the ‘rezeki’ (sustenance) and increased revenue must be returned to the rakyat.

“But at the same time, the people must also strive to increase their level of income as written in the al-Quran,” he said.

Abang Johari said for those who have been entrusted to manage and administer the state, he considered this to be a form of ‘ibadah’ (worship or submission to God).

“Hopefully the government of Muslims and non-Muslims can migrate to a better level to maintain our harmony and unity,” he added.

Among those present were Deputy Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, who is also the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, and Sarawak Islamic Council president Datuk Misnu Taha.