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Monday, March 9, 2009

Right time to reward senior citizens

THE Penang Government’s move to reward senior citizens aged 60 and above for their contributions to the state will help those affected by the economic slowdown.

Penang Senior Citizens Association president Lawrence Cheah said senior citizens appreciated the gesture.

“The senior citizens have, and are still contributing to the state, and they deserve such a reward from the state government.

“The timing is appropriate as well, with the economic slowdown affecting so many people including the senior citizens,’’ he said yesterday.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had announced during Pakatan Rakyat’s first anniversary gathering at the Esplanade on Saturday night that all assemblymen and MPs had been instructed to reach out to senior citizens in their respective constituencies.

They will collect data on the senior citizens and define the form of contributions.

During the same event, Penang Health, Welfare and Caring Society Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said that to be eligible for the rewards, the senior citizens must be Penangites and aged 60 and above.

Cheah said the Selangor Government in a similar event planned to hand out a lump sum payment of RM3,600 to the eligible senior citizens.

“I don’t know how and what sort of reward the state government is going to give the senior citizens but if it is cash, then it should be given out in staggered amounts.

“This way it will not burden the state coffer,’’ he added.

Cheah said the association had 2000 members and about 80% were eligible for the reward.


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