Story by Victor Seow
Pix by Law Suun Ting & Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis
SENIOR citizens in Penang have every reason to laugh while on their way to the bank to receive an early angpow from the state government.
This is because the Penang Senior Citizens Appreciation Programme disbursed its payment of RM130, an increase of RM30 compared to the previous years, on Jan 27 & 28 as well as Feb 10 & 11.
The programme was initiated in 2009 by the state government for those aged 60 years and above, and who are voters in Penang.
Each of the 174,247 senior citizens received RM130 which cost the state government RM22,652,110.
The RM30 increase from the previous RM100 was announced in the state’s 2018 budget presented last year.
Buletin Mutiara spoke to some of the recipients of the aid. Here is what they had to say:
Khor Eng Choo, 83
“I live alone in a rented flat in Perai and I have been a widow for more than 10 years. I’m thankful that the state government didn’t forget senior citizens like me. As the lunar new year is approaching, I can make good use of the money to have a good meal. As I live alone, it’s quite troublesome to cook and I don’t eat much either.”
Kang Beng Choo, 76
“I’m so happy to receive this RM130 Senior Citizens Appreciation payout just before the Chinese New Year. This will enable me to buy what’s needed at home to have a joyful reunion with my children. I thank the state government for being so considerate towards senior citizens like me.”
Koay Chee Seng, 70
“I have been most supportive of the state government all this while. The state government has done well in many areas and this puts our (senior citizens) minds at ease. I really appreciate this programme for senior citizens as it proves we are not neglected by the state government. It’s very thoughtful to give out the payment to us just before Chinese New Year. I will use the money to buy what’s needed to prepare for the celebration.”
Lim Seng Choo, 85
“I have just had an operation to remove kidney stones and my children spent a large sum of money for my operation. I intend to keep the money from the state government in the bank and use it when needed. My children have made the necessary preparations for the Chinese New Year so I don’t have to buy anything.”