PETALING JAYA:A coalition of 11 NGOs has dismissed women, family and community development minister Rina Harun’s claim that recipients of the JKMPay cashless payment scheme for the disabled were consulted.
The group claimed that Rina and her deputy had not attended any of the dialogues organised.
“The dialogues organised by the ministry were disappointing. The briefing (on JKMPay) was just one of the agenda items during the short question and answer session. Our questions about JKMPay were not answered,” the group said.
“Through the minister’s response (in the Dewan Rakyat), it is clear that no consultation was done.”
The group added that the ministry’s first study on the scheme was conducted unfairly because the recipients had never received allowances and assistance in cash fully.
It also dismissed Rina’s claim that JKMPay was to prevent the money belonging to the disabled and senior citizens from being misused, adding that they found it “insulting” that they were portrayed as weak and unable to plan their own expenses.
As for Rina’s claim that persons with disabilities (OKUs) would receive discounts and rebates under JKMPay, the group felt that those who earned more than RM1,500 who are unable to receive the cash incentive allowance for disabled workers (Epoku) would be increasingly marginalised.
“This clearly shows that JKMPay is not OKU-friendly. We want JKMPay to be abolished.
“However, if the ministry needs to justify the scheme, we want all OKUs to be involved in the study this time and urge OKU representatives to closely monitor each process before the results are presented,” it said.
The NGOs said they were united in making sure that the scheme was abolished because it did not include the participation of OKUs in the planning and decision-making process.
The group added that JKMPay was more troublesome than beneficial.
“We also doubt the transparency of the scheme, which involves the management of taxpayers’ money,” it said.
In the Dewan Rakyat today, Rina hit back at allegations that her ministry did not consult the disabled community when implementing the now-postponed JKMPay cashless payment scheme.
However, in her reply to Kasthuri Patto (PH-Batu Kawan), the minister did not specify whether any consultation was conducted before the rollout of the controversial pilot project last April.
Some 100 members of the OKU community had gathered along Jalan Parlimen on Tuesday to protest against the scheme.
Under JKMPay, half of the cash aid is distributed through a cashless card to be used at 250 stores registered with Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd.