MCYS appointed custodian of National Welfare System

Rokiah Mahmud

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has been appointed as the custodian of the National Welfare System (SKN – Sistem Kebajikan Negara), while a taskforce has been set up in this regard.

Under SKN, the MCYS is also responsible for collating all applications and ensuring that all the entered information is correct and precise.

The MCYS will also forward all applications to the Community Development Department (JAPEM) or to the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) for evaluation and assessment, in addition to monitoring the progress and results.

This was explained by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, during the daily press conference at the Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday.

“The SKN will provide a comprehensive picture on the country’s welfare ecosystems, in order to provide more transparency and clarity, without any omissions or oversights regarding the distribution of assistance,” he said.

“The system is capable of creating a demographic and background profile for the applicants and their families, as well as the types of assistance available to them.

“The SKN will also create a map of the welfare recipients for analysis and appropriate intervention, including the management of unemployment, job seeking and life skills for the applicants and their dependents to end the poverty cycle.

“Currently, there are about 9,451 family heads receiving assistance. Out of that, 5,678 family heads are receiving the Monthly Welfare Assistance (BKB) from JAPEM while 3,773 are receiving financial assistance for the poor and destitute from MUIB.

“Starting from June 23, all current recipients (under JAPEM and MUIB) may update their profiles for the SKN by submitting the required documents to JAPEM.

“On July 15, new registrations and applications for assistance or the updating of profiles for existing recipients may be made online.

“At this early stage, applications through the SKN are only open to Brunei citizens and residents receiving the ‘Monthly Welfare Assistance’ from JAPEM and the Zakat Asnaf Fakir Miskin assistance under MUIB.

“Other types of assistance, such as old age pension, disability allowance, food ration, applying for house or applying for house reparation and the Temporary Shelter Centre will still utilise current procedures. It is hoped that those can be included under the SKN in the next phase, Insya Allah.

“The criteria for receiving monthly assistance from JAPEM and MUIB remains unchanged, and applicants can opt to receive assistance from either JAPEM or MUIB.

“For non-Muslims, their applications will be processed by JAPEM under the existing guidelines. The calculation for the eligibility of assistance will be measured based on the Minimal Cost of Basic Needs (KMKA – Kos Minima Keperluan Asas), using the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Modified Scale.

“To apply under SKN, applicants will need to have valid email accounts for the registration and verifying of approved SKN accounts.

“They will also need to attach and complete all their personal documents by uploading their scanned identification card (IC), as well as those of their spouses and dependents, children’s birth certificates, marriage or divorce certificate, salary slip, spouse’s salary slip and a verification letter from their village head.

“Applicants under JAPEM and MUIB will receive a link to the SKN website via short-messages-service (SMS). This will enable them to register and use the system. Those who do not receive the notification, will need to update their mobile numbers by contacting the Welfare Line at 141.

“The Welfare Line 141 will also manage all enquiries related to the SKN. Those without any access to computers or mobile phones may visit any JAPEM branch or get in touch with their officers and staff, as well as village heads.”