PUTRAJAYA, Oct 9 — The RM3.4 billion allocated to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) under Budget 2023 is its highest ever, said its Minister, Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun.

She said the allocation was an increase of 26.46 per cent compared to the RM2.67 billion allotted in 2022.

“This is proof of the government’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable group in these unpredictable economic conditions.

“It can also ensure the well-being and prosperity of Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family), especially the KPWKM-targeted groups,” she said.

She said RM3.1 billion of the allocation would be used for operating expenses while the other RM195 million would be for development expenses.Describing the budget, themed ‘Keluarga Malaysia, Makmur Bersama’ (Malaysian Family, Prospering Together), as being persons with disabilities (PwD)-friendly, she said the KPWKM was grateful for the RM1.2 billion allocated to protect the interests and welfare of the group, involving providing aid for the care of the PwDs with chronic diseases and allowance for PwDs who were unable to work and for the disabled workers.

She said the budget also prioritises the gender gaps through the formation of the Gender Focal Team, enforcement of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill (AGC) and income tax exemptions to increase the participation of women in the job market.

“The bill, which was passed in Parliament, will be implemented through the Anti-Sexual Harassment Tribunal and advocacy programmes with an allocation of RM10 million next year. Tax exemptions will also be given to women returning to work from 2023 to 2028,” she said.

Rina said there was also an increase in the monthly allocation of welfare aid, with RM2.5 billion compared to RM1.8 billion in 2022.

“The increase is to ensure that more people who are in need from this group can be assisted by expanding the application requirements using the Poverty Income Line 2019,” she said, adding that RM1 billion had been allocated for the welfare of senior citizens.

She said the KPWKM would continue to support the “Whole of Government” and “Whole of Nation” approaches cultivated under Budget 2023 to ensure the Malaysian Family prospers together. — Bernama