Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE) scheme.

THE Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE) scheme is a death benefit initiated by the Selangor government where the beneficiary is paid RM2,500 upon the death of the insured.

While it is a good initiative, its implementation needs to be better managed.

Upon the death of the insured, the beneficiary is paid RM1,000 one day after submission of documents to the nearest service centre of a member of parliament and thereafter, within two months, the balance of RM1,500 is paid.

I helped a friend who did not have transport, and whose command of English and Malay was poor, to submit documents and fill up the SMUE claim form last year.

The documents were in order, yet I was informed by the service centre to wait at least six months for processing, despite the fact that the RM1,000 was to be paid out one day after submission. It was stated clearly, in bold, on the claim/application form.

There were many follow-ups over the months, but there was no payout and we were made to wait each time we enquired. The reason given was the same throughout: that the payout sums have yet to be budgeted due to the zero-based budgeting system adopted by the new federal government.

After many follow-ups, the service centre staff advised the beneficiary to go to the SMUE administrative office in Shah Alam as the payout could not be made without funds provided to the service centre.

After a recent follow-up, a special-case arrangement was made where the beneficiary is eligible to receive RM300, but on condition that the beneficiary presents himself at the administrative office in Shah Alam and resubmit the documents.

In this age of Internet banking and telegraphic transfer facilities, the beneficiary should not be made to present himself at the Shah Alam administrative office to obtain the partial cash benefit. Arrangements can be made to deposit the payment into the beneficiary’s bank account.

Since it is seven months since submission, there should be a full payout of RM2,500, as stated in the form, instead of a partial cash payment.

On another matter, under the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), now called Bantuan Sara Hidup, there is a death benefit of RM1,000 to be paid upon death of the insured eligible BR1M recipient. The beneficiary should receive the death benefit (money) and final instalment of the payout from BSN Bank upon submission of the documents to the bank clerk.

The beneficiary and I are frustrated over delays in payment of the rightful sum, which has yet to be budgeted under the zero-based budgeting system.

Ng Shu Tsung, Kuala Lumpur

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