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11 Nov 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: In its effort to increase living standards of Malaysians and alleviate national poverty, the Social Security Organisation (Socso) has launched the Social Synergy Programme.

The initiative, in collaboration with 16 agencies, is a social safety net programme which will provide a host of social benefits to assist Malaysians in times of need.

The agencies are Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (Mdec), Giat Mara, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP), Perak Islamic Religion and Malay Customs Council (MAIPK), Melaka Islamic Religious Council (Maim), Perbadanan Baitulmal Negeri Sembilan (PBNS), Department of Labour of Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM), Tekun Malaysia, Malaysian Freelancer Association (MAFA), Islamic Relief Malaysia (IRM), Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association (MIASA), Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM), Malaysian Burial Management Organisation (Pertubuhan Pengurusan Jenazah Malaysia) and Muslim Volunteer Malaysia (MVM).

Socso chief executive Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed (pic) said this programme was skewed towards creating a systematic, holistic and comprehensive social security ecosystem for not just the T20, M40 and B40 targeted groups, but all Malaysians.

“While Socso has its schemes and programmes to provide social protection to about 10 million workers nationwide under its umbrella, there are also voluntary welfare organisations and NGOs providing social welfare services.

“As such, we need a centralised platform where all agencies get to complement each other and ensure equality in distribution of benefits and wealth to vulnerable groups in society.

“For instance, when these agencies carry out their initiatives individually, a beneficiary may be receiving benefits from more than one agency while others who really need social assistance are not being assisted, ” he said.

With this programme, all participating agencies are able to gather a pool of data to keep track of each prospect’s history.

“With three categories of data on prospects who have not received assistance, who are in the midst of receiving assistance and those who have received assistance, this programme provides a new approach to curb issues such as overlapping of benefit distribution as well as benefit distribution to non-targeted groups, ” he explained, adding that the system was built in line with IR 4.0, with features like big data analytics, Internet of Things and blockchain.

Powered by the MySynergy System, the programme comprises five comprehensive modules which covers finance, education and training, protection benefit and wakalah, medication and health, as well as jobs and businesses.

Mohammed Azman emphasised that social protection was not just about giving financial assistance but non-financial instruments such as technical assistance and capacity development so that people had the tools to thrive as well as the opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

“For instance, those who come to us in times of contingency may usually face financial difficulties so we engage AKPK to provide assistance in financial management.

“At the same time, we can channel the case to Giat Mara to help with skills development and probably Tekun Nasional for business financing to start a business so that they can sustain standards of living.

“In the event a prospect is not eligible for benefits under Socso, we don’t have to turn them down with a heavy heart anymore but in turn, we are able to help by channelling them to relevant participating agencies through the programme, ” he said.

Other than that, the programme also helped elevate the understanding of social security among the public by educating them about their social benefit entitlement.

The pilot programme since February registered 1,000 prospects into the system.

Currently, only authorised personnel from participating agencies have access to the programme to avoid complications.

To date, there are 17 agencies under the Social Synergy Programme including Socso, which have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) while Legal Aid and Welfare departments have also agreed to come on board.

Those who want to know about their entitlement or if they have any enquiry can contact any of the participating agencies.

Mohammed Azman urged more agencies to be part of this programme to achieve a better future for everyone.

“This is the future, a social security ecosystem that ensures no one is left behind, ” he said.

Article by: The Star