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Senior citizens forced to queue for BPN aid
Published on: Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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The long queue at BSN branch at Sabindo Square.
TAWAU: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Tawau Public Complaint Bureau chief Sarah Chang (pic) urged the Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) branch at Sabindo Square to set up a special lane and counter to serve senior citizens aged 60 and above for the disbursement of the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) financial aid.

Chang said a 72-year-old senior citizen told her he arrived at the BSN branch before 7am on Monday after checking online that his RM 1,600 cash aid were available.

“The elderly man thought he was considered an early bird for getting to the bank so early.

“But by the time he arrived, the queue had stretched all the way to the bus terminal at Sabindo Square.”

She said the elderly man had stood in the queue for four hours despite his exhaustion, hunger, nausea and throbbing pain on both legs.

“His daughter arrived at around 11am to find her father in poor condition.

“She took her father to the bank entrance and asked the employee if senior citizens could be served first.

“However, the BSN employee rejected them on the spot, saying that everyone had to wait in line for their turn and there was no priority service whatsoever.”

As the elderly man was in no condition to stand in line any longer, he had to give up his four-hour wait and went home. He later sought the assistance of LDP Tawau Public Complaint Bureau at 1pm.

Chang said she has personally inspected the line at the BSN branch and noticed many elderly folks were forced to stand in line and bear the hot weather.

“There was heavy rain later that day and the BPN recipients, including senior citizens, had to endure such dreadful condition.”

She urged the top management of BSN to look into this issue and not to subject people to such poor treatment.

“Even if the BPN recipients receive their financial aid, they would be resentful for the trouble they had to go through to get the payment, instead of being grateful to the government for the assistance.”

Chang believed that the issue could be resolved through proper arrangement if the bank had the will to do so.

She said it was baffling as to why the bank was unwilling to set up a special lane and counter for senior citizens. 

She also hoped that the State Health Department and Tawau Disaster Management Committee would intervene as well, given that the elderly citizens have to be physically present to receive the BPN cash aid, despite being in the high-risk group for Covid-19.

“There should be special arrangement for senior citizens to minimise their risk of infection.”

 


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