KUALA LUMPUR: The elderly at the Selangor King George V Silver Jubilee Fund Care Centre got a pleasant Chinese New Year surprise when the Prime Minister and his wife came a-calling.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Datin Seri Muhaini Zainal Abidin arrived at the centre in Jalan Loke Yew on the first day of the Year of the Tiger looking resplendent in their red festive attire.

They were all smiles when the couple distributed ang pow and oranges, and spent about 40 minutes chatting with them and staffers.

“The lines on their faces show the immense sacrifices they have made, but in their smiles, one can see love. So, look after and love your parents while they are still around.

“Nothing can replace the love they give us,” Ismail Sabri said in a Facebook post.

The Prime Minister thanked the centre, which began operations in the 1930s, for looking after the senior citizens well.

The care centre houses women aged 65 and above. There are currently 33 residents.

Also present during the visit were Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun and Selangor King George V Silver Jubilee Fund trustee exco chairman Datuk Seri Yong Seng Yeow.

At an earlier event on Tuesday, Bernama quoted Ismail Sabri as saying that the government had allocated grants amounting to RM19.2mil this year for voluntary welfare organisations.

He said the allocation was made in line with the Malaysian Family concept of inclusiveness.

“We gave to Persons with Disabilities (OKU), care centres and senior citizens. For special children or senior citizens who do not live in care centres, the government also provides aid,” he told reporters after visiting a care centre for special children.

Assistance given by the government to welfare voluntary organisations included food and drink, a special allowance for OKU students, and per capita and repair grants.

During his visit, the prime minister presented ang pow and food packs to the children.

Rina said the government had channelled special assistance to 1,225 care centres for OKU and senior citizens who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These centres have complained about a lack of assistance from corporate bodies,” she added.