Early this year, my grandmother who had been growing weaker since her fall late last year, passed away. My family knew the day would come but nothing really prepares you for death.
My grandma used to stay alone pre-pandemic since 2008 when I got married and my mum moved out. They always had an estranged relationship.
I would visit my grandma weekly, brought her to the supermarket to get her groceries when she could still cook, arranged for packed food when she couldn’t, brought her to get her BRIM withdrawals and annual LHDN updates and for hospital visits and checked in on her whenever she wasn’t feeling great.
Just a month before Malaysia declared Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, my mum who was living on her own in another state decided to move back home as she herself wasn’t feeling too well at the time. I was of course, pleased as I didn’t have to worry about two elderly people living on their own. They never left the house during lockdowns due to the fear of my grandma getting Covid-19 which was highly possible due to her age. Despite being protected, her health started to decline, with more frequent falls until late last year when she was bedridden.
If you’ve never encountered death, you might want to know the steps to take. I’m writing this a as a Muslim. The procedures might defer for non-Muslims. First, call the ambulance. The medics will confirm the time of death. Next, send the report to the closest police station. The police station will send the report to the IC department where you will need to collect the death certificate during the week. This cert will be needed to claim any inheritance left to the family.
The police station will usually send some officers over just to confirm there is no foul play. Then, you’ll need to go to the mosque to get help to arrange for the burial ground and to help to “mandikan jenazah” while arranging for the Solat Jenazah time. Prepare to pay for the burial plot to the local municipal who the mosque will help to call. As my grandmother passed away in the morning, the burial was done after the afternoon prayer. It was a smooth process, thankfully.
Take your time to grieve. The tears will just flow without warning. However, you need to garner the strength to get the necessary paperwork done. As my grandma only had savings in Tabung Haji with me written as a beneficiary, we thought it would be a straightforward process to withdraw the money that was meant for my grandmother to do her Hajj. Alas, that is not the case. According to Faraid law, if you are a female, the beneficiary documents submitted to Tabung Haji earlier don’t matter. They just want you to test if their ink works. You still need to go to the Syariah Court (Mine was the Lower Syariah Court as the inheritance was below RM300,000) and they were adamant that my mum, as the daughter, would need to ask for the inheritance and it would be split between my grandmother’s siblings and her. As a granddaughter who my grandmother nominated officially, I don’t matter. I accepted this without fuss.
So my mum went to the Lower Syariah Court to get the forms. Different documents are needed for different states in Malaysia. Be prepared to get these documents if you are in Selangor. It would be good to also have the deceased wedding certificate and your birth certificate to proof that your parents were married and you are their child.
My grandmother has not gone back to Penang for about 15 years and has lost touch with most of her siblings except for her brother who lives quite closeby and checks on her. My mum had to go to Penang to get the IC copies of my grandmother’s siblings as well as find my grandmother’s wedding certificate (the latter was unsuccessful). Three out of four of the remaining siblings were cooperative in getting their ICs copied. One refused to give us a copy, assuming we were out to cheat them. I didn’t really get the logic as we were supposed to give them their share of inheritance money and not the other way round. We gave up on him.
With all the forms filled and whatever documents required gathered, my mum submitted them to the court in person and got a date for the hearing for two weeks later. During the first hearing, the judge asked for the IC copy of the uncooperative sibling. My mum explained that he refused to send it to her. The judge listened and said he would wait till the end of the day but regardless as this is a straightforward case, it should be settled in the next few days. We were asked to go back in two weeks time. Mind you, the court is about 40 minutes away by car from where my mum lives. I really feel for those who have to go there by public transport. It is located in a very remote area.
When we went back the second time, the judge insisted that the uncooperative sibling should send his IC Copy. Understanding that the sibling refused to cooperate, the court would send a subpoena to get the IC from the sibling. The judge asked us to come back in two weeks time. When we went back the third time, the court admin apologized profusely that the case was postponed but updated us that the IC copy has been received and we should come back the following week.
We went back for the forth time and the judge insisted that we have the copy of the missing IC before we could proceed with closing the case. My mum updated him that the court has received the copy according to the admin who we met the week before. The judge went through his documents and confirmed he has received it and will issue the cert for us within a week to collect and bring to Tabung Haji.
We collected the cert from the court the following week and brought it to Tabung Haji. This time Tabung Haji updated us that there has been some changes in making claims.
My mother as the first nominee, must fill in the Inheritance Withdrawal Application Form (JP005 Form) as a trustee and the other nominees (living siblings of the deceased) will each need to fill in the Inheritance Withdrawal Declaration Form (JP006 Form) and submit the JP006 form to the closest Tabung Haji.
Tabung Haji will only release the inheritance money into the first nominee’s Tabung Haji account after receiving all the forms from the living siblings. So we made copies of the JP006 form and sent them by registered mail to all of my grandmother’s siblings with instructions to submit the filled up form to the closest Tabung Haji branch. After two weeks, we went to Tabung Haji to make the withdrawal only to discover that the uncooperative sibling did not want to submit the form. I felt exasperated and texted the son. The son explained that he didn’t take his dad to Tabung Haji as he was just protecting him from potentially being scammed by us. I explained that he could just go to Tabung Haji with the form and ask them to explain the process to him. He is an educated professional. I’m flabbergasted. This was last week. I’m still waiting for his update. So readers, this could happen to you too. Just be patient.
After a few rounds of coaxing the son that we were not out there to scam them, he brought the dad to Tabung Haji the following week. He then updated us that Tabung Haji asked them about a deceased sibling’s daughters. I told him that it was strange that Tabung Haji would question what the Syariah court has instructed them to do- to process the forms and make the payout. The son said that their form won’t be processed until we verified this.
So for the sixth time, we went to the Syariah Court who confirmed that they have everything on transcript and have the record of the deceased sibling’s daughters but they are not qualified to get any inheritance. We then went to Tabung Haji Headquarters to request that they don’t delay things any further. Tabung Haji actually replied to say, “It’s OK. The money is with us anyway” with no sense of urgency or understanding that the money is not theirs to keep and should be disimbursed as quickly as possible so that the case need not go to the Higher Syariah Court and the rightful beneficieries do not have to wait any longer. The HQ then called the branch that caused the delay and asked them to standby for the son to resubmit his father’s form. After I updated the son on the development, he replied that he would bring his dad to resubmit the form in the next few days
A few days later when I followed up, the son refused to confirm if the form was resubmitted so we had to go to Tabung Haji again to check the following week. After hesitating to help check, the Tabung Haji staff confirmed that all forms have been received and the payout will be done within 14 working days.
It’s a very frustrating journey as parties involved are not efficient and have their own personal agendas. Tabung Haji should have a system to notify us when payouts are being processed once all forms are received.
On a separate note, my mother accidentally came across an article about How to Make a 2023 STR Death Benefit Scheme (SKK) Claims. We had gone to LHDN earlier this year and they said that updates will be shared in July 2023. I called in July but they had no updates. You can’t find updates in mainstream media but when doing a Google search, I found this at https://www.gcarian.com/skim-khairat-kematian-bsh/
SKK Payment Date 2023
|Date of Death
|Claim Start Date
|STR payment recipient
|1 Jan 2023 – 31 Dis 2023
|July 17, 2023
Latest : SKK claims can be made by registered representatives only at the nearest BSN counter
How to Make a 2023 STR Death Benefit Scheme (SKK) ClaimS
- Death Benefit Scheme of RM1,000 is only eligible to be given to heirs who are registered by visiting any BSN branch
- Only for STR 2023 recipients who passed away from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023
- Payment of SKK will be carried out by BSN after finding that the information provided is valid and accurate
Important Documents When Making a 2023 SKK Claim
- Original death certificate or copy from the National Registration Department (JPN)
- Heir’s identification card
- Documents that prove the heir is related to the beneficiary such as:
- Mother/father-Recipient’s birth certificate
- Spouse-Marriage certificate/Marriage certificate/Child birth certificate
- Siblings-Recipient’s birth certificate and representative’s birth certificate
- Adoption-Certificate of adoption from JPN/confirmation from court/Department of Social Welfare (JKM)
- Child-Certificate of representative birth
- Step-children – Representative birth certificate (step-child) and marriage certificate of step-mother/step-father
- Grandchild – Birth certificate of representative (Grandchild) and birth certificate of mother or father of representative
Important SKK Information
- Beneficiaries are STR recipients in the category of households and single/no partner seniors
- Only heirs named in the STR system can claim SKK
- Heirs must be from Spouse/ Mother/ Father/ Children/ Siblings/ Grandchildren only
- The heirs will receive as much as RM 1,000
Further Information And Inquiries
For more information on Malaysian Family Assistance, please see the FAQ provided or contact:
National Budget Office,
Ministry of Finance Malaysia (MOF),
Precinct 2, 62592 Putrajaya.
- STR LHDNM Hotline: 1-800-88-2747 (hours of operation: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
- Hotline MOF: 03- 8882 4565 | 03- 8882 4566
- E-mel Rasmi: STR@treasury.gov.my
- FAQ Information on Beneficiaries and SKK STR
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