B - Cost of Living B00. Cost of Living

B03. Sharing the nation’s wealth in a targeted and equitable way

Pakatan Harapan May 10, 2018

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In progress
Dec 2018

Malaysia to resume cash handouts for low-income families in January

Channel News Asia December 26, 2018

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will resume cash handouts to low income families next month, with the first tranche of the Cost of Living Aid (BSH) - worth RM300 (US$71.86) per household - to be paid on Jan 28, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. The BSH financial aid plan is a scaled-down version of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) scheme, which was launched during the Najib Razak administration and discontinued by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. In a statement on Wednesday (Dec 26), Mr Lim said the payouts are expected to benefit up to 4.1 million households. This will cost the government RM1.2 billion. "Payments will be deposited directly into their bank accounts," he said. Under the new scheme, households earning RM2,000 and below a month will receive RM1,000 next year. Households earning between RM2,001 and RM3,000 will receive RM750, while families earning RM3,001 to RM4,000 will receive RM500. Advertisement The first payment will be disbursed according to names in the old BR1M database, Mr Lim said, adding that this means that some people who might not be eligible under the new criteria will still receive the aid. "The process of tidying up the data must be carried out for the second and third phase payment of BSH 2019, in line with improvements to the BSH programme," Mr Lim said. Under the BR1M, which was introduced in 2012, those with a monthly household income of RM3,000 and below received RM1,200 annually. As for households earning between RM3,000 and RM4,000, they received RM900 annually. In addition, individuals earning below RM2,000 were eligible for a RM450 payout. PM MAHATHIR AGAINST CASH AID PROGRAMME Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has in the past criticised the BR1M for “spoiling” the people. He said that such policies make Malaysians dependent on the government for handouts. “Najib spoiled the people by making them think that the government will give them money even if they don’t work,” he was reported as saying by The Star in August. Mr Mahathir reportedly stated that he will slowly reduce the BR1M payouts before eventually stopping them. However, the PH government later said it would proceed with BSH to ensure the well-being of the people and help ease living costs for low income families. FORMER PM NAJIB HITS OUT AT BSH In a Facebook post on Wednesday, former prime minister Najib hit out at the BSH scheme, calling it a “sharp U-turn” by the current government. Just last week, Najib took aim at the PH government on social media, through a video showing a vehicle executing a high-speed U-turn. “These steps to expedite BR1M payments is another sign that the PH government knows that the actual state of the economy today is worse than expected,” he stated on Wednesday. “They realise that the citizens have begun to become angry with the PH government and the state of the economy that is declining.” Najib also noted that single people have been sidelined in the BSH scheme. “Are there no struggling single/unmarried people? Did these single/unmarried people not vote for PH on May 9, and didn’t some also wholeheartedly fight (for them) on social media?”

May 2018

BR1M to be rebranded as living cost aid

Malay Mail May 30, 2018

Payments under the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) will continue but the scheme will be converted to one named “Cost of Living Aid”, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The prime minister did not provide further details of the new programme beyond saying it will be “very different” from the BR1M introduced by the Najib administration.

Details of new scheme pending

May 2018

Sharing the nation’s wealth in a targeted and equitable way

Pakatan Harapan May 10, 2018

Pakatan Harapan believes that assistance must be given so that no one is left behind. This calls for a mechanism that is more structured, after a comprehensive study of how developed countries do it. Those who receive BR1M today will continue to receive the grant and the process of payment will be freed from discrimination and partisan politics and more of a statutory payments. The Pakatan Harapan Government will improve the system so that the amount issued are more equitable.

The Pakatan Harapan Government will ensure the giving of assistance is not influenced by party politics and not abused by politicians. The distribution through political parties and through those with vested interest will be stopped because this is unethical. Distribution will be done through government agencies and respected welfare bodies through a statutory payment mechanism. The targeted welfare programme will function as a universal social safety net for all qualified citizens, just like the system in many developed countries. At the start, this social security programme will prioritise those with low income living in rural areas, especially in Kedah, Kelantan, and Sabah, as well as FELDA and FELCRA areas. This scheme will be widened across Malaysia gradually.

The implementation of this scheme will require a significant improvement in the database and information kept by the government. The information now stored by the National Registration Department, e-Kasih, Inland Revenue Board, and other agencies, including at state level, will need to be coordinated and updated to ensure accuracy. Oil and gas-producing states will be given royalty or its appropriate equivalent value. The cruelty of UMNO and Barisan Nasional that have been denying these payments based on political leanings will be stopped immediately. The Pakatan Harapan Government will increase the royalty payment to Sabah and Sarawak, and other oil producing states, to 20 percent or of its value equivalent, so that the respective states can take over and fund more of their own development activities.