KUALA LUMPUR – The 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) is a form of subsidy that is more focused and directed at assisting the target groups, compared to the broad subsidy such as the fuel subsidy.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in a special interview with Mingguan Malaysia today was quoted as saying that BR1M helped the government divide aid for the poor and less fortunate.
“Subsidy actually involves a lot of wastage but we know when we give out BR1M, it is more focused towards the target groups. It means subsidies are still there like the fuel subsidy.
“BR1M is also a subsidy but it is more focused compared to the broad subsidy. That is what I am trying to reduce to avoid wastage,” he said in the newspaper interview in response to criticism from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin against the giving of BR1M.
BR1M, implemented in early 2012, is a policy targeted to assist 4.2 million families with a household monthly income of less than RM3,000 by giving a cash aid of RM500 to each of the households.
Najib, who is Umno president, was also quoted by Mingguan Malaysia as saying that the government was open about BR1M and was prepared to review the giving of the aid if it was not good to do so.
“I am open about it but everywhere I go, many people say they want BR1M and in fact, they want the amount to be increased.
“That is the people’s reaction and BR1M is given not to buy votes but because we have raised the oil price,” he said.
In the newspaper interview, Najib also said that when the government reducedÂ the oil subsidy and the price went up, BR1M became an instrument to reduce the people’s burden, resulting in the returns to the government through reduced subsidy be given back to the people.
It was also reported that giving BR1M would not be a continuous policy, with the prime minister quoted as saying, “One day, when the people’s income has increased, they won’t need BR1M anymore.” – BERNAMA