KUALA LUMPUR – The MyBeras initiative announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak yesterday when presenting the recalibrated Budget 2016 yesterday has been widely hailed as a timely move.
Under the programme the government will give 20kgs of free rice every month for hardcore poor registered with the welfare authorities and is one of 11 measures announced by the prime minister in presenting the recalibrated budget.
In KUCHING, Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) deputy president Datuk Nelson Balang Rining said the MyBeras project will be very useful in helping the poor to sustain themselves during the current challenging times.
“It goes to show that the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government is indeed concerned about the welfare of the rakyat (people) and wants to help alleviate the hardships of the needy groups,” said Balang, who is also chairman of SPDP Bakalalan division in a statement.
In KUANTAN, Pusat Kutipan Zakat Pahang officer Che Shamsol Ibrahim said the move was most welcome as it would go a long way in helping hardcore poor families reduce their monthly expenditure.
“I feel this provision of 20kgs of rice is very timely for the hardcore poor group,” he told Bernama.
In TEMERLOH, Mohd Simen Yaakob, 45, the head of a household in Kampung Teluk Sentang, said the announcement clearly showed that the prime minister was concerned about the welfare of the people.
“The price of rice now is about RM2.20 a kilo depending on grade and with this assistance, the money saved can be used for other things like children’s schooling needs,” he said.
Batin (village head) of Orang Asli Kampung Paya Pelong Kerdau, Mokhtar Mohamad said the Orang Asli were very grateful to the government for the move.
“Rice is the staple food of the people, when it is given free of course we are very happy… it helps reduce our burden,” he said.
In TAWAU, recipients of the E-kasih (a federal poverty alleviation programme) Bernama spoke to said the move was a blessing for them.
Ho Yong Kyau, 58, one of the recipients of the aid who lives Kg. Ria, Bal,in the Merotai state constituency, said she was very grateful to the government for coming up with this initiative.
“We are facing hardship. With this assistance, part of our burden is lifted,” she said.
Yusuf Ali, 53, and Fatimah Usman, 47, from Kuala Merotai, shared her views and thanked Allah over the government assistance to them.
In IPOH, padi farmer Abdul Raof Abdul Rashid, 60, from Changkat Lada, about 70 km from here, said: “Alhamdulillah…our long wait is finally over.”
He was reacting to the RM50 cash subsidy per tonne of raw padi to incentivise farmers, another measure announced in the recalibrated budget, which saw operating and development expenditure cut by RM9.5 billion (3.6%).
Abdul Raof has owned a 322-hectare farm since 2007 in Changkat Lada.
Meanwhile, Zon Huri, 50, a padi farmer from Bota Kiri, who concurred with Abdul Raof, said the current price of RM248.10 per tonne of raw padi was no longer suitable in the face of current economic challenges.
In JOHOR BAHARU, Elsie Jemat, 27, a private sector employee, said the move to give the aid of 29kgs of rice monthly was very timely as it would help the hardcore poor have more disposable income which can used for other family expenses. – BERNAMA