KUALA LUMPUR: The prime minister yesterday announced the distribution of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) for the second time, but extended to also cover payment of RM250 to single unmarried individuals aged 21 and above and earning not more than RM2,000 a month.
The BR1M was first given out under Budget 2012, involving a payment of RM500 to households earning less than RM3,000 per month.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the RM3 billion allocation to be paid out early next year under BR1M 2.0 would benefit 4.3 million households and 2.7 million single unmarried individuals.
He said that to facilitate the implementation, existing BR1M recipients were not required to register for the second time, while new applicants could register beginning November 2012 via online or at the counters of state development offices, district offices and Inland Revenue Board offices nationwide.
“As a matter of fact, the assistance to households and single unmarried individuals is not a populist move, but the reflection of a government that is responsible and capable of managing the nation’s finance prudently,” he said when tabling Budget 2013 in the Dewan Rakyat.
The first BR1M payout benefited 4.3 million households and involved a government allocation of almost RM2.16 billion.
Apart from BR1M, the government has introduced several measures to ease the burden of the people such as Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) and 1Malaysia Book Voucher (BB1M).
The prime minister said the government would allocate RM386 million to open 57 KR1M in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan to ensure that essential goods were sold at lower prices there.
He said that generally the prices of essential goods in Sabah and Sarawak were higher than in the peninsula due to the high cost of delivery and distribution.
“To reduce the costs and prices of goods, the government has introduced various initiatives, including the price uniformity programme, provision of transport subsidy as well as opening of KR1M,” he said.
He said the government would also bear the cost of delivering products from peninsular Malaysia to Sabah, Sarawak, including the interior areas.
“For example, in Ba’Kelalan, Sarawak, the price of 14 kg cylinder of cooking gas is sold at RM70.
With the price uniformity programme, the cooking gas can be purchased at only RM26.60 per cylinder,” he said.
Najib said the BB1M programme would continue to be implemented for pre-university students and those in institutions of higher learning, with an addition of RM50 to RM250.
He said this would involve an allocation of RM325 million that would benefit 1.3 million students throughout the country. — Bernama