Sunday, September 20

BR1M funds not from EPF – Dompok

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PENAMPANG: The fund used in the 1Malaysia People’s Assistance or BR1M did not come from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok.

After presenting 27 1Malaysia netbooks to teachers at Yue Min Kindergarten near here yesterday, Dompok told reporters that the funding came directly from the government and that it was enough to cover the expenses used for BR1M.

“How can it come from EPF when it comes from the government? If it came from EPF then there would have to be an agreement, which would be unwarranted. I think the government has enough to cover all this.

“There is also a strict procedure in utilising that type of fund. The fund belongs to the people who contributed and I don’t think any government has the right to utilise money like that,” he said.

Dompok also denied claims that the BR1M payout was proposed because the present government was panicking and hoping to garner more support from the people.

“Barisan Nasional (BN) is doing well and BR1M was not only done this year. It was done before and in all likelihood will be done again. A lot of people I met in the kampungs (villages) say the government is responding to their needs and I think the government through all their effort, including the distribution of the 1Malaysia computer to students and funds to repair houses, has helped ease the rakyat’s burden. I don’t see how in any way this could be a panic situation for the government,” he said.

Dompok also urged non-Muslims who had been wrongly described as Muslims in their identity cards by the National Registration Department (NRD) to come forward so that the situation could be remedied.

“I hope the people would come and present their case. I have a date with the Home Affairs Minister next week or the week after that to sort out a few (cases) that had been given to me and hopefully we will come to a solution,” he said.

Dompok added that they can come to the UPKO office where an UPKO committee had been established by Moyog assemblyman Datuk Donald Mojuntin, and that the UPKO team were responsible for processing these cases.

“They are processing a few that have come to their attention. Some have been sorted out…I hope that those with problems can come and tell us where they are,” he said.

Dompok also expressed his optimism that a solution to the problem will present itself in time and said the people had the right to what they were entitled to.

Additionally, UPKO was also in the midst of helping 20 people who have been applying for citizenship in the country for a long time, he said.

During the interview, Dompok also commented on the issue of land for Yue Min Primary School.

According to him, the school was looking for a suitable land to build its building as the land where it is sited now belonged to someone else.

“There is no government land available and it has to be on a basis of willing buyer and seller. So far, they have not been able to acquire the land. They have the money for the building but they cannot do anything unless they have land. We have to look for someone willing to part with their land…as far as construction of the building is concerned, we will assist them,” he said.