LAHAD DATU: Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s proposal to reduce the quantum of the Cost of Living Aid or Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), previously known as Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia or (BR1M) has been received positively from a number of people.
Local entrepreneur, Barlianta Abdul Hakim, said if the PH government goes ahead with the proposal, they would need to come up with another initiative that could help to reduce the burden of the people.
He reckons the proposal is relevant to help develop the economy of the country, but the needs of the people should also be taken into account.
“It is true that the BR1M has pampered the people and has not met its actual objective of assisting the people. BR1M should only be given to those who are really in need, such as the asnaf group, single mothers or senior citizens,” he said.
Barlianta said the PH government should therefore consider other initiatives, such as reducing the price of oil that has caused an increase in transportation cost as well as the prices of goods in order to reduce the people’s burden.
A customer service officer, Serena Henry, said the abolition of BR1M is worthwhile if the government can provide other alternatives to help the people.
Serena said the government could reduce the price of oil and goods as a way of reducing the people’s burden. However, if the prices of basic necessities remain the same, BR1M should be continued as it helps the people, especially those who have no fixed income.
“The people are happy to receive such aid from the government. However, we are also willing to help our country to develop and if the abolition of BR1M could help, then why not? Nonetheless, we hope the government will look into this matter comprehensively so that no parties are adversely affected,” she said.
The opinion that the government should look at other initiatives to reduce the burden of the people was also well received by sales representative, Serwin Roger.
She said the government needs to provide more employment or business opportunities so that the people can generate income, as with their own income and the government’s initiative to reduce the cost of living, the people will no longer be burdened and would, in due course, reduce their dependence on the government.
Meanwhile, Liyanah Tamrin said that before abolishing the BR1M, the government should review this aid as it has really helped those in need.
Liyanah said the people understand the cost that has to be borne by the government for BR1M distribution, and the long-term problem it will cause the government.
Therefore, she said BR1M distribution should continue, but only for those in need. And for the rest of people, the government could reduce their burden by reducing the cost of living such as the prices of basic necessities.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Tawau branch secretary Gan Chee Chan said the BR1M gradual reduction is to stimulate the economy of the country and to make the citizens more independent.
“We strongly agree that the Cost of Living Aid is given only to those who are really qualified regardless of political and racial ideology.
“Our hope [is]that through this saving, it will spur the economy and open [up]more jobs for Malaysians,” said Gan.