Umno Youth exco member Shahrul Nasrun Kamaruddin has urged Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to stop making excuses on the plan to discontinue the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), which is now renamed Cost of Living Aid (BSH).
He said BR1M is like any other government aid, and the cash handout helps the poor by supplementing their meagre income.
“Therefore, Mahathir should not make excuses (berdalih) by saying that BR1M makes people needy (manja) or lazy and depend on the government like a crutch.
“Just admit that the government announced that it would reduce and eventually abolish BR1M because the government would have reduced revenue as a result of abolishing GST that would cost the country tens of billions of ringgit,” Shahrul said in a statement last night.
BR1M was renamed "Bantuan Sara Hidup" by the Pakatan Harapan-led government which continued to make payments after taking over the government in May.
On Aug 25, Mahathir said the payments from the scheme would be gradually reduced and would eventually be abolished.
Shahrul said this shows that Harapan is reneging on its promises, since Mahathir had promised last year that BR1M would continue if Harapan wins the election, and this is included in its manifesto.
“The Pakatan Harapan government is hereby reminded not to oppress the people by abolishing aid provided by the previous government.
“To me, BR1M or whatever the Pakatan Harapan decides to call it should be maintained, with improvements to ensure that low-income earners are protected.
“If BR1M is abolished while the cost of living issues still affect the people, it would show that the Pakatan Harapan government under Mahathir’s leadership has failed to champion the people’s issues compared to the previous government,” he said.
For this year, families with household incomes below RM3,000 will get RM1,500. Families with household incomes between RM3,000 and RM4,000 will receive RM900, while RM450 will go to single individuals who are over 21 years old.