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Gov't announces RM100 cash aid for university students

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Some 1.2 million tertiary-level students are expected to receive RM100 cash aid by the end of next month under the Higher Education Student Aid (BPPT) programme.

The Finance Ministry said today that BPPT would be an "improvement" on the previous administration's distribution of RM250 in the form of book vouchers.

"The Finance Ministry has approved an assistance rate of RM100 for every Malaysian student in an institute of higher education.

"The assistance will be channelled at the end of next month through existing mechanisms, using Bank Rakyat debit cards – an improvement from the previous book voucher system," it said in a statement.

Putrajaya has approved RM120 million for the BPPT programme, which is aimed at reducing students' financial burden.

"Details on the implementation of BPPT and criteria of eligible recipients will be announced by the education minister at a later date."

According to the ministry, the RM100 BPPT aid was in line with the announcement of a similar amount for low-income unmarried individuals under the Cost of Living Aid (BSH) scheme. 

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the cash aid despite it not being mentioned under Budget 2019.

Critics, including former premier Najib Abdul Razak, had panned the cash aid for singles as being too paltry. 

Najib pointed out that his administration had, through its Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) scheme, disbursed RM450 for the same category of recipients.

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