PEKAN – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today shared with the people on the background of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), following various allegations by the opposition, including that it is intended to buy votes.

Speaking before a crowd of about 2,000 BR1M recipients, he said, the aid was proposed by Bank Negara Malaysia in an effort to enable targeted subsidy to be carried out.

“This (targeted) subsidy is better than one-off subsidy which has many leakages. For example, the possibility of the subsidy recipients selling it at the border.

“Secondly, the person who should receive the subsidy is relatively getting less compared with others, for example, RON95 petrol, people with big cars get more benefits from those who drive a Proton Saga or Myvi,” he said at the launch of the national-level BR1M at the  Sultan Ahmad Shah Convention Hall here today.

Also present were Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

Therefore, Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said for the government, it was time for it to make a policy change that gave huge benefits to the people through the distribution of BR1M.

He said BR1M was implemented in 2012 with aid of RM500 each for nearly 4.1 million recipients, before the amount was increased to& RM1,000 in 2016 and RM1,200 in 2017.

“Our promise (made) five years ago in the Barisan Nasional (BN) manifesto, we will increase BR1M to RM1,200 and within that period, the promise was& fulfilled. We will not make a promise if we think we cannot keep it.

“I’ll not issue a statement that a certain manifesto has to be reviewed… some people make a statement, not to fulfil (the promises), (but) to review 60 per cent of the manifesto. What’s the use of a manifesto where the promises cannot be fulfilled,”he said.

He said until today, the BN government had fulfilled 97.6 per cent of promises in the last general election’s manifesto.

Najib aid BR1M, over which questions were raised by social media users whenever he uploaded his status on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, also helped to stimulate the country’s economy.

“Whenever we get BR1M, we use it to buy essential items like rice, sugar, milk and school uniform… this stimulates domestic economy,” he said.

The prime minister also hit out at quarters who, he said, were only good at criticising BR1M, but did not give any suggestions on a better way to distribute the subsidy.

He said he was willing to consider any suggestions for implementation for the good of the people and the country.

“To say it (BR1M) is dedak (animal feed) or cash is king, it is nonsense because during his time it was not done. We are a government that is concerned about the people’s welfare,” he said.

Distribution of the 2018 BR1M, involving an allocation of&nbsp RM6.3 billion for about seven million recipients nationwide, will be carried out in three phases.

The first payment will be disbursed beginning tomorrow, while the second and third in June and August, respectively. — Bernama

Liow says Chinese voters to swing back to govt

KUALA LUMPUR – MCA is confident of garnering additional support from Chinese voters in the 14th General Election (GE14) based on the encouraging response received by the party from the community, especially in urban areas.

Its president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the wave of support from Chinese voters was apparent after they realised that there was no tangible development or success being undertaken by the opposition over the last two terms.

“It is clearly obvious in Kuala Lumpur, many Chinese have returned to the MCA fold because they have realised that the DAP could not contribute to the people despite holding the constituencies here for the past 10 years.

“I have been walking and talking to the people on the ground. We shake hands and can feel the serious support. They (voters) also said this is the time (GE14) that the votes will come to MCA and Barisan Nasional,” he said.

Liow was met by reporters at the Tun Razak Division and Federal Territories level Chinese New Year 2018 open house here today.

The festive celebration was attended by more than 3,000 residents around the area, including from the Malay and Indian communities, reflecting the spirit of oneness among the people in the country.

Liow, who is also Transport Minister, said MCA was in the midst of regaining the trust of the people to jointly focus on the Kuala Lumpur transformation agenda to turn it into a ‘Greater KL’ for economic development and national progress.

He said the government had never differentiate between the Chinese, Malay or Indian communities because it practised a spirit of unity and harmony.

“Overall ahead of the GE, which will be held soon, the support to us (government) is getting stronger. We can seriously see and feel the mood,” he added.

— Bernama