BR1M or BSH, does it really make a difference?
By Nadhirah Sofea Rashid
There has much talk now about the RM100 aid for single individuals under the Bantuan Sara Hidup programme, which is basically a rebranding of the controversial BR1M.
The 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) programme was first introduced by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2012 as part of the Government’s effort to ease the burden of the lower income group in Malaysia.
It aimed to help the lower income group cushion the high cost of living in Malaysia.
BR1M has become so popular among the people even someone make it into a meme.
Before taking over the government (again), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said BR1M handouts were tantamount to corruption and were therefore illegal and could even be considered a crime.
However, after winning the elections last year, Pakatan Harapan decided to replaced BR1M with Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) with the same aim which is easing the burden of the Bottom 40 (B40) household income group.
In terms of concept, the implementation of BR1M and BSH is the same.
But strangely, though the concept is still the same, BR1M was called "dedak" whereas BSH is not called so, why?
Okay, let's put all these aside first.
The better question is, does BSH or even BR1M really help or make any changes for anyone in the long run?
Yesterday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said BSH 2019 payment of RM100 will be paid out to single individuals by March end whereas during BN's era, they had allocated RM450 for single people and RM100 for school students.
It turns out to be RM100 for all now.
Whether RM450 or RM100, how long will they last?
One day? One month? Does it make a difference? No? Yes? Some even call it chicken feed.
Hundred of millions have been allocated just for this whereas so much can be done with them.Looking at the long-term growth in Malaysia, what is more important is that more money should be allocated for affordable housing, free education, public transport infrastructure, job opportunities and many more.
How long does our people need to be dependent on aid money only?
What about the thousands of unemployed graduates? Will the RM100 help them have a better life?
It could be more helpful if the government can come up with a decent living wage policy rather than giving out aid money.
Many other things should be done first in order to help the people who are in need.
BR1M or BSH is only be a temporary measure to help the poor, if it helps at all!
So to give a fish or teach them how to fish?