Only 8 days left ,Don’t miss out BR1M 2.0 – Government

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Given the success of our economy in 2012 it is sometimes easy to forget that some people still need a helping hand. That is why the Prime Minister has made it his personal duty to ensure financial assistance is delivered where it is most needed in our society.

He made this promise in his 1Malaysia online forum during the year and he kept that promise in Budget 2013 when he announced the second round of the highly successful BR1M people’s aid.

And now the Government is out to make sure those who are eligible don’t miss out on the next round – BR1M 2.0. It will be paid in the first quarter of 2013 and the Government is reminding the rakyat that in order to get the payment, you need to register.

“Those who have yet to register are advised to do so before December 31st so that they can be paid when we make the payments,” said Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

“If they register late, they will receive the payment late. They can register online or manually. When we make the payment in the first quarter, all those who registered will be paid.”

Ahmad’s timely statement is a reminder of the Government’s commitment to reach out to those – particularly in rural areas – who might otherwise miss out.

More than 2.3 million applicants have so far applied for BR1M 2.0. This includes 1.6 million single and unmarried people and more than 720,000 married applicants. It is available to households with an income of less than RM3,000 a month.

The BR1M 2.0 payment will, like BR1M 1.0, be RM500 and will be paid to all races based only on means test criteria. None of the 1Malaysia social measures favour any race. This important fact makes a mockery of accusations from the Opposition that the Government isn’t doing enough to reform bumiputra policies. It also makes a lie of Pakatan’s pathetic bleating that BR1M is “vote-buying”.

Not only have these payments played an important role in helping low income families – the type of people Anwar Ibrahim seldom meets – it has also been important in maintaining consumer demand at a time when retailers are suffering.

The BR1M payments will renew speculation of an election in the first quarter of 2013. Already Najib has the wind at his back following the success of Malaysia in 2012. We are a nation with a sound economy, we are an emerging regional player and we are transforming our political system.

But the BR1M 2.0 payment will also remind low income voters as they go to the polls that BN-Umno has always taken care of their most basic needs and will continue to do so.

Ironically Pakatan Rakyat both derides such payments then copies them as it did with its widely ridiculed shadow budget launched just days before the real thing. It also mimicked the Government’s low cost housing initiatives which have also resonated well with the poorest members of society.

Given that measures such as BR1M will benefit most rural Malays it could be said that PAS has the most to lose from the feel good factor these payments are helping to sustain. This is why PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang tried desperately to revive the party’s failed welfare state initiative at this year’s Muktamar. The idea went nowhere.

According to The choice.com all the Pakatan parties have failed to seize the initiative on Malaysia’s treasured safety net. This is Najib’s safe territory and it will deservedly help BN once we get to GE13.