PRS' Masing disagrees with call to stop BR1M

Goh Pei Pei

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) today said the government should investigate 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) handout, if it believed there was elements of corruption involved.

Its president Tan Sri James Masing said discontinuing the aid would affect the poor as they needed the cash to ease their financial burden.

He said while the party supported Pakatan Harapan’s policy of transparency and clean government, it felt the BR1M initiative should not be stopped.

"To discontinue such aid means the people will be victimised, especially the rural poor.

"If there is mishandling of the scheme or corruption elements, just investigate it.

"Don’t stop the aid because it is a necessity to those who qualified for it," he said, adding that a majority of BR1M recipients were from Sarawak, one of the poorest states in Malaysia.

"These people are disadvantaged due to lack of connectivity, education and amenities." he said, adding that the government should reconsider its decision.

"In principle, it (discontinuing BR1M) is a good approach. However, in reality, there are certain communities who still need the handout, particularly the hardcore poor," Masing said.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government would slowly reduce the BR1M payouts before eventually stopping them.

He added that by doing so, he hoped Malaysians would become more independent and rely less on the government for handouts. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd