KUALA LUMPUR: Recipients of BR1M (now known as Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) are anxious over Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s plan to gradually reduce and eventually abolish the payout.
“Indeed, the cash transfer has become a lifeline for many of them,” Pakatan Harapan (PH) Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said today.
Nik Nazmi, who is also PKR Youth chief, was responding to reports that the new PH government will eventually end the BSH programme.
He pointed out that PH’s manifesto, which the government was elected on, promised that the BSH would be retained for the B40.
The Member of Parliament for Setiawangsa said that any reform, including on ending the BSH, should only be done by consensus among all parties in PH and members of the Cabinet.
Nik Nazmi added that any move made must ensure that recipients would not be worse off, and that there would also be a plan to assist aged/disabled recipients who are unable to work.
“These plans must be transparently formulated and clearly communicated to the public to avoid creating anxiety or misconceptions.
“There is also nothing wrong with ensuring that the payments are tied to positive behaviour – such as making it conditional for the children of recipient families to be immunised, as well as in education or training.
“No one denies that it is always better to give people a ‘hand up’ rather than a handout. But (those who) genuinely need assistance – especially from their own government –should never be stigmatised.
“PH cannot afford to be on the wrong side of history in this matter, and it should always rest on the side of compassion,” he added.
Nik Nazmi, who is also PKR Youth chief, was responding to reports that the new PH government will eventually end the BSH programme. (Pic by FAIZ ANUAR)
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