If there is one thing and one thing alone the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be applauded for, it will be BR1M.
Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia is perhaps the best solution of returning what is taken from the rakyat to the rakyat and Najib is right in saying it is “not animal feed”.
And when we say “animal feed” here, it means “animal feed”, not “dedak” – which connotates that once fed, the animal will only wait for its next feed from you.
As intelligent as our former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad was politically, even he did not come up with this idea during his time. Even at the end of his tenure after 22 years, when he was accused of big time cronyism and nepotism, Mahathir did not think up of such an idea.
One may say that this is pittance for Najib’s government, but whatever small a pittance it may be, one must agree it is going back to the rakyat.
Even if it was a political decision to get votes at its initial stage, the government must realise by now that it did not get them much votes, for there are many who take the BR1M and voted the opposition. No one would believe that the government was that noble in wanting to have given billions away to the people in want of nothing. Governments do not work that way – there is always a catch in anything they give.
In 2016 alone, RM5.2 billion was allocated for BR1M.
However, for the rakyat, we will take everything the government gives because we think it is absolutely ours in the first place. And for those of us who are not eligible for BR1M, it is heartening to note our taxes are going to the needy.
As for BR1M 5.0 this year , the lead family member shall receive RM 1,000 for family with household income below RM 3,000. Family with household income between RM 3,000 and RM 4,000 shall receive RM 800 aid. A RM 400 aid will be given to single individuals that are over 21 years old.
Some may snigger at those who take BR1M, but one must realise that in this day and time, RM1,000 is a lot for a family that earns RM3,000 and below. It is no chicken feed.
It can probably be the grocery bill and more for a family of four for a whole month.
The opposition politicians who are agreeing with those who say it is animal feed, must also realise that many Malaysians are surviving daily to put just rice on the table.
As much as the government may have wanted to lure the voters in through BR1M, little did they realise now that they are actually the one in a trap.
For in no way, can the government retract the BR1M or lower the amount. It will be politically disastrous should they do so.
And even should the opposition takeover, it too cannot stop the BR1M, for then they will be seen not topping up their predecessor.
So, the catch of the BR1M is actually on the government and not the rakyat who takes it.
That said, all parties should ensure everyone and anyone eligible for BR1M gets it.