Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) handouts make people dependent on the government, says former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in a new blog post.
“It’s known that some of the money does not reach the targeted people,” he said, pointing out that even in Britain today, the unemployed must do some work to earn the dole.
He argued that what was needed in Malaysia was more jobs for the poor to earn a better income. “For this, we must learn to do without foreign workers,” he said.
When people are unable to work because of disability, he agreed that “substantial financial support should be given to them”.
Beyond that, the government should focus on revaluation of the currency and strengthening the economy, said Mahathir.
“The people were definitely better off before when BR1M was not given.”
BR1M is not only a form of corruption; it also corrupts the minds of the people, he cautioned.
He said the government should carry out a proper survey to identify the truly poor and give them sufficient money to have a decent life. “Stop giving money through government parties.”
He noted that his condemnation of BR1M as corruption was “upsetting and angering some people”.
To demonstrate that BR1M is a form of bribery, Mahathir quoted a recipient who lived in a kampung.
“I will support Najib because he gave me money. Mahathir did not give me money,” the recipient was quoted as saying.
BR1M, being government money, was obviously intended to get people to vote for the government party in the last general election, alleged Mahathir.
“The BN manifesto for that election promised bigger BR1M (handouts) when the government party won.”
If it was not meant to pay for votes in the election, said Mahathir, it should not have been mentioned in the BN manifesto.
Mahathir went on to say that the government in any country had an obligation to look after the poor.
“The dole is given to ease the difficulties of unemployed people. Financial aid is given to the poor, but not as a supplement to their income.”
BR1M is a different kettle of fish, according to Mahathir.
Seven million people with incomes of less than RM3,000 per month get BR1M.
“If a person with an income of RM36,000 per year also gets RM500 a year, it is not a meaningful relief for such people,” he said.
Source : @ FMT Online