KUALA LUMPUR: Individuals carrying the title “Datuk” were among those to have received the now-rebranded 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), according to Lim Guan Eng (pix).
The Finance Minister revealed this to the Dewan Rakyat today, adding that to avoid a similar blunder, the current administration has been consistently improving the process of registering and updating of information for the new Cost of Living Aid (BSH).
“We (government) are improving the process of registering and updating to ensure that only those who are truly qualified will receive the aid, in line with our goal for a targeted subsidy and assistance.
“This is to ensure that there is no repeat of the problem under the previous (BR1M) system, where even those with the title Datuk were receiving the aid under the previous government,” he said.
Lim was responding to questions on the registration and updating process of BSH to ensure that Malaysians who were over-qualified for the assistance would be removed from the aid list.
Lim said since the start of the year, the government has included three new agencies to filter through applications to determine the eligibility of each applicant, namely the Social Welfare Department, Majlis Amanah Rakyat and Social Security Organisation.
“On top of existing ones, this means a total of 16 government agencies are involved in going through the applications to ensure only qualified individuals receive BSH, and to avoid issues of inclusion and exclusion errors,” he said.
On a supplementary question by Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) if the decision to seek for an additional budget, that was tabled for first reading on Wednesday, was meant for more BSH payment in anticipation of the Rantau by-election, Lim rubbished the claim.
He said any decision to give out BSH in the future would depend on the government’s fiscal capability, adding that the request for a supplementary budget was meant to cover for expenditure under the BN’s 2018 Budget.
“As I have mentioned before, we never make any decisions on BSH payments based on upcoming events or developments. As for the budget, you should know that this is not to cover for this year’s budget, but for last year’s,” he explained.
On Wednesday, Lim tabled the Supplementary Supply (2018) Bill 2019 at the Dewan Rakyat for the first reading, seeking RM4.1 billion for operating expenses to supplement the 2018 Budget.
It is understood that a further RM15.5 billion is being sought for development to supplement last year’s budget.