PUTRAJAYA: The RM3.5 billion Jaringan Prihatin Programme launched by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today is part of the national digital inclusion agenda, aimed at alleviating the burden of 8.4 million Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) recipients.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the government is aware that there are many Malaysians who do not have comprehensive internet access in terms of availability and affordability, especially among the vulnerable and B40 groups.
“As such, the government agrees that there is a need for some improvements to address the digital gap,” he said at the launch of the programme here, today.
The Jaringan Prihatin Programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, as well as 12 telecommunication companies (telcos) in Malaysia, namely, Celcom, Digi, Maxis, Mcalls, redONE, speakOUT, Tune Talk, U Mobile, unifi Mobile, XOX Mobile, YES and Yoodo.
Based on the concept of inclusivity, the programme is aimed at empowering Malaysians in the path heading towards a digital economy, ensuring that no one will be left behind.
Tengku Zafrul said the programme was announced as part of the 2021 Budget with an original allocation of RM1.5 billion.
Taking into account the large number of B40 families with children, especially those with school-going children, he said an additional RM500 million had been allocated for the programme under the Pemerkasa package announced last March.
He added that telcos are also offering additional benefits worth RM1.5 billion, bringing the total value to RM3.5 billion for BPR recipients.
According to Tengku Zafrul, the programme is in line with the government’s five main focus areas in its effort to regenerate and boost the Malaysian economy post-Covid 19, one of which is to enhance the country’s competitiveness by reducing the digital divide.
These five key focus areas are namely controlling the spread of Covid-19 to enable the economy to reopen; driving economic recovery to further safeguard the wellbeing of the people and the affected sectors; strengthening national competitiveness; ensuring an inclusive agenda; and transforming the economy towards knowledge-based and innovation-driven activities.
Under the Jaringan Prihatin Programme, eligible recipients can opt for either a device package or a monthly data plan package.
B40 families with children under 18 years old can either claim a sum of RM300 for the device package or RM180 monthly data plan rebate for 12 months, while B40 families with no children under 18 years old may claim for device package rebate of RM180 or opt for a RM120 monthly data plan for 12 months.
Registration for Jaringan Prihatin Programme will be open from May 5-July 31, 2021.
Eligible recipients can register with the telco of their choice and join any of the plans recognised under the programme.
For further information on Jaringan Prihatin, please visit https://belanjawan2021.treasury.gov.my/manfaat/index.php/bm/jaringanprihatin — Bernama