Malaysia to distribute billion dollars to 7 million people

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives at the Beijing Capital International Aiport
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Reuters

In an attempt to improve the living conditions of low-income people in Malaysia, the government will distribute a total of $1.61 billion (RM 6.3 billion) to more than seven million people in the country. Finance Minister Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said that the payments will be distributed to people starting from Monday, February 26, 2018.

This move from the Malaysian Government is a part of the country's 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) program. The amount will be distributed to eligible people in three different phases. In the first phase, the recipient will receive a partial sum followed by the complete dispersal in the second and third phase.

"For example, those who are eligible to receive RM1,200, we will pay RM400 first and the rest will be paid in the second and third phases," said Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah during an event at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Convention Centre on February 25.

BR1M was initially introduced by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2012. Initially, the government paid RM500 to all households whose revenue was below RM3000. In the course of years, the government increased the payments, and now it is RM1200 for eligible families.

The decision of Government to payout the BR1M amount is expected to give Najib's party an upper hand in the upcoming Malaysian general elections which will be conducted this year.

On Sunday, Najib said that his Government has fulfilled 97.6 percent promises they assured on last general election's manifesto. The Prime Minister also added that his government will not promise things which they cannot fulfil.

However, Najib and his administration are facing negative remarks from a section of people who claim that the government is paying out the BR1M amount to buy votes. But Najib has denied these claims and he made it clear that BR1M has nothing to do with politics.

The Malaysian general elections will be conducted on or before August 24, 2018.