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KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — A recent survey by a market research company found that the majority of Malaysians appreciated the government’s effort to provide subsidy through 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) 2017 and that it is not a form of bribery as claimed by some.
The national survey conducted by Kajidata Research Sdn Bhd on 1031 recipients and non-recipients of BR1M under the supervision of Professor Datuk Syed Arabi Idid found 68.7 per cent of the respondents giving the thumbs up for BR1M with 63.9 per cent of them disagreeing that it is a form of bribery.
Dr Syed Arabi Idid who shared the findings with BERNAMA said, hence it is not surprising that 71.1 per cent of the respondents felt that BR1M introduced in 2012 should be continued in the future.
Due to the rising cost of living, 65.1 per cent of the respondents admitted that BR1M had helped alleviate their financial burden with only 25.6 per cent saying otherwise, said the former rector of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Kajidata’s adviser.
Slightly more than half of the respondents were happy that the BR1M aid that amounted up to RM1,200 this time around reached the target group. However, 33.8 per cent of them felt BR1M failed to serve the purpose.
Interestingly, 80 per cent of the recipients used the BR1M money on basic necessities with 85.3 per cent of them using up the subsidy within a month.
The study conducted from Feb 20-27 also found 31.8 per cent of the BR1M recipients spent the handout on basic necessities with almost a similar percentage spending on daily expenses.
Some used the money to pay the monthly bills and even for their children’s schooling. The study also found that in the previous BR1Ms, the more frugal ones
took up to three months to finish the money or even managed to save the money.
Kajidata’s study also noted that BR1M has compelled the people in genuine need of financial help to register with the authorities, hence creating a valuable comprehensive database on the needy. Dr Syed Arabi and his team noted that the same database can be used to customise aid programmes for target groups and monitor the progress of those in the needy category.
“For example, there may be those who need more than what BR1M could provide hence they can be referred to agencies like Lembaga Zakat that could provide meaningful assistance. As their income is also monitored by the Inland Revenue Department, we can know how many have really improved their lot and no longer dependent on aid,” he said.
Kajidata’s study were conducted through computer aided telephone interviews across the 222 Parliamentary constituencies including in Sabah and Sarawak. The respondents came from different age groups, income levels, educational background, race and gender. — Bernama