IPOH, Aug 22 — Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) chairman Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj today urged the government to review the cessation of Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) cash handout for certain lower-income group (B40) including single-parent.
Dr Jeyakumar said they have received numerous complaints where individuals who had previously received the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia, but are not entitled to the new scheme introduced by the Pakatan Harapan government.
“We have received a lot of complaints from the public on this issue all around the country. If the government think paying BSH is a waste, I can tell you it is not.
“Lot of families are still depending on the aid as they don’t have a proper income or job,” he told reporters.
Earlier, PSM together with a group of individuals from the affected B40 group held a protest in front of the State Inland Revenue Board office here following the discontinuation of the aid.
Dr Jeyakumar, who represented the group said that the reason given by the government on the cessation of the aid could not be accepted.
“They said if a single-parent, who is below 60 years old and did not have children below 18 years old is no longer eligible for the aid. This is unreasonable.
“How many single-parents could afford to work even though they are under 60. They might have an illness we never know. And we should not assume that children who are above 18 posses a stable job and income. As we know, we still have a lot of unemployed youngsters in our country,” he explained.
Dr Jeyakumar also said that another category of individuals from the B40 group, who have registered under the Companies Commissions of Malaysia (SSM), were also dropped from the BSH scheme.
“The government has to think that not all who are registered under SSM are rich businessmen. These people register under SSM to open up small stalls in markets and roadside. They could barely get RM1,500 per month by selling vegetables, roti canai and nasi lemak,” he said.
“We understand that the Finance Ministry wants to drop people who are not poor from the scheme. We would not oppose if they drop people who own property more than RM500,000 or own cars above 2000cc or motorcycles above 500cc but, why dropping people who are already poor from this scheme,” he added.
Dr Jeyakumar also urged Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to immediately review the status of these affected individuals and change the standard operating procedure, which the government has set for the scheme, so that the affected B40 group could enjoy the benefit from the aid.