KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Assistance channelled under the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) is the largest direct cash assistance in the country’s history compared with Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) and Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Aziz.

In a statement issued today, Tengku Zafrul said, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob recently, BKM Phase 2 has been improved with additional cash assistance worth RM630 million, bringing the total allocation of BKM to RM8 billion.

He said, in comparison, the maximum BKM rate is RM2,600 compared with BR1M (RM1,200) and BSH (RM1,480), an increase of 120 per cent since the direct cash assistance initiative was first introduced.

“This increase is due to the eligibility limit to receive BKM has been increased, from (household income of) RM4,000 or less per month (under BSH) to RM5,000 or less per month for BKM,” he said.

He said the number of BKM recipients was 8.6 million compared to BSH’s 4.5 million recipients.

Tengku Zafrul said this meant that more Malaysian families are eligible to receive assistance, including part of the M40 group and not limited to the B40 group only as for the previous direct cash assistance initiative.

He said BKM has been known as assistance to the B40 group, however, the fact was that the assistance now benefited 12.6 million individuals, which is equivalent to 60 per cent of adults in Malaysia.

He added that Finance Ministry would continue to monitor external factors that could hurt the domestic economic situation to ensure the cost of living of the people was under control.

“The government is also constantly monitoring the current situation and is confident that its policies, both in terms of direct and indirect assistance, such as basic necessities subsidies, aimed at ensuring the welfare of the people are always protected,” he said.

On June 22, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced additional cash assistance under the BKM of RM100 for households and RM50 for single individuals after the government took into account the cost of living challenges and the recent increase in food prices.

Apart from that, Tengku Zafrul said BKM Phase 2 with an allocation of RM1.74 billion will be paid in stages to eligible recipients, starting today (June 27) and will benefit 4 million households, 1.2 million senior citizens (single/without a partner) and 3.4 million single individuals.

Payment status can be checked from today at https://bkm.hasil.gov.my. — Bernama