KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — The unity government would be able to channel aid in the future to those who really qualify if the current B40, M40 and T20 classifications were done away with in stages by next year, experts said.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sabah Management and Business Faculty senior lecturer Dr Jain Yassin said the current method used by the government to determine the poverty line was based on the total income of a household without looking at commitments borne by Malaysians.

Various factors, including net income and spending power, need to be considered when determining the poverty line as those with high income might not necessarily have high spending power.

“For instance, if an individual is categorised as M40, he could actually be in B40 if their spending power or net income is low after considering their commitments, such as home and car payments.

“Similarly, for the B40 group. There are those in rural areas who have more than one business to supplement their income while those working in the government for instance, would find it hard to have their own business.

“So, it’s wrong to say that all B40 qualify and M40 don’t qualify for government aid, it’s a wrong perception. That needs to change to be just to everyone,” he said to Bernama.

Economic Affairs Minister Rafizi Ramli had on Wednesday stressed that the government was trying to minimise errors in subsidy exemptions that could occur because of salary category classification, and everyone would see a transition away from blanket subsidies while the B40, M40 and T20 classifications would be done away with in stages by 2024.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Social Science and Humanities Faculty, Sociology and Social Antropology Programme lecturer, Dr Pauline Yong Pau Lin said whatever approach the government intends to use to determine who qualifies for aid and subsidy, it should not be one size fits all.

“If we look at previous poverty eradication efforts, some succeeded while others did not... why? because our policies were too much of ‘one size fits all’ while people don’t become poor because of one particular issue,” she said., adding that she hoped the government would collect input from everyone when crafting its strategies and policies against poverty. — Bernama