KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The government might raise 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) cash handout rates, but it would only be temporary and depended on crude oil prices, Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said.
In his ministerial winding up speech on the 2018 Budget, Johari explained that for every US$1 (RM4.17) increase in crude oil price, the government’s revenue increases by RM300 million.
“So if according to our current budget, the average price of oil US$52, and by the end of 2018, the average price hits US$62, which is a total of US$10 increase, multiplied by RM300 million, it would equal to RM3 billion additional income.
“In terms of global oil price, in 2008, the global oil price was US$140 and on average, we were at US$115/ per barrel, and that time BR1M never existed and our fuel price was RM2.70.
“Today, we are at RM2.31, and the government does notice this increase, and maybe, if the increase leads to higher government gains, the government can contribute to the society like adding an extra amount in BR1M. However, the extra is not permanent,” Johari said, in reply to a question by Jasin MP Datuk Mohammad Said Yusof on oil price developments.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday said that BR1M was among measures that contributed to Malaysians’ increased happiness as ranked by a global index.
In a written reply, he said Malaysia was 42nd out of 155 countries in the World Happiness Report 2017, up from 47th last year.
“This achievement is supported by the increase in social support aspects, income per capita and the freedom of choice.
“This includes the distribution of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) to a total of seven million households with low income, and who truly need it,” the reply read.