Monday, March 03, 2014

So, what's wrong with BR1M?

The trouble with Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah is that, unlike his predecessor, he's a straight arrow - one of the last few good men still standing. Sometimes I wish he was a little crooked sometimes. In the case of the 17,000 ex-BR1M recipients who had declined the latest round of aid because they no longer "qualified", their honesty is heart-warming, especially in this day and age, but the Second Finance Minister should also quickly reflect the immediate concern, as expressed by blogger SatD on his FB: "Something is wrong with the recipients database, if not why would 17k say no?" 
If the database is correct - that 7 million Malaysians qualify for the financial assistance - then 7 million people will probably disagree with Dr Mahathir Mohamad if the Statesman was, indeed, advocating an end to BR1M in his latest posting, h e r e. I may be wrong but I don't think that's what Dr Mahathir is advocating. As I read it, the former PM is suggesting that: 
1. You don't give out BR1M ahead of an election
2. It's not sustainable - the Najib Administration should not adopt BR1M as a permanent policy to help the poor 
I totally subscribe to the first point. In fact, this popular political culture of approving millions to Chinese or Tamil schools, and promising the sky and the moon, just weeks or days ahead of a by-election should stop altogether. The government has an excellent track record (latest example: the second Penang bridge is built and completed even though Penang has been with the Opposition for the second term) so there's no need to bribe or be seen as bribing the voters.  
The second point requires closer examination. Every nation needs to throw a safety net to help its very poor and BR1M, for Malaysia, is that safety net. I like the idea that BR1M helps redirect subsidies from the wealthy directly into the hands of the poor. Plus that fact that the money will most likely be spent on the local economy, which will boost activities. 
But as the 17k ex-BR1M recipients show, there may be thousands of others - millions, even - who do not deserve the money but are getting it and are too lazy to say NO. We need to review that database, YB Husni, and confine the size of the safety net to the really poor instead of widening it. 
IMHO, we should continue BR1M but they must be confined to the very poor. struggling single moms, the average Joe who's keeping two or three jobs to care for his ageing parents, for example. For the rest of them, especially the urban folks, there are other more innovative, out-of-the-box means to help them deal with rising costs of living.     


  1. charleskiwi12:36 pm

    I am sure the Penang second bridge was built, not because of helping to ease the congestion of Penang, or to enhance the economy of Penang.
    It was all done so that there will be chances and excuses for the cronies to make mega bucks out of it a mega project, period !

  2. Anonymous12:46 pm

    Who decided to have the second bridge built ? And by who and at what cost ?
    Therefore who is or are the ultimate winners and since when was the present regime was so concerned about helping a state that is in control of the opposition ?
    Just look at the water situation, Penang has been getting water from Kedah for free but as soon as that schmuck son of Mahathir become the MB. He began to start asking for money for it !

  3. "... as the 17k ex-BR1M recipients show, there may be thousands of others - millions, even - who do not deserve the money but are getting it and are too lazy to say NO."

    In the first place it is the government which is inept, stupid or plain lazy to sort out who's who deserve the dole! The scenario: I do not ask but you insist giving so I take. Who's to blame? Anyway, if I do not take, my neighbour better off is on the take! Dia untung saya nak rugikah? The whole point is give to the suffering needy. Who is 'burning' Malaysia?

  4. Anonymous2:10 pm


    If you said BR1M "is to help those poor and destitute," what Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat then? Buy expensive cars, for their staffs? If you ask me, I liken this to that of "Robin Hood -- take from the rich, and give to the poor...!" Perhaps, we should rename it as "Mat Kayu" to reflect local moods?!

  5. br1m ni umpama ibubapa cuba menanggani masalah anak2 - bila bising bagi aiskrim. satu keluarga dapat rm650/365 hari = rm1.78. rakyat mintak lain, kerajaan bagi yg lain. kerajaan ada kuasa kawal harga barang2 & keperluan asas, awat tak buat?. dulu harga minyak naik 9 kupang, harga barang2 automatik ikut naik, bila harga minyak turun, harga barang tetap naik gila2. satu liter minyak rm20, satu kg beras rm25, satu kg gula rm15 tak jadi masalah kat depa. duit belambak oi!

  6. Anonymous4:30 pm

    I say tuan, ini bagi wang punya hal ni dah jadi darah daging dalam politik di Malaysia ni. Kalau tak bagi nanti apa orang kata - buang tabiat tu. Tapi kalau nak bagi juga, bagi le kat orang yang benar benar mendapat faedah dari pemberian itu. Buat apa le bagi berjota jota kat pihak yang dah tentu tidak akan memihak kepada si pemberi. Tuang le banyak mana pun ianya tidak akan memberi kesan. Agenda mereka sudah hampir kepada matlamatnya. Kalau tak nampak juga lagi memang le Melayu benar benar akan melayu, hancur seperti daun daun kering.

    As a friend of mine said "We have the money and we have the time and money can buy ANYTHING". Rightly said, history repeats itself.


  7. Anonymous9:16 pm


    There are lots of help for the poor, single mother and what not -- under 1AZAM n Minister Shafie Afdal and under MOA too -- don't this fund reach the targeted poor or there have been pilferage in the system like the one caught with few luxury cars..
    BRIM is redundant if those programs are well managed by the government. The poor u underprivelige should have been taken need for BRIM

  8. Anonymous10:37 am

    Layak atau tak layak, bagi aje la, kan dah biasa.

    cuba pakai same argument kat pembeli rumah semua bumi terima 5, 7 atau 10% diskaun - tak kira layak tak layak!

    kenapa tak cungkil pasal hal ni?

  9. Anonymous5:15 pm

    Laaa datuk tahu bila saya piee ambil brim kereta yg depan saya tgh tanya direction cam mana nak sek keb B pd seorang securityguard d sana. Couple cina tu drive apa tau datuk. Audi yg kesemangat besarnya. Agaknya berapa gaji depa yg mampu ada kreta lagu tu dan masih nak kan brim.