IPOH: Putting an end to cash handouts such as the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) is the right move, says Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (pic), while allaying worries that it will bring a negative impact to the people.
The Economic Affairs Minister said the government would lead the country on a new economic direction that would prosper the people.
Speaking to the press, he lauded the decision to gradually phase out cash handouts as they contain elements of bribery.
“Even Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has comprehensively stressed that such form of politically-driven handouts should no longer continue.
“Cash handouts like this should stop because it is considered a politically motivated bribe to gain support,” he said after opening the annual general meeting of Perak PKR branches, which took place simultaneously, here yesterday.
Dr Mahathir had in a recent interview announced that Putrajaya would slowly reduce BR1M payouts, which has been renamed Bantuan Sara Hidup by Pakatan Harapan, before discontinuing it.
Blaming the Barisan Nasional and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s administration for “spoiling” the people, Dr Mahathir said the people should stop depending on the government and believing that they were entitled to money without doing any work.
Azmin denied that such a move would negatively affect the people, as the country’s new economic direction would focus on making people’s lives better.
“The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are coming up with new approaches and initiatives for the country’s new economic direction, which will be presented and debated in the Parliament in October.
“It (new economic direction) will focus on prospering the people instead of bribing and taking them for granted.
“With that, I believe the people will have greater economy power to ease the costs of living,” he said.
On whether the government would replace BR1M with a new system to provide aid for the needy, Azmin said it was being studied, adding that his ministry would also present its views on that in Parliament.
He noted that the government was drafting the half-term review for the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020), where a different approach would be used during its presentation in Parliament in October.
“Besides the success and performance of the 11th Malaysia Plan in the last two years, we will also add new directions for Malaysia’s economy according to Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto,” he said.
“After winning the election, this is the time for Pakatan to enter the second phase of reformation, where delivery and implementation of promises for the benefit of the people are of paramount concern.”
Meanwhile, on the fight between him and PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli for the party deputy president’s post, Azmin said it showed that “democracy in PKR is strong and stable”.
“We accept in good faith any members who want to offer their services to the party.
“We should respect and uphold the democracy process in the party,” he said, adding that he would leave it to party members to decide the future of PKR.