KUALA LUMPUR: Some 9.9 million Malaysians have benefitted from the Perikatan Nasional government's e-Penjana cashless payment initiative with its allocation worth RM495.4mil, Parliament heard on Thursday (Aug 27).
Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah said the government had granted RM50's worth of credit that could be redeemed using one of the three e-wallet service providers, namely Boost, GrabPay and Touch ‘n Go eWallet.
“The RM50 for the e-Penjana initiative began on July 31 and will end on Sept 24,2020. The credit received must be used before Sept 30,2020.
"As of August 21, a total of RM495.4mil has been successfully disbursed to 9.9 million people, ” he told Wong Shu Qi (PH-Kluang) during Question Time.
Wong had asked the ministry to reveal the numbers of applicants who had successfully claimed the e-Penjana initiative.
The initiative, among other things, was part of the government's effort to encourage the public to use cashless and e-commerce in the era of Covid-19.
To a supplementary question from Wong, who asked whether those from Perikatan Nasional who had criticised Pakatan Harapan for introducing the similar e-tunai initiative had accepted the e-Penjana, Mohd Shahar said the Pakatan government should have explained the e-tunai programme better to increase adoption.
He also rejected Wong’s allegations that e-Penjana was a continuation of the Pakatan Harapan's programme.
“The e-Penjana is a new system. When e-tunai was launched in the first quarter of 2020, the Pakatan government managed to promote it to 7.41 million individuals to join, compared to e-penjana which managed to successfully benefit 9.9 million Malaysians.
“If the previous administration had delivered their information better on data privacy, they might have achieved better results, ” said the deputy minister.