B40 families hope for more aid from Budget 2021

PETALING JAYA: Families from the B40 group hope that Budget 2021 will address issues they are facing during the pandemic as well as their hardship in meeting basic needs.

This includes issues with children’s education such as Internet connectivity and a lack of electronic devices for online studies.

They also hope that the Budget will look into housing subsidies for B40 families and allowances for single-parent households.

For housewife Devi Veeran, 45, and husband James Arockiasamy, 52, things have worsened tremendously due to the pandemic.

Since the movement control order (MCO) in March, James has not been able to find work.

To support their daily needs and put their four daughters through school, Devi has taken on small catering jobs and is currently the only breadwinner in the family.

“I cater for about 10 people three times a week.

“But the income is irregular and barely sufficient for us to get by. We hope that financial support will continue for B40 families.

“The government’s aid that has been given out so far has been helpful, but it will be even more helpful if we can have subsidised groceries because most of us are struggling with household expenses and putting food on the table, ” she added.

Because of the pandemic, Devi’s children need fast Internet and devices for online classes. The couple hope the Budget would also address such issues.

“It would be helpful to have subsidised home WiFi so they can attend online classes.

“The data provided by mobile telecommunication companies is sometimes not sufficient when there are so many depending on just a single mobile phone, ” she said.

Furthermore, the couple do not have electronic devices to facilitate their children’s online studies.

“We have only three mobile phones that need to be shared among the six of us, ” said Devi.

Housewife Roslinda Saalan, 45 and husband, technician Jamal Mat, 48, are also hoping Budget 2021 will provide educational assistance for their six children’s online lessons.

“We hope children from B40 or M40 families will be provided with free tuition and educational assistance such as a computer or laptop for online learning, ” said Roslinda.

“For families with many children, even something like buying school supplies whenever the school

term reopens can be an issue, ” she said.

“Free school supplies for children from underprivileged families would be good.”

Factory worker Lim Ah Seng, 45, is a single father with four daughters aged between nine and 16. They live in a squatter community in Perak.

Lim hopes for housing subsidies and provisions for B40 communities in the Budget so that they will have an opportunity to own their own home eventually.

Deelaila Baong, 29, and Andy Kalang, 34, from Miri, Sarawak are hoping that Budget 2021 will address the issues faced by the indigenous people in Sarawak.

“While things are not easy for us because we’ve three young children to raise, there are many more families who are suffering more from the effects of the pandemic.

“They have no income, their children can’t go to school and they don’t have the necessary equipment or WiFi for online learning, ” said Andy, a contractor who was without work for months because of MCO restrictions.

Deelaila works at a daycare centre, but it has remained closed since March.

“Some of our people living in the interior are dependent on the forests for their livelihood and survival, so we hope that the Budget will allocate resources to conserve and maintain these forests and rivers to keep them clean and unpolluted and protected against illegal logging.

“We don’t know how long the pandemic will last, so we hope that these issues can be addressed in Budget 2021, ” she said.

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Budget 2021 , family , B40 families , wants , hopes


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