PETALING JAYA: Given the unrelenting pace of price increases for essential goods, the continuation of cash aid is a much-needed lifeline for many families.
There was broad welcome for the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) payouts of RM100 for households and RM50 for single individuals.
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Nalini Muthusamy said the RM100 cash aid could assist with the rising cost of living.
“During hard times, RM100 does mean a lot to many people,” she added.
However, the 45-year-old odd job worker said the government should consider increasing employment opportunities.
“Have more jobs out there so everyone can find a decent living – but, prioritise Malaysians first,” said Nalini, who described the current cost of living as “skyrocketing”.
Elsie Davies, 72, was happy with the amount and planned to buy only what was necessary due to her tiny purchasing power, adding that she spends about RM250 a month.
Davies, who is single, said she hopes the government would consider offering a bigger amount for senior citizens like her, who were former private sector employees living off their meagre savings, to cover a bigger chunk of their monthly expenses.
“RM50 or RM100 will get me only a couple of items these days,” said the Cheras resident.
A senior executive from Ampang, Selangor, who only wished to be identified as Maria, said she was grateful for the additional cash under BKM, adding that it would go to daily necessities such as food.
“I am glad the government has channelled financial assistance to the people from lower income brackets to help families like mine amid the economic situation,” she said.
Maria, 32, also said the government should take more proactive measures to curb the rising prices of daily necessities.
Since moving to Kuala Lumpur to work, junior associate Atif Muhamad, 28, said his daily spending has increased and that the latest announcement would help to cushion the impact.
“I can use the extra money to probably cover a portion of my daily meals and Internet expenses.
“Renting a place in the city is even harder because the rent is high and some raw food prices have been increasing lately,” said Atif, who hails from Terengganu.
He added that the government should continue to monitor the prices of basic goods to ensure that the rakyat would be able to live comfortably.
Freelancer Muhammad Syahmi, 21, said the additional cash was helpful as prices for daily necessities have been soaring.
“Personally, I think it will be helpful, but maybe not too much because costs just keep on rising.
“I would still use the extra money to buy food and other necessities,” said the lad from Selangor.
T. Priya, 30, who is currently jobless, reckons the additional money would help her defray minor expenses.
“I will start a new job next month, so I can use this to settle some pending expenses such as utility bills,” said Priya, who is single.
Although the amount is small, Priya said getting something was better than not getting anything at all.
In JOHOR BARU, Awatif Zainuddin was certainly not complaining when news came that she will get RM50 extra under the BKM for single Malaysians.
“Maybe to some people, RM50 seems like a small sum, but to me it can help me save some money,” she said.
Awatif, 29, who works at a family entertainment centre, said she was not complaining about the “mere” RM50 extra.
“I am grateful for the assistance as it... will help me buy basic necessities.
“At the same time, I can put aside some of my salary for emergencies,” said Awatif, who lives with her parents.
Food and beverage consultant P. Manivanam, 43, said while he was grateful for the additional assistance, he also hoped the government would consider increasing the amount in view of the economic situation.
“I hope that the government could consider further increasing the amount of the cash handout so that it will be more impactful in helping those in the B40 category,” he said.