PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are not experiencing the comfort that they deserve and this has not escaped the attention of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
As such, the Prime Minister said the main focus of the unity government is to improve the standard of living of the citizens by continuing with the various forms of assistance and cash aid to relieve their financial burden.
“That is why we are continuing to provide Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah (Rahmah Cash Aid).
“This is different and unique and I will continue to enhance such programmes.
“And how do we do this? We have targeted subsidies for electricity rates and petrol to help alleviate the people’s burden,” he said in a special interview with TV3 last night in conjunction with the Madani government’s one-year anniversary.
Anwar said the task for the unity government now is to provide the people with an opportunity to live in comfort.
“For me, the challenge is to guarantee that the people, many of whom are farmers, fishermen and the working class, to be comfortable, not the ministers or leaders alone,” he added.
Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, expressed confidence with the unity government’s efforts in facing the economic challenges in 2024.
He said the main focus of the government is on developing the country’s economy and not the political scheming by other parties.
Anwar said in the few months that the unity government was formed, there were rumours that there would be political interference or a change in government.
“But now the unity government is still strong.
“And when we are strong, we can focus on economic growth, make improvements on education, provide better healthcare and resolve socio-economic issues to eradicate poverty,” he added.
Asked if there is any assistance for the M40 group, Anwar said there were cash transfers in the form of RM100 eMadani credit enjoyed by those who are eligible.
“We have worked hard to alleviate the burden through cash transfers because subsidies will benefit millions of people including those who are filthy rich.
“The cash transfer will benefit at least 10 million citizens including those from the M40 group,” he said.
Starting from Monday, eligible Malaysians can redeem the RM100 eMadani credit until 11.59pm on Feb 20 next year.
The public can use the RM100 credit for physical transaction at 1.8 million retailers or businesses via their chosen e-wallet or DuitNow QR code.
On a separate matter, Anwar said a Cabinet reshuffle after only one year of the unity government is too early.
He said the Cabinet, including himself, needs to be given the opportunity to improve.
“Ministers need to be given the opportunity to improve their performance, including the Prime Minister as well,” he said.
Anwar was replying to a question by host Azaria Tagaya on his thoughts on filling the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister’s position following the death of Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub and a Cabinet reshuffle.
Anwar said a reshuffle would be necessary if the performance of the ministers was poor or due to other circumstances.
Anwar added that he was reminded of a boy who recently approached him after Friday prayers at a mosque to ask him when there would be a Cabinet reshuffle.
The 12-year-old boy named Akmal Afif Yasser Arafat had also suggested to Anwar that the reshuffling be done before 2024, to which Anwar had jokingly agreed to during their meeting on Dec 1.
However, Anwar said it was too soon.
“I don’t think that after one year, we can make a fair assessment.
“Some people rule for three years or 10 years, so one year is too early,” he added.