Rahmah Cash Aid to be expanded to Orang Asli in interior, says Amir Hamzah

Photo: Bernama

TAPAH: The Rahmah Cash Aid (STR) programme will be expanded to the Orang Asli community living in the interior areas of Peninsular Malaysia, says Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan.

The Finance Minister II said a total of 82,000 Orang Asli have registered, and are eligible for the aid amounting to RM82.4mil.

However, he said from that amount, 14,000 of them (Orang Asli) do not have bank accounts.

He said for this community, there was an option for them to either open a bank account, or to hand over cash to them, as there is a possibility of no banking facilities available near them.

“Taking into account the constraints and obstacles faced by the community living deep in the interiors, the ministry beginning this year has decided to reach out to them.

“They will be assisted with the opening of bank accounts, while for those unable to do so, cash will be provided with Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) providing the necessary facilities, and the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) vetting for eligibility,” he said.

Amir Hamzah said this at a press conference during the launch of the pilot STR project for the Orang Asli at the Batang Padang district held at the Kuala Woh forest reserve eco-park near here Sunday (March 3).

A total of 409 Orang Asli received the aid today.

He said similar programmes among others would be expanded to the Orang Asli villages in the peninsula including in Rompin, Kuala Lipis, Gua Musang and Hulu Perak.

He said BSN’s mobile bank branches would also be available for such programmes.

Amir Hamzah said a similar STR programme for the indigenous communities in Sarawak and Sabah has already started.

He said overall an allocation of RM10bil has been set aside for over eight million STR eligible recipients.

Earlier, he also presented the Sumbangan Asas Rahmah (Sara) cash aid for poor households at the TF Mart here.

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