Getting Rahmah Cash Aid to Orang Asli in interior areas

TAPAH: The Finance Ministry will reach out to the Orang Asli in the interior of Peninsular Malaysia to ensure they receive Rahmah Cash Aid (STR), says Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan.

The Finance Minister II said the aid will be disbursed to these communities starting this year.

He said a total of 82,000 Orang Asli have registered for STR and are eligible for the aid amounting to a total of RM82.4mil.

However, he said 14,000 of them do not have bank accounts.

“There is an option for them to either open a bank account or (for us) 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 interior, the ministry beginning this year has decided to reach out to them.

“They will be assisted to open bank accounts. For those unable to do so, cash will be provided through Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), which will provide the necessary facilities, and with the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) filtering their eligibility,” he added.

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

Under the pioneer programme, a total of 409 Orang Asli received the aid.

Amir Hamzah said after this, the programme would be expanded to Orang Asli villages, including those in Rompin and Kuala Lipis, Pahang; Gua Musang in Kelantan; 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 Sabah and Sarawak had already started.

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