Na­jib blasts ‘M’sia bankrupt’ crit­ics

> Cash handout un­der BR1M has been steadily in­creas­ing, PM re­minds Op­po­si­tion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY RAJVINDER SINGH

PETALING JAYA: Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Ab­dul Razak yes­ter­day hit out at his crit­ics in the op­po­si­tion who he said have been pre­dict­ing that Malaysia would go bankrupt ever since he as­sumed of­fice in 2009.

“The Op­po­si­tion has been pre­dict­ing that the coun­try would go bankrupt since I took over but in­stead I in­tro­duced the BR1M (Ban­tuan Rakyat 1Malaysia) scheme which has helped ease the fi­nan­cial bur­den of the pub­lic,” he said.

“The quan­tum has been steadily in­creas­ing since it was in­tro­duced in 2012 and it ben­e­fits low-in­come earn­ers,” he added in a Face­book post­ing yes­ter­day.

A video in the post­ing high­lights Na­jib’s suc­ces­sive BR1M an­nounce­ments in his pre­vi­ous bud­get speeches since 2011.

Na­jib said BR1M pay­ments and the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria had been broad­ened so that more peo­ple could ben­e­fit from it.

“Wait for #Ba­jet2017 for the BR1M an­nounce­ment and other ini­tia­tives,” he wrote.

The BR1M scheme was in­tro­duced after the govern­ment started re­duc­ing sub­si­dies for fuel and other con­sumer items. The cash hand­outs have been in­creas­ing from the ini­tial RM500 for fam­i­lies earn­ing RM3,000 and be­low, to RM1,000 in 2016.

In 2015, a new cat­e­gory was in­tro­duced, al­low­ing house­holds with a com­bined in­come of be­tween RM3,000 and RM4,000 to qual­ify for a RM750 handout and in 2016 it was in­creased to RM800.

Mean­while, Ber­nama re­ports a se­nior Finance Min­istry of­fi­cial as say­ing the govern­ment will table a re­spon­si­ble bud­get for next year, tak­ing into ac­count the con­cerns of all seg­ments of so­ci­ety, and de­liver on the prom­ises it made to the peo­ple in the elec­tions.

He said pri­or­ity would be ac­corded to the peo­ple in shar­ing the na­tion’s wealth, of­fer­ing greater op­por­tu­ni­ties to raise their in­comes by in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity and work­ing from home and eas­ing their fi­nan­cial bur­den by en­hanc­ing their pur­chas­ing power.

The of­fi­cial also shrugged off an­tic­i­pa­tion that the 2017 Bud­get would be an “elec­tion bud­get”.

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