KUANTAN: THE government initiatives introduced to help people in the low- and medium-income brackets are in line with the teachings of Islam, which encourage Muslims to be kind and assist those in need.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) for example, would ease the burden of seven million recipients nationwide, including 36,000 people in his parliamentary constituency of Pekan.
Quoting a hadith, Najib said Prophet Muhammad had told his followers that those whom Allah loved most were those who helped others, including in providing aid to the poor, easing their burden, helping them settle their debts and giving food to the hungry.
"I have learnt that some BR1M recipients had used the money to settle their debts.
"It shows what we are doing is in accordance with Islamic teachings and will get blessings from Allah," he said at an event where he distributed BR1M 3.0 payouts to 1,000 recipients at the International College of Automotive in Pekan yesterday.
In Pekan, about 12,000 recipients will receive BR1M cash vouchers, while the rest will have the money credited into their bank accounts.
Despite the opposition's attacks against such initiatives, Najib said the government would continue assisting the people through various measures, including BR1M.
"God willing, we can increase the BR1M payout every year.
"If we can further strengthen our economy and maintain peace, the amount will reach RM1,200 in five years' time."
A total of RM4.5 billion in aid will be distributed to BR1M recipients nationwide this year.
The payout to households with a monthly income of below RM3,000 has been increased from RM500 to RM700, including a RM50 contribution to the 1Malaysia People's Takaful Insurance (i-BR1M) scheme that provides protection of up to RM30,000 in the event of death or permanent disability.
For single individuals, aged 21 and above with a monthly income of less than RM2,000, the amount of aid has been increased from RM250 to RM300.
BR1M's recipient base was widened this year to include households with a monthly income of between RM3,000 and RM4,000. They will receive RM450 each. Additional reporting by Eddy Osman
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak presenting BR1M aid to a recipient at the International College of Automotive in Pekan yesterday. Pic by Luqman Hakim Zubir