The assistance channelled under the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) programme is the largest direct cash assistance in the country’s history, more than the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) and Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said today.
In a statement, Tengku Zafrul said that as announced by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob recently, BKM Phase 2 had been improved with additional cash assistance worth RM630 million, bringing the total BKM allocation to RM8 billion.
He said the maximum BKM rate was RM2,600 compared with RM1,200 for BR1M and RM1,480 for BSH, an increase of 120% since the direct cash assistance initiative was introduced.
“This is because the eligibility limit to receive BKM has been increased, from (a household income of) RM4,000 or less per month (under BSH) to RM5,000 or less per month for BKM,” he said.
He added that there were 8.6 million BKM recipients compared to BSH’s 4.5 million.
Tengku Zafrul said this meant that more Malaysian families were eligible to receive assistance, including parts of the M40 group and not limited to the B40 group only as was the case with previous direct cash assistance initiatives.
While BKM was known as assistance for the B40 group, he added, it had now benefited 12.6 million individuals, equivalent to 60% of the adults in Malaysia.
He added that the finance ministry would continue to monitor the external factors that could hurt the domestic economic situation, to ensure that the cost of living for the people is under control.
“The government is also constantly monitoring the current situation and is confident that its policies, both in terms of direct and indirect assistance such as basic necessities subsidies, aimed at ensuring the welfare of the people, are always protected,” he said.
On June 22, Ismail announced additional BKM cash assistance of RM100 for households and RM50 for single individuals, taking into account the cost of living challenges and the recent increase in food prices.
Tengku Zafrul said BKM Phase 2 with an allocation of RM1.74 billion will be paid in stages to eligible recipients from today, and will benefit 4 million households, 1.2 million senior citizens (single/without a partner) and 3.4 million single individuals.
Payment status can be checked from today at https://bkm.hasil.gov.my.