Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Helping The Poor

This is one of those KRAs set by the Prime Minister that all the recipients will receive their cash aid on the 1st of each month. Beginning this year, under the CARI program by the Ministry of Welfare, families with the income of less than RM720 can apply for cash aid. Each family will receive RM100 – RM300 per month.

In each Parliamentary seat, contract officers were employed in order to identify those who qualified for the aid. It was a good program and the response was tremendous. However, like all programs where money is involved, then you have a lot of people who do not qualified but insist in applying. These are selfish people who never give a thought that by receiving when they don’t deserve it, they are depriving the rights of other person who required such aid. I personally encountered a case where the applicant was staying in a residential area where all the houses located in that residential area are valued no less than RM350,000. This particular lady who co-owned the house with the husband claimed that since the death of the husband, she has gone into poverty level. She claimed that her two sons who are graduates do not take care of her financially. I find it difficult to support such applications. She probably wanted more pocket money rather than really needing financial aid to tie over her needs.

The contract officers, while doing good work however are very poorly paid. They are only paid RM35 per working day with travelling allowances. The contract officer’s workload can be heavy since each Parliamentary seat will have at least 2000 to 6000 applicants. To do home visits and verifications is a onerous task. I met contract officers who while committed are frustrated with the low remunerations. The Ministry of Welfare should review the remunerations for the contract officers. It will attract better quality contract officers.

The time has come for the government to give grant directly to the poor. It is easier to monitor, more equitable and better appreciated by the rakyat. Of course the initial phase of identifying the beneficiary may be tedious and voluminous but it is one-off.

In Malaysia, a lot of the goods and services are heavily subsidized by the government. This is not equitable as the rich also benefits from the subsidy. Today, we have a heavily subsidized educational system, healthcare system, gas and fuel, and a lot of other essential goods are also subsidized. Because of the subsidy, all these are artificially maintained at a lower price rather than the real market price. Not many Malaysians are aware of this. We take it for granted.

We should move away from this subsidy mentality. With the money saved from the subsidy, it can then be channeled to help the poor. It will create a more efficient economy with market forces determining the prices of the subsidized goods and services.

The direct grant will have a greater impact on the poor compared to subsidized good and services because:

a) Direct grant is quantifiable;

b) Direct grant is received directly by the beneficiary;

c) Direct grant empowers the people to prioritize their spending according to their requirements;

d) Direct grant is more fair as only selected people received the benefit.

The government needs to create the WOW factor for the direct grant to be welcomed and properly distributed to the poor.


kenny said...

Dear Datuk Seri

I think you are naive that direct grant will. This is Malaysia. What will happen is that the grants will be given to UMNO and BN people only. Not the deserving poor.

I hope you realise how bad things are on the ground.

Tuanku said...

Hi! Dr Chua,

You quoted that under KRAs - CARI program set by PM that all the recipients will receive their cash aid on the 1st of each month. Unfortunately, many Malaysians understand that the corrupted BN and UMNO leaders will abuse such grants for their own cronies and denied the deserving poor rakyat.

For instance, we still see many hardcore poor Malays and Bumiputeras in Kelantan, Kedah, Terengganu, Sabah and Sawarak today. Those billions RM petrol loyalty grants to these poor states are missing in action under UMNO/BN leaders for past 50 years. As claimed by Tun Dr M said he was suprised to know that billions of Petronas funds were gone with the wind in 5 years under Pak Lah rule. Why no MACC actions to investigate on Tun Dr M claim ?

Yes, BN greedy leaders have approved the increased in many prices on transports, tolls, electricity, petrol, foods, cars, etc that caused severe high inflation rates over the years in Malaysia. Such flip flop economy & financial policies under BN govt have caused majority Malaysian income earners to become "POORER" by days instead of helping the poor people. Todate 40% of Malay civil servants are badly hit by huge debts will create more corruptions in the govt sectors. Similar, the mushrooming of "loan sharks" under the protection of the black underworld triads and the white govt authorities have dampened the security of the nation. This is because the poor people become victims of their activities. Crime rates hike when many poor people cannot afford to meet their debts and high living costs.

Last but not least, our PM should realise that the evil roots of corruptions, greed, abuse of power, mismanagement, arrogant and never change in BN component parties are very bad for the nation. It is time the Rakyat and Oppositions must HELP the PM to remove out these bad UMNO, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and other BN politicians in Malaysia before we can talk about helping the poor Malaysians. Do you agree ?

Vince said...

Dr Chua,

How to categorize deserving people (what criteria)? If what kenny said it true, how to prevent this? Who is monitoring this? More importantly will the culprit be release without even a slap on the fist?

Mike said...

Year after year with the revelation of accounting general report on the abuse of public funds how to trust these KPI crap.

You see this academia Koh SK + the team is trying to convert a country call Malaysia to an ISO organization by following the same business model..What a joke. A country is a country, elected by the people and answerable to people, not to some dark forces as claimed by your party president (by the way shame on him). Got ball to talk but no ball to file a police report.

There are so many fraud cases big and getting bigger nowadays. Nothing has been done on it, many just get buried as time pass.

What about the Rm 500 screwdriver?
Collapsed roof in KT Stadium?
Kepong crack highway?
JB fungas hospital?
Now latest case crack overhead interchange at Puchong Jaya LDP (another wonderful design and build contract)

What are we waiting for? When some catastrophe occurred like a building or bridge collapsed then blame it to act of gods ??

When thousand and million like me everyday have to jam to pay tolls and jam again after paying tolls, do you know or dare to know what are we thinking of?

Low C. W. said...

I must admit that i came across few good cases where poor and unfortunate family receivng the aid from government, these people has no political background BUT of course some was help or being reference by the YB or local politician. Truely, they are many unfortunate people that need the help from the Ministry of Welfare. In fact, this should be the good platform for the government to demonstrate how they actually helping in the efficient manner.

kenny said...

Dear Datuk Seri

How can we ever get the grant to the poor. Govt Servants, local politicians all dip their grubby hands into the money. See The star today:

Director of hardcore poor scheme claims trial
A 35-year-old director of the state government’s Rumahku Syurgaku scheme claimed trial at the Sessions Court here to falsifying a claim.

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