Main page | BPLUS News List | News List | Newsbriefs@7 | Infographics | Malaysia eBiz | e-Newsletter |
  Targeted Subsidies Fulfil Needs of B40 Group  

Friday, 09 November 2018

By Erda Khursyiah Basir

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Whenever the cost of living rises, the bottom 40 percent of income earners (B40), whose monthly household income fall below RM3,860, are always the first to feel the pinch of hardship.

While initiatives outlined in Budget 2019 that are aimed at easing the cost of living for the B40 have received positive feedback from the public, it is hoped that the government will take the necessary measures to ensure that the proposed subsidies benefit the targeted groups.

Shazlina Shahidan, 41, a member of Rela (Jabatan Sukarelawan Malaysia or Volunteers Department of Malaysia), urged the government to monitor the implementation of the initiatives targeted at the B40 group and screen the recipients as well to ensure that only the deserving ones get them.

"The government is indeed trying to help people like us who are in the B40 group but it should make sure that only the deserving people benefit. For example, in the flats where I live, I've seen some people driving luxury cars, which is strange as people like us can't afford such things," she told Bernama.

The government should conduct a census and go from house to house to collect information about every family, she said, adding that this might be a more effective way to identify B40 families.

Shazlina, who has four children aged between 15 and 22, resides at the low-cost flats at the Batu Muda People's Housing Project in Jalan Ipoh, here.


When unveiling Budget 2019 at the Dewan Rakyat last Friday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced, among other things, various measures to ease the cost of living for the B40 group.

He said a Cost of Living Aid or 'Bantuan Sara Hidup' (BSH) of RM500 to RM1,000 would be given to households earning between RM2,000 and RM4,000 a month.

He also announced an additional BSH of RM120 per child for up to four children aged 18 and below, as well as for children with disabilities with no age restriction imposed.

Other measures include increasing the household electricity subsidy from RM20 and below to RM40 and below, and the RM100 30-day unlimited Rapid bus and rail pass effective Jan 1 next year.  

On the much-awaited fuel subsidy, Lim announced the introduction of a targeted petrol subsidy for owners of cars with a capacity of 1,500cc and below and motorcycles of 125cc and below.

Through this mechanism, the government will provide a petrol subsidy of 30 sen a litre for RON95 petrol. However, the subsidy is limited to 100 litres a month for cars and for motorcycles, 40 litres a month.

A total of RM2 billion has been allocated for the targeted fuel subsidy, which is set to be implemented in the second quarter of 2019. It is expected to benefit as many as four million car owners and 2.6 million motorcycle owners. 

People like Shazlina who are in the lower-income bracket, however, need more clarification on the targeted subsidy concept, as well as how to go about applying for the subsidies concerned.

"We're ordinary people. Sometimes we hear about some aid or other but don't know how to apply for it. It will be good if the government can provide clarification through various channels so that we don't miss it," she said, adding that if all subsidies went to the right hands, there was a chance for B40 households to improve their standard of living.


Fara Nadila Mo’min, 28, a private-sector worker, said although she was a little disappointed that the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) programme has been scrapped, she was, however, thankful that the government has introduced the targeted fuel subsidy as it would help to ease the financial burden of B40 households like hers.

"My work requires me to go around the Klang Valley to meet clients. The fuel subsidy will at least help to reduce my costs," she said.

Fara Nadila also welcomed the government's move to raise the minimum wage to RM1,100 beginning Jan 1, 2019.

"Since many people are finding it challenging to cope with the rising cost of living, I hope all companies and agencies will adhere to the new (minimum wage) ruling," she added.

Housewife Nur Hasmila Hassan, 48, said although she lived in Kemaman, Terengganu, her family was also affected by the spiralling cost of living.

Happy that Budget 2019 is focused on helping the B40 group, the mother-of-four said the subsidies and benefits would enable her children to pursue their studies up to the tertiary level. 

Her two older children are currently studying at institutions of higher learning while her two younger children are still at school.

"The cost of living is so high these days that it is suffocating us. I felt relieved when I heard about the BSH, targeted fuel subsidy and electricity subsidy (in Budget 2019)," she said, adding that she also hoped the government would consider increasing the loan amounts given out under the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) as it would help to reduce the financial burden of parents in the B40 group.


Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman, meanwhile, said the targeted petrol subsidy was not only more rational but would also help the government to reduce the quantum of subsidies currently being given out.

"People in the high-income group who own high-powered luxury cars are the biggest fuel users. The low-income earners, on the other hand, mostly use public transport or motorcycles. Even if they own cars, it would be 1,300cc models," he said, adding that the government could consider introducing a designated card system for the targeted groups for the purpose of implementing the fuel subsidy.

He said should the government want to extend its subsidy programme to food, it could create a cashless mechanism to allow the targeted groups to use coupons or their MyKad (Malaysian national identity card) to buy food at subsidised rates from certain premises.

Pointing to MyKasih Foundation, a non-profit organisation that provides all kinds of aid to the less fortunate, Mohd Yusof said it uses MyKad to enable people registered with the organisation to procure RM80 worth of groceries per month at selected retail outlets.

MyKasih implements various food and education programmes that are aimed at low-income families regardless of race and religion. One of its programmes enables students to use their MyKad to buy food at their school canteen or buy books and stationery from their school bookshop.


Believing that continuous efforts should be made to improve the living standards of the B40 group in order to elevate them to the middle 40 percent of income earners category (M40), Mohd Yusof said the government should also consider introducing initiatives to open up business opportunities for them or help them to expand their current businesses.

To avoid duplication of assistance programmes targeted at the poor, he called for the setting up of a coordinating body to ensure the optimal utilisation of all forms of aid. 

Commenting on the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry's new Food Bank Malaysia programme to help feed needy people, he said some supermarkets have already come forward to participate in the programme. 

"I hope more organisations will join programmes like this because, in the long term, it will help to improve the living standards of the people and reduce the number of households in the B40 group," he added.

Asked to comment on a report by Khazanah Research Institute that households earning RM2,000 and less have paltry savings as they spend 94.8 percent of their income every month, Mohd Yusof said: "This is the reality our country's low-income earners have to face."

He said they were the ones who were most impacted whenever the prices of goods, food, transportation and utilities went up.

"This is why the government must give priority to helping them. They should be given opportunities to further their studies or upgrade their skills so that they can get better jobs," he said, adding that low-income earners could also go into part-time ventures like operating food trucks and driving for e-hailing companies to earn some extra money.


Translated by Rema Nambiar




Third national car can put Malaysia at forefront of automotive evolution

Friday, 18 January 2019

By Mohd Khairi Idham Amran

KUALA LUMPUR  (Bernama) – The third national car project provides an opportunity for Malaysia-based companies to be at the forefront of the global automotive industry evolution, according to industry watchers.


Daunting task ahead for MPOB

Friday, 18 January 2019

By Nurul Hanis Izmir

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) --The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will have a daunting task in reducing Malaysia's mounting palm oil stocks, said to be at its highest level in 20 years, but the industry regulator is...

Perlu Kumpulan Pemikir Tangani Isu Kehamilan Remaja

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Oleh Salbiah Said

Rencana ini adalah bahagian akhir daripada dua bahagian mengenai kehamilan luar nikah yang melibatkan gadis belasan tahun.

PETALING JAYA (Bernama) -- Pertubuhan Kesihatan Sedunia (WHO) mengenalpasti kira-kira 16 juta remaja perempuan melahirkan anak setiap tahun dan...


Need For a Think-Tank to Tackle Teenage Pregnancy

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

By Salbiah Said

This is the second of a two-part article on out of wedlock pregnancy involving teenage girls.   

PETALING JAYA (Bernama) -- World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics have revealed that about 16 million adolescent girls give birth every year,...

Issue 244   Issue 242
 English Version      Versi B. Melayu  

Assistant admin officer arrested for alleged power abuse

GEORGE TOWN -- The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today confirmed the arrest of an assistant administrative officer of a public university here for alleged power abuse involving supply and service...


SPRM tahan bekas ADUN DAP untuk pendakwaan

SHAH ALAM -- Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) menahan seorang bekas Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) DAP di Selangor berhubung dua kes tuntutan palsu berjumlah kira-kira RM30,000, hari ini. Menurut sumber,...

..full news     ..berita penuh

No Xtra



What is Xtra?

What is BERNAMA PLUS? Xtra is a subscription based service that gives you full access to all contents. 

BERNAMA PLUS is subscription based service that gives you full access to selected contents


What content is available in Xtra?

What content is available in      BERNAMA PLUS?

Subcribers will be able to read all news and articles generated by BERNAMA in both Bahasa Melayu and English. News are available in the following categories:

  • Headlines
  • Top Story
  • General News
  • Politics
  • Business
  • Sports
  • Features
  • World News

Subscribers will be able to read:

  • Exclusive articles focusing on social, economic and environmental issues, latest technology, trends, fashion and entertainment, including health and wellness tips.
  • Newsbriefs@7 containing snippets of selected top stories of the day, released at 7.00 p.m. daily


  • Malaysia e-Biz, a weekly business bulletin which provides snippets of selected business news, events and announcements, including market reports and analyses. A Malaysia e-Biz archive is also available.

Stories and articles are enriched with high resolution photos, video footages, infographics and links to related news.


How many devices can I access simultaneously?

One subscriber ID is good for single access; you cannot use it on more than one device simultaneously. You need to log out before login on another device. For security purposes the system will automatically logout if the page remain idle for 30 minutes.


How do I subscribe for Xtra?

How do I subscribe for             BERNAMA PLUS?

You can subscribe at or click here

You can subscribe at or click here


Do I need to pay for the registration/subscription?

You need to pay a subscription fee to complete your registration and gain access to Xtra.  Click here for available packages. Xtra:

  • Corporate – RM50/month or RM600/year
  • Individual – RM25/month or RM300/year

You need to pay a subscription fee to complete your registration and gain access to BERNAMA PLUS.  Click here for available packages.


  • RM5/week
  • RM10/month
  • RM120/year


Will there be a GST charge for the subscription?

No. (Zero GST)


How do I register if I do not have an e-mail address?

You need to have a verified e-mail address in order to register as a member.


How soon will I be able to access the service?

You can access the service upon successful registration and payment.


Can I change the e-mail address used for my registration?

Your e-mail address will be used as your login ID.  If you need to change your e-mail address, you have to renew you registeration using your preferred e-mail address after your current subscription expires.


What can I do if I have problem regarding subscription/registration?

Please call our Customer Service Number at +603-2696 21047, +603-2050 4470 and +603-2059 4683 or e-mail: for assistance