Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) is a cash assistance initiative introduced to ease the cost-of-living of B40 and M40 groups. To date, a total of RM9.1 billion has been and will be disbursed to recipients until December 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled us to lead our lives differently – forcing many nations to impose a nationwide lockdown, resulting in closed businesses, more people working from home, as well as limiting mobility and social interactions.
Malaysia began its third Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0) from 1 – 28 June 2021 and this time around, only essential services and businesses were allowed to remain open. This led to cancelled plans, postponed events, closed schools and threatened business survival.
For Husna Hamad, a 28 year-old food stall owner, the restrictions imposed on social activities and mobility during the MCO significantly impacted her daily income, and her ability to feed her family. This has been challenging for this mother of two as she became the sole breadwinner of the family after having lost her husband in an accident three years back. She was constantly in a tight financial situation, with children aged 4 and 6 to feed and another dependent, her 22 year-old sister, who helps Husna run her business.
Fortunately for Husna, the Government introduced the Bantuan PRIHATIN Nasional (BPN) in 2020 and Bantuan PRIHATIN Rakyat (BPR) in 2021 to support the rakyat throughout MCO 1.0, MCO 2.0 and most recently, MCO 3.0. In fact, when MCO 3.0 was announced, the Government announced an additional RM2.1 billion for the 8.4 million recipients of BPR.
Husna’s daily struggles were alleviated, thanks to the BPN and BPR direct aid. Husna did not mind not having much to spend on Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, as inter-state and inter-district travel was disallowed, anyway. So, Husna and her sister utilised the direct aid received in early May 2021 to settle their utility bills and stock up on ingredients for festive fare ordered by her neighbours for Hari Raya. The increase in allocation for BPR Phase 2 also allowed Husna to treat her children to their favourite lemang and rendang.
BPR Insentif received by Husna’s family (Up to 9 May 2021)
For those who are not aware, Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) is the government’s ongoing effort to disburse direct cash aid in a more targeted manner with higher rates of assistance to the B40 category. The allocation for eligible rakyat is disbursed in phases. The ongoing data collection and information checks are part of the government’s commitment to ensure that the allocated assistance reaches those targeted for the BPR.
As of 19th May 2021, a total of RM1.87 billion was disbursed during BPR Phase 1 and another RM2.60 billion was disbursed during Phase 2. The BPR Phase 2 has benefited the rakyat of various groups including senior citizens, family households, and single individuals.
Total Disbursed BPR ( As of 19 May 2021)
Beneficiary groups of BPR Phase 2
Source: Ministry of Finance Malaysia