The consistent increase in the quantum for Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) cash handouts invalidates opposition claims that the country was going bankrupt, said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
"Stop saying that the country will go bankrupt every year when every year the amount for BR1M is increased to help the needy," wrote Najib on his blog today.
BR1M cash handouts for households with an income of RM3,000 and below began in 2012 at RM500 per household.
Since then, there has been incremental increases. As of last year, the payment increased to RM1,200 per household.
Najib said BR1M payments for this year will commence on Feb 18 and 5.15 million out of 8.27 million applications for the funds have been approved.
He said the remaining applications were still being processed and there will be further announcements in March.
Healthy growth figures
The prime minister urged the opposition to be more sensitive when criticising BR1M as there were people who needed the money to purchase necessities.
In a separate blog post, Najib said gross domestic product (GDP) data produced by Bank Negara had also proven skeptics wrong about the economy.
According to the central bank, fourth quarter GDP growth was 4.5 percent, while growth for 2016 was 4.2 percent.
"Praise be to God, our planning and management of the economy, at a time when the country is facing global challenges, have yielded results.
"We will continue with our work to ensure the economy remains healthy and continues to grow," he said.- Mkini