The 1Malaysia People’s Aid or BR1M is a cash handout scheme targeting low-income Malaysians initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
It was conceptualised in 2011 with disbursements in 2012. Initially, it was only a one-off cash payment of RM500 to households with less than RM3,000 monthly income.
In its first run, RM2.6 billion was given to around 4.2 million households, or roughly 80% of Malaysian households. Five years on, the government had spent a whopping RM26.2 billion on BR1M.
The policy has received its fair share of praises and brickbats, due to a steady uptick in the amount given to poor households. The usual reasons are rising living costs and tepid economic growth.
Yet the programme is not without its hiccups. Initially, some complained that the incentive was not enough. So the government raised the amount. Then there were cases of fraud where recipients received multiple handouts.
There are also certain quarters who believe that rather than handouts, poor households should be given better employment opportunities instead.
So to make sense of it all, and in the run up to Budget 2018, we’ve decided to review this populist policy to see how much of a bane or boon it has become to the average Malaysian.
Overall BR1M distribution in one chart
First introduced in 2012, BR1M has increased by 100% for households earning below RM3,000 in the past five years. It has also extended its recipients from one category, to three more categories, namely households earning between RM3,001 and RM4,000, single individuals above 21 years old who are earning less than RM2,000 and also those in the e-Kasih system.
The reason for the expansion of the programme can be contributed to the abolition of a few subsidies, such as the petrol subsidy.
Here’s how much BR1M has increased over the years:
BR1M amount according to year
Households, below RM3,000|
Single adults above 21 years old, below RM2,000|
How to apply for BR1M online
Usually, online applications for BR1M will be opened following an announcement by the LHDN. It usually starts in December.
New applications who qualify for BR1M will have to wait for the exact date the handouts will be released and to keep tabs with the latest information, they are encouraged to follow the BR1M Facebook page.
The good bit is existing qualified applicants will only need to update their data on the BR1M website. New, eligible applicants will need to submit an application.
Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need:
Identity card (IC) information for eligible applicants.
Latest mailing address of eligible applicant.
Latest banking information (Bank account Number). Only applicants bank account are permitted to receive BR1M funds. No joint name, company, loan and other accounts permitted.
Identity card (IC) information for spouse an all dependencies.
Once you have those sorted out, head over to the BR1M application page on the LHDN website and fill out the information accordingly.
Note: BR1M will be auto credited directly into eligible applicants account. The bank account used must belong to applicants only. No joint name , company, loan or other types of accounts are permitted.
Here is a list of supported banks:
Affin Bank Berhad
Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad
Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation
Bank Islam Malaysia
Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd
Bank Simpanan Nasional
Cimb Bank Berhad
Eon Bank Berhad
Hong Leong Bank
HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd
Malayan Banking Berhad
OCBC Al-Amin Bank Bhd/OCBC Bank
Public Bank Berhad/Public Islamic Bank Berhad
RHB Bank Berhad
Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd
United Overseas Bank(Malaysia) Berhad
Family Bereavement Scheme
Replacing i-BR1M, the Family Bereavement Scheme is a protection plan extended to BR1M recipients and his/her family/household. RM1,000 compensation will be given to the next of kin of BR1M recipients for households and the elderly category.
Claims can be made at Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) starting from Februari 18, 2017.
Documents needed for claims:
Original or copy of the Death Certificate from the National Registration Department
Original identity card of the heir