KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today questioned when an idea mooted to increase the monthly social welfare aid to RM1,000 would materialise, describing it as an alleged “promise” by the prime minister.
Lim, who is also Bagan MP, claimed that the prime minister had on August 30 in Sandakan, Sabah “promised” to increase the Social Welfare Department’s monthly aid to those who are needy from the current amount of between RM200 to RM300, to the new figure of RM1,000.
“Up till now, there is no word of any increase in social welfare payments,” he said in a statement.
Lim said an increase in social welfare aid payments to RM1,000 for each month is urgently needed due to the expected increase in the number of unemployed persons, making reference to news reports of Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan stating that the number of job seekers may rise to one million individuals as of this month.
“DAP supports the increase in social welfare monthly aid to RM1,000 as part of the strategic shift in the government’s financial focus from managing the government debts prudently, to borrowing more money to inject funds to save Malaysian livelihood, jobs and businesses,” he said, adding that many needy Malaysians especially those who are unemployed are waiting for the increase in social welfare aid to RM1,000.
Although Lim described Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as having “promised” the monthly social welfare aid amounts to be increased to RM1,000, the latter was reported by national news agency Bernama as having mentioned it as a “suggestion” while in Sandakan, Sabah on August 30.
On August 30, Muhyiddin had reportedly said the proposal to increase the social welfare aid to RM1,000 would be tabled at the Cabinet meeting the following week, having said that he knew the big implication of his statement but remarked that what was important was the long-suffering public’s livelihood.
In the same statement today, Lim also touted Warisan Plus as the better choice to lead the Sabah state government, when compared against the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition aligned to Perikatan Nasional and Barisan Nasional.
“Sabahans want a united political coalition under a common leader, to bring stability and economic progress to a future state government. If the newly-formed GRS cannot agree on a common candidate for Chief Minister, and are more intent in fighting each other in the 17 state seats, how can GRS promise stability and economic progress for Sabahans?
“Sabahans are better off under the Warisan Plus government of Warisan, DAP, UPKO, PKR and Amanah, united under the leadership of caretaker Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal. Shafie has promised that the people, and not money politics buying political “frogs”, will decide who is their next state government and Shafie has delivered on that promise,” he said.
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