BR1M=BN’S money politics

by Jeswan Kaur
Free Malaysia Today
March 19, 2012

Where did the government obtain the additional funds for the programme as only RM1.8 billion was allocated in the budget approved last year?


A meagre RM500 packaged under the guise of Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) might not do the trick in influencing the country’s voters to sway in favour of Barisan Nasional. The alm was nothing more than a trickery, conceived by the federal government to make sure the people’s nambikei or trust is bought at the cheapest price possible.

To hypothesise that the BN government is prihatin or sensitive towards the high cost of living plaguing the rakyat would be wrong; if BN was bona fide in its concern, its chairman and Prime Minister Najb Tun Razak would have more prudent with his monthly electricity and water bills, both amounting to RM160,000 and RM66,000 respectively.

Likewise, if Najib was sincere in wanting to assist the people, he would not have used money from the national purse to finance his daughter’s engagement ceremonies, as claimed by opposition PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli.

Rafizi said he had receipts to prove how RM409,767, which was the cost to hold a luxurious dinner event at a five-star hotel in central Kuala Lumpur, was billed to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The bill, for an event on June 13 last year, showed that RM18,792 was spent for 36 VIPs and RM309,975 for 862 attendees while handling cost amounted to RM81,000.

Among the dishes in the menu were an array of lavish Wagyu beef, smoked salmon, lobster bisque and scallops.

The receipts, circulated to the media, indicated that the booking was made by one of Najib’s confidant Mohd Po’ad Jelani who was also implicated in another corruption allegation.

Making matters worse was the claim that the PMO had also footed the bill for Najib’s birthday bash. In exposing this unbecoming act of Najib, Rafizi said the premier’s birthday party on June 24 last year cost RM79,053 and was billed to the PMO.

Acccording to the banquent event order from Shangri-La Hotel, which supplied the food, the bill was not only addressed to the PMO but was also billed under the PMO’s account.

Has the PMO become a “Najib and family” entity or does the premier care two hoots about abusing the “privileges” that come his way?

With his own family’s “expenses” unaccounted for, how does the country’s leader expect to lend a helping hand to the needy?

BR1M no trump card for Najib and BN

Did the RM500 aid really reach deserving hands or was it something of a “bonus” given out to just about anyone who had filled up the application form correctly?

Or was the BR1M a political gimmick to pressure the rakyat into voting for BN in the coming general election? Some of the recipients who turned up to collect their vouchers were allegedly shown pictures of opposition party DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and that of Najib and asked whom they would support in the 13th general election. Does this reflect sincerity on the part of the federal government in helping the rakyat?

Maybe BN was hoping to “use” the BR1M as its trump card to secure hope of making an impressive comeback in the next polls. But looking at the premier’s “breach of trust” as far as public funds go, there is no reason for recipients of the BR1M to accord heartfelt gratitude to BN.

Clearly, the keikhlasan or sincerity behind the RM500 alm is missing. The BR1M is being used as an ammunition by the BN government to bring down its enemy, Pakatan Rakyat.

This was evident when Najib bragged that Pakatan-controlled states – Selangor and Kelantan – have the highest number of households which were allocated aid under BR1M.

The premier said Selangor took up 13% of the national allocation and Kelantan 84%.

“This shows that the government is unbiased towards race, religion and political leanings,” Najib had said.

If indeed the federal government under BN does not discriminate, why does it matter which state received the most number of BR1M? Is the objective via BR1M to offer aid or to make a political statement, that is, to send the message home that both Selangor and Kelantan under the Pakatan-ledership have failed to look after the welfare of its people?

Pertinent question

It is still hard to believe that the BN leadership cares about the rakyat. The conviction is hard to come by, especially when news about Najib’s extragavant lifestyle abounds, that too at the expense of the national coffers.

As of March 1, there were 4.78 million applications for the RM500 aid, of which 3.74 million were approved. Twenty percent of the applications were rejected for incomplete information, among other reasons.

“In total, 59% of households nationwide or 3.8 million households were given the aid. The government spent a total of RM1.92 billion on the programme,” Najib had said during an answer- and-question session in Parliament on March 13.

He also did not rule out the possibility of continuing the BR1M in time to come, all depending on the government’s income.

The premier keeps dismissing claims that the government had used public funds or sought help from the World Bank to implement the BR1M.

The BR1M has also been extended to enable those living in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak to apply for the aid.

The prompted Azan Ismail (Indera Mahkota-PKR) to raise a pertinent question: where did the government obtain the additional funds for the programme as only RM1.8 billion was allocated in the budget approved last year.

“In the budget, it is stated that RM1.8 billion would be allocated for the programme. But now Najib announced that RM1.92 billion was spent. Where did the government get the extra funding from?

“What’s worse, he is now saying that the deadline may be extended,” Azan said. He said no applications were made for a supplementary budget to meet the additional expenses.

Azan added: “We are not against the programme to assist the poor but one can’t use public funds lackadaisically.” He said a full audit of the BR1M programme was necessary.

Is it therefore wrong to think that the BR1M is yet another form of “money politics” devised by BN in its desperation to win the coming general election, seen as the most challenging ever?

Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 8:00 pm

    All Najib’s tricks and treats …tak boleh pakai.

  2. #2 by tak tahan on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 9:07 pm

    BR1M is one of the gimmick to buy votes from expecially the uninformed rural old folks.But with the era of internet and their more educated youngs to share the right information with,this gimmick will not work.This gimmick can be ‘ta paued’ and thrown into dustbin.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 9:16 pm

    I take RM409,767 but I only give you RM500 or 1/820 of RM409,767 to lighten your burden. The rakyat should wake up to this kind of disgraceful assistance!

  4. #4 by rockdaboat on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 10:04 pm

    Nothing but publicity stunts.
    Whose money are they distributing anyway?
    Tax payers money!
    Take the money but vote Pakatan.

  5. #5 by cseng on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 10:05 pm

    Half a century after merdeka, 8 yrs to be a developed nation 2020, why M’sian still so cheap?

    A gov that so tainted with corruption, more than a decade in budget deficit, cutting subsidies, at shaky global economy condition… suddently before election give away rm500, what is the justification?

    It is not PENUMPANG said subsidies contributed to major chunk of defifcit, we need to trim down or we bankcrupt by 2020. So subsidies is bantuan that does not yield votes.

    In one hand, in order to win votes, what BN need to do, is borrow money and give it away.

    The rakyat on the otherhand, receive the give-away and vote BN in return.

    It doesn’t matter its corruption level, CPI, Audital General’s Leaking reports, nation debt level, budget deficit, etc-etc.

    More suprisingly that country is aiming to be a developed country in 8 yrs. Wow! amazing.

  6. #6 by tak tahan on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 10:31 pm

    The government of the day is indeed caring(my heartfelt and is melting) and as good as the goodies they dished out on every past election.But for this coming mother of all battles(GE13) which will serve as a crucial reminder to 1Malaysia Prime Minister and his likes,not only RM500 was given out of the ‘extraordinary kind yet loving thought’ but each recipient would also be given one small bottle mineral water with the cheapest loaf of bread to stuff with!!So much so for 1Malaysia ‘People First Performance Now’,my pooot(just a courtesy call from the sound-effect from my rear).

  7. #7 by cseng on Monday, 19 March 2012 - 10:57 pm

    The definition and expectation of M’sian on the word ‘Election’, somehow different, take few examples;

    To Umno members, this is a pesta duit, money is used for everything, from poster, mat rempit to paying for tol and travel expenses.

    To MCA, this is time to announce new relocated chinese school, fund allocation and ground breaking.

    To Gerakan, always penang, penang and penang, now no more penang, don’t know what to talk, but still penang, penang and penang.

    To MIC, it is Sami takes what he wants to talk about, nothing specific..

    To the Chinese educationist, it is the season of asking, new school and more fund, more land, more teachers, more everything.

    To rural folks, time for makan free, minum free, money free and get your mini tar resurface.

    To the Urban folks, time to attend the ceramah-caramah, get a little bit of shouting, stress release, fun- fare like atmosphere.

    To the PR, it is a tiring season, many lost voice for ceramah day and night, more like a superstar…

    To the Bloggers, Election fans, it is party time…

    Only a hand full would like into the serious matters, policy staff, that is for the analyst to busy.

    This is my observation about our election, it is fun.

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 3:33 am

    $$$ politics – peanuts 4 peasants n rakyat, bottomless $$$ 4 UmnoB/BN kaki – dis is UmnoB/BN’s DNA

  9. #9 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 7:18 am

    Ultimately Anwar need to make the case that BR1M is because ‘UMNO pandang leka issue rasuah’. Anwar need to make the case corruption is a bigger threat to Malays and Islam than anything else much less made up issues of non-Malays and non-Muslims.

    Anwar need to make the case that corruption, exemplified by NFC and Najib’s own spending shows that its alive and well just they do it more sophisticated. He need to make the case that these kinds of things don’t get changed unless you confront it head on and not simply cosmetics. Why else would someone like Kadir have to quit because he was talking about corruption?

  10. #10 by k1980 on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 7:43 am

    //In the budget, it is stated that RM1.8 billion would be allocated for the programme. But now Najib announced that RM1.92 billion was spent. Where did the government get the extra funding from?//

    Jib answers–” I used my Epson printer to the extra RM120,000,000. Like dat cannot ah?”

    He oso used his Epson printer to print out the RM250,000,000 gift for the mamak achi.

  11. #11 by k1980 on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 7:47 am

    //his monthly electricity and water bills, both amounting to RM160,000 and RM66,000 respectively.//

    Why are malaysians so gullible as to switch off their lights for ONE hour during Earth Hour when their leader splurges RM160,000 and RM66,000 on his electricity and water in ONE month.

    Wonder what he washes in order to receive a RM66,000 bill for water usage…..his tennis balls ?

  12. #12 by SENGLANG on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 11:11 am

    If it is taken on face value. It was a project to provide a one off cash relief to those household below 3000 per month.
    But the way it has been used by BN was certainly as a vote fishing. In many small towns and kampung, BN representatives has advise all those who are eligible to vote to apply for the fund regardless they are qualify or not with the condition that they vote BN.

  13. #13 by SENGLANG on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 12:47 pm

    PAC vs NFC. This proof PAC is another saniwara. They can do anything facing with a dumb GM. She was there to cat walk in front of PAC members and keep her mouth shut. Another show that how arrogance these NFC facing a so call Parliament committee

  14. #14 by k1980 on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 1:15 pm

    Looking at her photo, wearing white means_____.
    A. sacrifice
    B. attending her own funeral
    C. cowardice
    D. she sees herself as an albino cow

    I think the Jappies also wear white when committing harakiri….

    • #15 by Bunch of Suckers on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 1:31 pm

      K1980, all of the above!!!!!!!!!

      Suckers are pretty good in disguising themselves with respective to environments and situations!!!

      She? A true albino & piggy sucker!

  15. #16 by monsterball on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 2:45 pm

    Here is tricks and treats.
    Out there is hooligans disturbing PR politicians road shows.
    These are Najib new ideas.
    What about the past?
    Start with BERSIH 2…water cannons and gas bombs.
    Arrests…provocations…pig heads…cow heads… to irritate.
    Side kick..Ibrahim Ali…play with religion.
    Hasan with race and religion.
    Najib play….always the nice guy….but a fierce Commander…Patriots must lay down their lives to fight traitors…preventing the “traitors” taking over Putra Jaya.
    This is not an elected politicians from a political party leader …speaking for Malaysians.
    It is crystal clear…a rouge defending all his thieves.
    Loose 13th GE…all will suffer.

  16. #17 by monsterball on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 2:51 pm

    Najib said…winning 13th GE is not a problem.
    He wants a 2/3 majority results.
    Is this the reason he keeps delaying the 13th GE??
    All we need is to trace all his flip flopping….contradicting talks and actions…so many…and know he is holding on to power…wishing for a miracle.
    A miracle that turn back the clock and have Malaysians stay stupid and believe in UMNO b with no second thought.
    Wishing for a miracle….racists out numbered Malaysians.

  17. #18 by HJ Angus on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 3:24 pm

    BR1M is peanuts compared to the wholesale plunder that has occurred, especially in the highway projects.
    You can study how we have paid more than RM1.6billion extra for the highways here

  18. #19 by Godfather on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 4:07 pm

    They give the poor man RM 500, but they gave Abu Sahid RM 1 billion profit from the Maju Expressway. How many hundreds of millions will Zaki and Hafarizam make from the Kinrara Damansara Expressway ? It also appears from the comments of NFCorp that they never intended to pay back the soft loan – they asked for a deferment way back in 2009 !

    The plunder continues unabated even as they try to cover up their tracks with this RM 500 gimmick.

  19. #20 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 4:42 pm

    The BR1M is Najib’s “I help you and you help me” motto being translated into action.

  20. #21 by PoliticoKat on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 8:59 pm

    It was reported in on 23rd November 2010 that according to the Akta Ahli Parlimen Saraan Pindaan 2005 [the Members of Parliament (Emolument) (Amendment) Act 2005] which was enforced starting 1st January 2004, the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s salary is RM22,826.65 per month.

    Apparently this is the total salary, and not merely basic salary.

    And Najib’s monthly bill for power and water is RM160,000 and RM66,000 respectively?

    If that is so, Najib is spending nearly 10 times his monthly salary just to pay his monthly electric and water bill. ie in 1month he nearly spends nearly all the money he make in a year as PM.

    P.S: What does Najib do with so much power and water? RM160,000 and RM66000 a month is at the level of an office building or a factory.

  21. #22 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 11:00 pm

    /What does Najib do with so much power and water? RM160,000 and RM66000 a month is at the level of an office building or a factory./-politicokat

    I think it’s something to do with the installation of high-pressure pumps to flush out the loathsome manure generated from too much eating NFC’s cow meat and along with the fully automated heated-water running out from every corner and hole from pipes,basin & kitchen taps,stopcocks,shower head to shower front and hand-bidet for rearside after every ‘big bomb’.If not so,what else ar?

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