Rahmah cash aid to be distributed before Aidilfitri
KUALA LUMPUR - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants the Rahmah Cash Aid (STR) to be distributed in early April, before the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.
The Tambun Member of Parliament said he had asked the Finance Ministry and related agencies to speed up the distribution process to ensure that the needy can quickly receive the aid.
"As mentioned, STR Phase 1 has been distributed to the people and the aid value amounted to RM1.6 billion last January.
"I have told the Finance Ministry and related agencies to relieve their (the needy) burden with STR Phase 2, which should be distributed in the middle of Ramadan or early April before Raya (Aidilfitri).
"We will distribute phase 2 of the aid to the B40 groups," he told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Anwar was responding to an additional question from Dr Mohammed Taufiq Johari (PH-Sungai Petani) who asked the Prime Minister to state the improvements made to STR compared to previous financial aids.
Anwar who is also Finance Minister, once again stressed that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will not be introduced until the people's salary or incomes have improved.
"I have said so since I was the opposition leader, GST is best in terms of efficiency and transparency but we are not ready yet because the people's level of income is still low.
"I don't think it will be considered in the next six months or one year. The people's incomes need to be increased first.
"Countries that practice GST, including Singapore, Canada or New Zealand, have a considerably reasonable minimum income. Here there are still 130,000 people in the extreme poor category and many B40 (low income) groups so it can not be implemented right now," he said.
Anwar was answering an additional question from Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi (PN-Tanjung Karang) regarding the re- introduction of GST to increase national income.