Without going into the obvious criteria for eligibility which are shown on the form itself, the usual explanations given by officials, elected representatives and politician wannabees are still unacceptable to some.
The key question, 'Are pensions treated as income for the purpose of calculating the ceiling of Rm3,000 per household?' seems simple enough, yet I could not find anything from the official site http://www.treasury.gov.my/pdf/br1m/Mekanisma_BR1M.pdf
which explains this likely question, not even in its FAQs.
Yesterday a pensioner friend actually came to see me about this. He had been to the Penghulu's office, been discussing with both BN and PR politicians, with friends and fellow pensioners, yet he is still worried about either missing out come the deadline set at January 10 or being penalized in case he applied assuming he and his wife's combined pensions (which exceed Rm3,000) are not counted as income for that purpose but which turned out to be so.
Najib's cash handouts in one form or other are clearly for the coming general elections, regardless of the financial ability of the government. On the one hand, he could win the hearts of the voters without using his own party funds, while on the other, draining the country coffers is also like the poison apple strategy used in corporate battles.
Some people expect the government to pay to those even marginally ineligible because of lack of clear definitions, to avoid people turning round and accuse BN for not honouring their promises. But from a pragmatic point, I think the government would pay to those obviously eligible and tell the others to appeal. Considering the fact that there are many who refused to apply for fear of being tracked by the government for income tax purposes, those who simply applied for the sake of applying and hope for the best are unlikely to appeal.
Meanwhile, I am still unable to tell my friend whether his pensions are considered income for this purpose. He thinks pensions are like EPF which he opted out of, and should be considered his fund being spread over his remaining years.