'Bantuan Rakyat' means 'Help the people' and with the monthly income limit set at Rm3,000, I would have thought all those who earn less than that are eligible, especially those who are really poor. Yet, we have read in the papers of people in need who had their applications rejected for one reason or other, while those who are obviously well-to-do were successful. Examples of the latter include husband and wife applying separately, who live in their own detached houses, own cars and even one with an address like Tropicana Resort!
I was told the applications were vetted against records of 15 government agencies like Inland Revenue Board, Road Transport Department, and so on. Obviously, many tried their luck with multiple applications, deception or tips on how to fill in the forms 'properly' and were successful. While those in charge would have no idea about each individual's circumstances, friends and relatives know who should or should not have been eligible.
Again, because of poor planning, inaccurate definitions, and inadequate vetting procedures, such government initiatives left a bad after taste for many. This reminds me of the Rm625 given to those who own cars with engine capacity below 2,000 cc and which did not prevent those who own BMW and Mercedes from being eligible. Today's news mentioned about those who bought new cars with engine capacity over 1500 cc, since 2007 are ineligible. Someone mentioned a VW Touran has only 1,400 cc but costs over Rm200,000! What about Mazda RX8 which rotary engine has an equivalent capacity of 1,400 too! There are many elderly folks whose children are millionaires or at least high-income earners, and it is up to them to search their conscience or value their individual pride whether to apply for such aid. Just like government scholarships, it is a nice feeling for those who can afford, to use their own money instead because by doing so, it helps one other less fortunate student to get it.