CORONAVIRUS | About 8.3 million households and singles are set to enjoy the first phase of the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) aid in stages beginning today.
The aid will surely be a relief for many, especially those who are self-employed with daily earnings, B40 group and those with monthly pay issues.
On March 27, the government announced the RM9.24 billion BPN aid under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) to ensure no one is left out.
The BPN payment breakdown is as follows: RM1,600 to households earning RM4,000 and below; RM1,000 to households earning RM4,001 to RM8,000; RM800 to singles earning RM2,000 and below; and RM500 to singles earning RM2,001 to RM4,000.
Osborne Panis Jatan, 29, a customer service officer with a private company and who is eligible for the singles aid, said the initiative was timely as the movement control order (MCO) had interrupted all daily operations, causing many workers and traders to have trouble making ends meet.
“Whether the aid is sufficient or not depends on how they use it,” said Osborne, who hails from Miri, Sarawak.
D Dharsheeni, 20, a fourth semester Nilai Politechnic student, was grateful to the government for the RM200 aid given to students from institutions of higher learning.
“I’m the eldest of five siblings. My father is a lorry driver and my mother is a housewife. Before studying at the polytechnic, I used to work part-time at a hair salon for some extra income. I can use the aid for my last project,” she said.
Bridal boutique owner Nor Azian [email protected], 37, also heaved a huge sigh of relief after finding out that she was on the list of recipients for households earning less than RM4,000, especially since 13 of her customers postponed their wedding dates due to the MCO despite her having spent her capital.
“Alhamdulillah, after the PM (Muhyiddin Yassin) announced the BPN, I felt grateful and relieved to recover my capital… to spend on my children,” said Nor Azian, who now only accepts online orders from customers from Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.
A private sector employee, Nurul Yaqira Deraman, 31, said she would put to good use the RM800 aid she’ll be getting after being forced to take unpaid leave by her company, which was facing financial difficulties due to the MCO.
“Earlier, I was at a loss thinking how to pay the house rent and buy food as my savings had dwindled. But now I am thankful for the aid,” she said.
Meanwhile, many netizens, including those on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter expressed relief in their postings about the aid today.
Facebook user Tyaa Aziz wrote: “Alhamdulillah, grateful. Thank you for easing the burden of unpaid workers like us.”
Another Facebook use, Wana Nana II wrote: “Alhamdulillah, at least it’s a boon for families in need… there’s food on the table for the whole family.”
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