Jan 17, 2013

Malaysia BR1M and Alaska Dividend

BR1M is a Malaysia programme where the government distributes cash to a large majority of its people. While it is not totally unconditional, it reaches 80% of the households in Malaysia.

(From http://www.barisannasional.org.my)

"Malaysians with a household income of less than RM3,000 a month are eligible for the one-off RM500 cash aid, while single unmarried individuals aged 21 and above and earning not more than RM2,000 a month are eligible for a one-off RM250 aid. BR1M 2.0 is expected to benefit 4.3 million households and 2.7 million single unmarried individuals, compared to 4.2 million people for the first BR1M last year." (From the Malaysia Insider)

Muhyiddin, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, said BN might make the handouts a permanent affair. "If BN win in the coming election, the government would continue providing support to the nation through BR1M 2.0, BR1M 3.0, BR1M 4.0, BR1M 5.0 and so on." (From the Kuala Lumpur Post)

The BR1M cash distribution has so far depended on one political party (BN). Some people think it is to attract votes. To avoid that impression and to really make it a permanent policy, Malaysia should consider the Alaska model where dividend distribution is written into the Alaska Constitution. In this way, regardless of the party in power, citizens will continue to get their rightful dividends.

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