Since the last general election, Pakatan Harapan government led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has rebranded programmes and agencies administered under the former government, prominently 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) changed to Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH).
Not only did the name change, the payout rate is also different. For example, while registered and eligible bachelors previously received RM450 from BR1M, this year RM300 million allocated by Pakatan has benefited 3 million individuals with RM100 aid each.
Other than that, the previous 1Malaysia Clinic has been rebranded into Community Clinics. Plus, former 1Malaysia clinics with less than 50 patients daily have been shut down.
According to Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Community Clinic will not only attend to basic healthcare such as fever, flu and cough, but treatments for chronic diseases and maternity care will also be available at selected branches.
In June 2018, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said that 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) would also be rebranded and detached from any political agenda.
The new PR1MA would focus more on delivering affordable houses for Malaysians, particularly those in the B40 Income Classification.
Also, in 2018, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Chong Chieng Jen announced that Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) would be rebranded with a promise of more affordable prices.
Despite KR1M and PR1MA being renamed, Pakatan ministers are still using the old names in their narrations in the media.
For BR1M, former Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak remains as the top influencer in the media.
In online news, KR1M has almost never been mentioned, while PR1MA is still referred to from time to time in April.
This year, Permata, the brainchild of Rosmah Mansor – the wife of Najib Razak – was rebranded into Genius.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the Cabinet had decided to retain Genius, with several programmes enhanced for better quality.
The most recent rebranding goes to 1Malaysia for Youth (iM4U), which is now known as Impact Malaysia, announced by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
Noting that the platform was previously used by Najib Razak to feed the “I love PM” propaganda, Syed Saddiq also added that RM10 million has been allocated for the youth volunteerism programme.
It seems like all these rebranding are giving ideas to Opposition lawmakers to poke fun at Pakatan.
Quoting a tweet from Dato’ Seri Ahmad Maslan: “Benda boleh branding, buat apa nak pening-pening?” (When you can rebrand, why bother to have a headache from thinking?)