The first phase of Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPN) is completed and has been deposited into the people’s accounts.
Finance Minister, Tengku Zafrul Aziz revealed that a total of RM4.9 billion has been distributed and 6.6 million Malaysians have benefited from it.
According to media intelligence, majority of the top issues surrounding BPN were positive, especially targeting on the B40 and the needy groups.
However, there was an issue surrounding the initiative distribution. It was reported that the financial aid was also given to the non-eligible recipients, particularly the parliamentary members (MPs).
The issue gained attention from the media after Kuantan MP, Fuziah Salleh claimed that she had received BPN in her bank account despite not being eligible for the aid.
She further raised the concern that the government should not make any error in handling the country’s fund during the time of crisis.
The Kuantan MP was not the first to found out about the error. However, she was the one who publicly addressed the issue for the media. She received news that several MPs, ministers and even the wife of former Prime Minister received BPN.
Fuziah made the revelation on April 8, just two days after BPN started its distribution to people. Her statements were quoted by numerous media, making her the top influencer of BPN on that day.
The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) that is in charge of the distribution, was quick in responding to the issue.
The board explained that the distribution of BPN was made automatically according to the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) database and individuals’ 2018 income tax data.
LHDN published a procedural step for MPs or BPN recipients who wish to return to aid. Regardless, the distribution has been made and people might find it troublesome to return the money.
Those who are comfortable but still received the fund could always do good by using the financial aid to help the ones who are in need, whether they are family members, friends, neighbors and etc.