PUTRAJAYA, Sept 6 — With payments for the Special COVID-19 Aid (BKC) beginning to be paid out from today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government would channel more assistance to the people starting next month.
In a video conference with Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) staff from his residence in Petaling Jaya specifically to check on the BKC payment process, Ismail Sabri said BKC was among the assistance to help ease the burden of the people affected by COVID-19.
“I hope all the BKC payment processes planned by the Ministry of Finance run smoothly. Hopefully, nothing untoward happens that can cause delays and so on,” he said.
Ismail Sabri, who initiated the video conference because he is still undergoing self-quarantine since Aug 30 after he was confirmed to be in close contact with a COVID-19 case, also advised BSN staff to ensure BKC recipients who come to collect the aid complied with standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
Joining the video conference were Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz who was at BSN Putrajaya here and Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah who was at BSN in Bera, Pahang.
“Hopefully, what the government is giving today, although it may not be much, at least it can help reduce the people’s burden,” said Ismail Sabri, who also referred to information from Tengku Zafrul that more assistance was forthcoming for the people.
On Wednesday (Sept 1), Ismail Sabri announced that the BKC would be paid in stages with phase one payments credited from Sept 6 and expected to be completed by Sept 10, with funds amounting to RM3.1 billion already channeled to the relevant banking institutions for BKC payments.
The BKC is to assist the hardcore poor, B40 households with total monthly income of RM5,000 and below and senior citizens, as well as singles with a monthly income of RM2,500 and below, based on the eligibility criteria under the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR 2021) aid package.
Those in the M40 group who report income tax with a total household income of RM5,001 to RM9,000 and RM2,501 to RM5,000 for singles are also eligible to receive BKC.
Under the BKC, hardcore poor category households will receive RM1,300; eligible senior citizens and singles (RM500). For the B40 category, households will receive RM800, eligible senior citizens and singles (RM200); while in the M40 category, households will receive RM250 and qualified senior citizens and singles (RM100).
Details on the BKC, including payment status can be viewed at https://bkc.hasil.gov.my
Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said the government would distribute various forms of assistance that have been planned until the end of this year.
“The prime minister has agreed to proceed with these assistance,” he said.
Among the assistance that will be distributed by the government is Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat phase 3 amounting to RM2.32 billion which will be channeled at the end of this month and assistance for loss of income in October.
On the BKC payment process at BSN Putrajaya, Tengku Zafrul said it was handled well by the BSN staff.
Later, In a posting on his official Facebook page, Ismail Sabri said he had the opportunity to virtually review the BKC phase one payment process which would be implemented in stages through selected financial institutions involving the RM3.1 billion allocation.
He said that he had the opportunity to greet BKC recipients at several BSN branches including in Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Perlis and Johor online to ensure the aid payment process went smoothly.
According to him, he also received a direct report from Tengku Zafrul who went down to the ground to do an inspection on the payment process at BSN Putrajaya while his deputy Mohd Shahar did the same at BSN Triang, Pahang.
Ismail Sabri said that he was informed that the Finance Ministry would facilitate distribution to the rural community by paying cash to BKC recipients who did not have a bank account.
“I hope this assistance can alleviate the burden of the ‘Malaysian Family’ affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.