- MISSING MH370: Man claims possible sighting of airliner
- MISSING MH370: Raja Bomoh arrives to help find missing plane
- MISSING MH370: Pilot: I established contact with plane
- MISSING MH370: Mystery deepens as oil, debris links ruled out
- MISSING MH370: Investigators chasing 'every angle'
- UPDATE: Missing aircraft's pilot makes contact, rescue mission resumes
- MISSING MH370: Search for vanished Malaysia jet widens as frustrations grow
- MISSING MH370: Vietnam says cannot find object from missing jet
- MISSING MH370: Local media gather at Tok Bali maritime base
- Kids begged father not to go
- MISSING MH370 : Businessman who cancels flight shocked over missing MAS plane
- MISSING MH370: Blame game not helping: Tun M
- MISSING MH370: Pix Gallery Day 3
- MISSING MH370: Hijacking not ruled out
- Cathay Pacific plane in forced landing after bird strike More
KUALA LUMPUR: The handing over of the RM500 1Malaysia People's Assistance (BR1M) to households earning a monthly income of RM3,000 and below began nationwide today.
The assistance was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the 2012 Budget to help low income families.
In KELANTAN, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed described the assistance as historic as it had never been done before.
"We will look into those who are not included in the list," he told reporters after handing over the assistance to 1,518 recipients for the Kota Baru parliamentary constituency.
In SELANGOR, state Barisan Nasional deputy chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the assistance would be given to 104,120 recipients in the first phase, involving an amount of RM52 million.
It would be paid out in stages until Saturday, he said.
"We have come up with a schedule for the first phase of distribution which will be made before the Chinese New Year," he told reporters after handing over the assistance at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Khai Tee Pasir Penambang in Kuala Selangor.
He said the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) had received 352,810 applications from Selangor.
The IRB is still processing the remaining 200,000 applications. Those who failed to obtain the assistance are required to file an appeal by filling up a form which can be obtained from IRB offices as well as at the service centres of BN elected representatives.
In MELAKA, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam only 43,000 of 120,000 applicants are qualified for the assistance, totalling RM21.5 million.
He said the handing over of the assistance showed that the BN government kept its promise to the people.
The assistance shows that the BN is a responsible government and care for the welfare of the people. They should be able see for the themselves the sincerity of the government and be thankful for the assistance," he told reporters after handing over the assistance to 1,248 recipient in Bukit Katil.
In PERLIS, 1,081 people from the Indera Kayangan state constituency became the first group of recipients for the programme.
Kangar member of parliament Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad handed over the assistance.
They are part of the 21,384 families who would received their aid during the first phase distribution, involving RM10.69 million.
More than 50,000 applications were received, he said, adding that some of them had not been approved yet due to lack of details.
In PERAK, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said more than 50 per cent of 4.1 million BR1M applicants began receiving their assistance today.
He said the aid would be distributed to the first group of recipients even though the government had extended the application to Feb 10.
"The extension is to allow those who are qualified for the aid, but have yet to register, to do so," he said after handing over the BR1M cash vouchers to 1,500 recipients comprising Tambun constituents today.
He said in Perak, there are 237,000 recipients eligible for the assistance. -- BERNAMA