PUTRAJAYA: Despite being saddled with massive inherited debt, the government will continue to roll out initiatives to help the people, especially those in the low-income group, or the B40.
This was the assurance given by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who launched the national B40 protection scheme known as “mySalam”, today.
“Although we inherited financial constraints (from the past government), it will not prevent the government from introducing people-friendly programmes such as the mySalam scheme.
“(The government) may seem to be cautious in executing such programmes, but we will make sure such efforts will reach the target groups.
“And, we will also go all out to generate funds, via innovative and alternative measures, to ease the people’s burden,” he said.
Also present were Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
Dr Mahathir was also upbeat about mySalam’s substantial seed fund of RM2 billion provided by Great Eastern Insurance and Takaful – money which will benefit 3.69 million people aged between 18 and 55 in the B40 group.
The prime minister said he believes the scheme will attract more contributions from Great Eastern and other players in the insurance and takaful industry.
He also urged insurance and takaful players to expand their reach to more people.
Dr Mahathir compared the low insurance and tawakal penetration rate of 30.2 per cent among low-income earners, with the 50.4 per cent rate of Malaysians in higher income categories in 2017.
“We hope that the mySalam scheme will boost the penetration rate for insurance and takaful among the B40, which is crucial and meaningful to raise their quality of life.
“Thus, the mySalam scheme is a significant step to formulate a more inclusive financial development policy,” he added.
The prime minister said those in the B40 group, especially self-employed or daily wage workers, could breathe easier once they receive takaful claims under the mySalam scheme.
Aside from the mySalam scheme, Dr Mahathir said the government will also roll out another health-related initiative called “Peduli Kesihatan” or Peka B40 next week.
The free health screening scheme, which is the government’s pioneer project for 2019 with an allocation of RM100 million, will benefit those 50 and above.
Earlier, Lim said mySalam’s RM2 billion seed fund will be used to pay the RM112 premiums for every person qualified for the scheme.
“This premium is set at a cost rate, without any profit for the insurance company,” he added.
The scheme will provide free medical coverage to qualified recipients against 36 critical illnesses.
Recipients of mySalam will receive one-off payments of up to RM8,000, and daily payments as (income replacement in the event of hospitalisation) for up to 14 days at RM50 per day or RM700 per year.
Coverage under the scheme commences Jan 1 next year, and the scheme’s registration and takaful claims can be made from March 1.
All qualified recipients under the scheme will be notified through text messaging services.- Report by Azura Abas, Hashini Kavishtri, Irwan Shafrizan Ismail, Mohd Husni Mohd Noor