Current Affairs, Weekly Highlights

MOF should ensure the RM300 million ePemula benefits students and not e-wallet providers.

Since the roll-out of ePemula last week, there have been several issues arising due to the mechanism of implementation. While we appreciate the government’s decision to continue Pakatan Harapan’s policy to promote cashless transactions, the government must ensure students actually benefit from this program.

First, the scheme does not allow claimants to spend their RM150 online. This does not make sense given the shopping and spending trend among the younger generation. Online spending has been a part and parcel of this generation. 

Furthermore, some students are staying in areas where they may not be able to spend in local conventional stores, especially those which do not even accept e-payment. In this regard, can the MOF ensure that these small businesses register themselves before ePemula ends on 10 June 2022?

Second, one of the e-wallet platform providers does not give out the RM150 credit at one go. Grab has made the RM150 credit into numerous small vouchers with minimum spending requirements. While Grab may have its own reason for doing so, this may greatly inconvenience the students, and in the end they may not be able to spend on something they really need or may not finish spending at all thus wasting the aid given.  

Do all e-wallet platforms receive the RM150 payment once a claimant registers to receive it? Or MOF makes payment based on the amount a claimant has spent?

More importantly, will MOF accept e-wallet platforms to give out credit in RM5 or RM1 vouchers in the future? 

Regardless, the government should ensure that the RM300 million is received and fully spent by claimants to benefit their needs and to boost the local economy.

Wong Shu Qi
MP for Kluang

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