Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery CheekAs per sources, it has been reported that some 85,401 hardcore poor families in the country are eligible to receive 20 kilograms of free rice every month under MyBeras programme, as it was stated by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek. It was also revealed that the number of eligible recipients was made based on the National Poverty Data Bank or e-Kasih database, released by the Implementation and Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department that was made available until March 15. Further, based on the data gathered from Orang Asli Development Department (JAKOA), a total of 12,467 hardcore poor families are entitled to receive the aid, as it was informed by the Dewan Rakyat.

Further, in this regard, the Minister was responding to a question by Senator Datuk Dr Lucas Umbul on the steps taken by the ministry in distributing rice under MyBeras programme to the selected group and its requirements. Moreover, Mr Ahmad Shabery also narrated that the three major states that would receive the aid were Sabah with 31,055 families, followed by Sarawak and Kelantan with 30,094 and 13,417 families, respectively. Further, the government had outlined the recipients of MyBeras programme based on e-Kasih’s hardcore poverty database, a single reference used by the National Poverty Database, while the database involving the orang asli was crosschecked under eDamak system that was being coordinated by JAKOA.

Under the MyBeras programme, it was also revealed that the minimum household income that made them eligible for the programme was based on the hardcore poverty line level used by the ICU and as outlined by the Economic Planning Unit. For those in Peninsular Malaysia, the minimum income per month is RM580; Sarawak at RM660; and Sabah and Labuan at RM710.  In view of the supplement question raised by Senator Datuk Mohd Salim Sharif on its implementation, Mr Ahmad Shabery told that the programme was scheduled to take off after Sarawak state election on May 7.

Furthermore, in this matter, it was also   informed that the programme should have been implemented but we did not want it to be politicized as the election is drawing closer. Therefore, we will wait after the Sarawak election, as it was added. It was disclosed that the MyBeras programmeShanti Agro Industries Pvt. Ltd. was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Jan 28. Under this project, every eligible family will receive 20 kilograms of free rice from May to December this year