“Have you applied for the RM500 already?”
While the global economic crisis provides an air of foreboding over trade-reliant Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government is splurging on a wide range of cash handouts ahead of elections many analysts expect him to declare later this year.
Across the country, political conversations invariably lead to the question, “Have you applied for the 500 ringgit (US$157) already?”, referring to a one-off government cash handout to households with a total monthly income of less than 3,000 ringgit.
At income tax offices in Penang, scores of people have recently queued up at desks placed outside the main entrance to the buildings. Here, extra clerks have been deployed to receive application forms for the 500 ringgit handout and to assist those who need help filling out the forms.
Full article in Asia Times.