Home TA Online 2013 TA Online RM100 ‘aid’ for pupils – another 1Malaysia programme to woo voters?

RM100 ‘aid’ for pupils – another 1Malaysia programme to woo voters?

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The dishing out of more handouts will not change Leena Mohan’s mind about wanting a change this coming general election.

RM100 pupils aid
Parents at a school in Seremban expressing how they feel when they turned up to collect the handouts.

In mid-January 2013, I received two letters from my children who are in the morning and afternoon sessions at a government (sekolah kebangsaan) school.

The letters invited me to be present in school at certain given times (one in the morning and the other in the afternoon) to collect RM100 per child under the federal government’s ‘2013 Early School Aid’ programme. The last such hand-out was in 2012.

This is what I think:

I did not appreciate the fact that I had to explain to my children that they did nothing to deserve this money. And my children were wondering why the school was so generous in handing out “free money”.

At the federal level, I expect better use of this pool of money, which could have been used to run proper programmes for needy students. Even in urban schools today, there are still school children who cannot afford to pay for their sports attire and other related fees.

I did not appreciate the fact that I had to take time off from work and battle the traffic and queues at the school to collect this handout. I made sure I collected it as it is my tax-payer’s money coming back to me in a different form.

The reason for the recent hand-outs is all too obvious. The federal government is trying to “look good”. They will have to try a lot harder.

Last but not least, these hand-outs will not change my mind about wanting a change this coming GE13.

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I echo the opinions of the parents highlighted in the following articles and I am sure many others feel the same way: see this article and the reactions to it.

Leena Mohan is an Aliran member based in Penang.

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