Press Statement By Kelvin Yii:
The Federal Government must lessen obstacles and allow the ePemula cash aid to be used for online purchases and transactions especially when more and more items including books and student necessities can be bought online as well as to cater for students in areas where physical shops may not have an e-wallet payment option including rural areas.
The government must open up more avenues for the students to spend this money and help them with their expenses including making it convenient for those students that are living and studying in areas where shops rarely accept e-wallet payments.
Registration for ePemula opened today for full-time students of local higher education institutions, aged between 18 and 20. The government has allocated some RM 300 million for the program expected to cater to approximately two million eligible Malaysians.
However, the RM 150 per person ePemula cash rollout that was first announced by the government to help lighten some of the youth’s economic burdens, and student recipients has some limitations in terms of where they could use it, ie only in physical shops, by scanning merchant QR codes at shop counters.
The government must also keep up with changing times and also spending avenues and platforms young people are more and more inclined to even when it comes to buying something necessary for their daily life.
Actually all these issues can be avoided if the government was more proactive and better planned and communicated the whole initiative in itself and even helped facilitate physical shops especially in rural, semi-rural areas to adopt and accept cashless payment before such initiative was rolled out fully. They can help them set up and incentivise them to adapt so that they can tap into this additional revenue that the government has provided through this initiative.
This gives an impression that the initiative was not well thought through as rolled out half-heartedly.
That is why first and foremost I urge the government to open up and allow this ePemula cash handouts to be used for online transactions. Then the government should also go on the ground to help facilitate and provide support for more local businesses to adopt and transition into more cashless e-payments in order to benefit from this initiative.
Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching
DAPSY National Chief