Malaysia has announced plans to provide direct aid to low-income households, similar to steps taken by its neighbour Singapore reducing the impact of inflation on the most vulnerable groups.
Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said cash assistance of up to RM100 ($22.7) will be given to eligible recipients, bringing the total handout provided so far to RM500 ($113.8) each, reports Bloomberg.
In a televised address on Wednesday (22 June), he said this round of assistance will cost the government RM630 million and will be disbursed starting on Monday. .
"Taking into account the challenges of the cost of living and the recent rise in food prices, the government decided to provide additional cash assistance," Ismail said.
The measure seeks to address concerns about inflation and its impact on citizens, especially those under the so-called bottom 40 per cent of the population comprising lower-income earners.
"This payment will benefit nearly 8.6 million recipients including four million households, 1.2 million seniors and 3.4 million singles."
On Tuesday, Singapore announced a S$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) package aimed at providing relief to poorer households and local businesses from price pressures.
The food inflation rate in Malaysia hit the highest since 2017 in May prompting the government to take several measures to secure local supplies and lower costs.
The nation banned chicken exports to improve domestic supplies, while price caps announced on the staple food are due to end in June.
The Malaysian government provided cash aid amounting to RM1.1 billion to the lower-income group in 2021.