IPOH - Cash handouts such as the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) should be stopped because there are elements of corruption in it, said Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Lauding the decision to gradually phase out the cash handouts, which were initiated by the Barisan Nasional government, the Economic Affairs Minister said that it was the right move to do so.
"Even Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has comprehensively stressed that such form of politically-driven handouts should no longer happen.
"Giving out cash handouts like this should stop because it is considered a politically-motivated bribe to gain support," he told reporters after opening the simultaneous Perak PKR branches' annual general meeting here Sunday (Aug 26).
On Saturday (Aug 25), it was reported that Dr Mahathir had in an interview with TheMalaysianInsight, announced that Putrajaya would slowly reduce payouts of BR1M, which has been renamed Bantuan Sara Hidup by Pakatan Harapan, before discontinuing it.
When asked, Azmin denied that such a move would negatively affect the people, as the country's new economic direction would put the focus on making people's lives better.
"The prime minister and the Cabinet are coming up with different approaches and initiatives for the country's new economic direction, which will be presented and debated in the Parliament in October.
"It will focus on prospering the people instead of bribing and taking them for granted.
"With that, I believe the people will have greater economic power to ease the costs of living," he said.
When asked if the Government would replace BR1M with a new system to provide aid for the needy, Azmin said that the possibility was being studied, adding that his ministry would also present its views and new initiatives on that in the Parliament.
Azmin also noted that the Government was drafting the half-term review for the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020), which will be presented in Parliament in October.
"Not only we will see the success and performance of RMK-11 in the last two years, but we will also add in new directions for Malaysia's economy, according to Pakatan's Buku Harapan election manifesto.
"After winning the election, this is the time for Pakatan to enter the second phase of reformation, where delivery and implementation of promises for the benefit of the people are of paramount concern," he added.
When asked about the clash between him and PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli for the party deputy president's post, Azmin said it shows that "democracy in PKR is strong and stable".
"We accept in good faith any member who wants to offer their services to the party … we should respect and uphold the democratic process in the party," he said.
Azmin believed party members would evaluate him appropriately based on his credibility and experience both in the party and the government for him to retain his party post after the PKR National Congress in November.
"I leave it to the wisdom of every party member and I think my report card reflects the actual situation and it is up to the party members to determine the future of this party," he said.