Monday, 19 February 2018

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Yesterday (Sat, Feb22, 2014) RM4.6 billion was disbursed to some 7.9 Malaysians in the form more

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BR1Mless A Growing Awareness This is my Home By proper measure Bone and marrow

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BR1Mless PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 February 2014 14:00

Yesterday (Sat, Feb22, 2014) RM4.6 billion was disbursed to some 7.9 Malaysians in the form of BR1M 2014. Each registered Malaysian head of household earning less than RM3,000 a month would have received RM700, while those getting RM3,000-4,000 would receive RM450. Registered single Malaysians earning less than RM2,000 a month would have received RM300 in this scheme. This, according to PM Najib Razak, is the government's way "to change the policy from bulk subsidy to targeted subsidy in stages and shift the savings to the people through BR1M. BR1M is an example of the targeted subsidy". Yes, but a top-down targeted subsidy.

See, let's first dwell on who qualifies as a Malaysian. A bearer of a MyKad.

And what if you don't have one?


This is a story of a boy who lives with his mother and father in the slums of Air Panas near Setapak, KL. He goes by the name Zahka. At least that's how he spells it. The six-year-old hasn't been to school, knows only a smattering of Malay and speaks mostly Tamil with his friends and family. He won't be going to school anytime soon if things stay the same.

His story is captured in this photo essay, the final year project by graphic design graduate Chia Hong. His work was exhibited at the recently concluded Art and Design Graduation Show at New Era College, Kajang, and caught the attention of many visitors.

Said Chia: "I wanted to document the difficulties faced by the poor. So many of us refuse to acknowledge they exist, that there isn't such a problem here. But it is around us, as I found out, and bigger than we imagine."

"Zahka is adopted. His mother found him as a new-born baby abandoned in a lorong near their squatters. Despite being poor, she decided this boy had to live. She took him in and nursed him.

"His mother, Firiza (that's how she spells it), has never been to school. She doesn't have a MyKad nor a birth cert. Zahka, too, does not have any birth documentation. I just felt hopeless hearing their story. My only way would be to create awareness through these photographs."



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