TAPAH: The Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah (STR) Cash-Out Programme in rural areas has been extended to the Orang Asli community in Peninsular Malaysia, said Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan.

He said an allocation of RM10 billion has been set aside this year for more than eight million STR recipients.

Based on the STR database, there are 82,000 Orang Asli who are registered and eligible for STR amounting to RM82.4 million, but 14,000 of them do not have bank accounts and need to go to Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) branches to receive the payment, he said.

He said this at a press conference after attending the STR Cash-Out for the Orang Asli community at Hutan Lipur Kuala Woh here today.

“This is the first for Peninsular Malaysia because, for STR in Sabah and Sarawak, cash-out can be made through banks or cash. BSN has set up a mobile branch, those who are eligible to take out cash can do so immediately.

“So we also want to have a similar service in the peninsula, like in places such as Kuala Lipis, Rompin (Pahang), Gua Musang (Kelantan) and Hulu Perak (Perak),“ he said.

Earlier, Amir Hamzah observed the implementation of the STR 2024 Cash-Out Pilot Programme for the Orang Asli community in the Batang Padang district here, involving 409 recipients.

He thanked BSN for making the programme a success by providing the facilities so that the Orang Asli recipients could register and open their respective bank accounts to be able to receive the STR.

“We hope that with the Orang Asli STR recipients having bank accounts now, it will also increase their financial literacy...literacy programmes can be held as well.

“In addition, we also have the IRB (Inland Revenue Board) as our partner in the government’s programme that does the filtering so that only those who are eligible receive the STR. This is important so that the aid really benefits the vulnerable ones in the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, retired police officer Kedek a/l Che Tom, 73, from Kampung Chang, Bidor, said the process of withdrawing cash at today’s programme was easy and did not pose any problems to the recipients.

“I came on behalf of my son, who is a person with disability following injuries sustained in a road crash. The money will be used for his needs,” said the father of six.

Another STR recipient, Sarayan a/p Bah Nai, 29, who is single and from Kampung Senta, Bidor, said she is keeping the STR money in the bank. - Bernama

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