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New savings scheme
Januari 13th, 2012 by Najib Razak

THOSE earning RM3,000 and below a month are in for a treat again with the launch of a new savings scheme.

Skim Amanah Rakyat (Sara) 1Malaysia will, for the first time, give an opti-on to those with a monthly household income of RM3,000 and below to exercise options to invest and allow their money to grow in five years.

The government has set aside RM100 million to kick-start the scheme, the first of its kind.

Launching the scheme yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Sara, a hybrid of a unit trust investment and loan product, was capable of generating a consistent cash flow or monthly incentives. It gives an option to the low-income group to pay cash or take up a loan of RM5,000 to participate in the scheme. “The limit is RM5,000 and it can be bought through savings or investment loans from selected financial institutions,” Najib said.

“We guarantee that those who pay cash will get RM134 monthly or RM13,000 after five years.” Those who take up a loan will have to pay the bank RM84 a month and receive cash of RM50 a month, or RM5,000 after five years. He described the scheme as a “historic 1Malaysia product for all”. “If you don’t take the monthly cash, put it back into the scheme. Let your money grow. Those who paid cash will see returns of RM13,000 after five years,” he told thousands of people who had turned up at the Putra World Trade Centre to listen to him on the
options available for them to invest. Najib, who is also finance minister, said five years would go by fast and it would allow people to save or use the monthly cash.

“It is up to you. The money goes back into your pockets.” The scheme, under the Ministry of Finance, is managed by Permodalan Nasional Berhad’s sister company, Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad.

Application forms are available at Malayan Banking Berhad, CIMB Bank, RHB Bank and Bank Simpanan Nasional.

The forms will be distributed from Jan 30 for 100,000 households on a first-come, first-served basis. Najib said the government had launched various schemes and projects to alleviate the rakyat’s burden.

Malaysians, he said could buy sugar at RM2.20 per kg compared with RM2.90 per kg in Thailand and RM3.65 per kg in Indonesia. “It is the lowest here. It is low because the government subsidises it.”

Last month, the government started distributing application forms to allow millions of people earning less than RM3,000 a month to apply for the one-off RM500 aid to ease their financial burden.

Some RM2.6 billion will be paid out from the middle of this month and this is expected to benefit several million households. The programme, under Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) is under the Finance Ministry.

Najib also touched on his 1Malaysia slogan and said people were cynical when it was initially launched.

“They said it was just another slogan. There have been slogans before, but this (1Malaysia) is the guiding philosophy for the country.”

He said the 1Malaysia slogan was a product that would benefit everybody as could be seen in the Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia, Klinik 1Malaysia, Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia, 1Malaysia Housing Programme and others.

Najib also said while developed countries were facing financial crises, the government would continue to spur development via the Government Transformation Programme, Economic Transformation Programme and other rural programmes.

“We need to develop the country further so that the country’s revenue continues to increase. It will benefit all because the money can be used to improve the rural, education and health sectors, and all. This is the government’s effort to champion the people. We have launched many products in less than three years. Just imagine (the number) in the next five years,” he said.

Present at the launch were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, PNB chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid and its president and group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman. Najib had announced the scheme in his 2012 Budget, aimed at encouraging the low-income group to save and invest and also assist them in coping with rising living costs.

Source : New Straits Times

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