By Alang Bendahara
SHAH ALAM, May 5 — Beginning with hampers of daily necessities worth RM42 to the poor for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year and Deepavali some 15 years ago, such incentives have been streamlined by the state government in line with contemporary trends.
In 2013, the assistance was changed to a RM100 voucher which can be redeemed at selected supermarkets, via the Jom Shopping Perayaan programme, one of the initiatives under Iltizam Selangor Penyayang (ISP).
Aware of the burdens posed by current living costs, Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari announced the amount would be increased to RM200, starting this year.
Similarly, the monthly household income threshold for applicants and recipients has also been increased from RM2,000 to RM3,000. Jom Shopping Perayaan has also been extended to Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE) and Bantuan Kehidupan Sejahtera Selangor (Bingkas) recipients.
From 2013 to this year, close to RM100 million has been spent to finance the programme, which has benefited over 830,000 households.
Some of the Jom Shopping Perayaan recipients, who celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri, express their gratitude and relief during an interview on April 2:
“I use the voucher to buy things for Aidilfitri preparations, as well as daily needs. It has really helped to reduce my expenses for Raya.”
Private sector pensioner Abdul Wahab Said, 68.
“I am grateful the assistance amount has been increased to RM200 this year since the price of goods is also on the rise. The voucher redemption is also faster and easier.”
Security guard Raja Johari Raja Musa, 63.
“Thankfully there is something for this Ramadan. I will use the voucher for the kitchen groceries during Aidilfitri later. I thank the state government for helping to bring some festive cheer to our family.”
Private sector employee Noraszaliza Mohd Sazali, 38.
“This programme was most helpful when I lost my job during the Covid-19 pandemic. After the Menteri Besar made the announcement I immediately went to register, as the voucher can help with my needs like buying Aidilfitri goods for my two children who are still studying.”
Private sector pensioner Zuraidah Shaari, 60.
“I am pleased the state government is helping to ease the people’s burdens, by introducing various initiatives like Jom Shopping Perayaan. The vouchers’ value increase helps in coping with the rising costs of living.”
Single mother Norazmah Jamanshah, 61.
“I am by no means comfortably off, so whenever I get a donation like this, it is deeply appreciated as it can help to reduce my family’s burdens. I will use this voucher to purchase kitchen items and Raya clothes.”
Security guard Abdul Halim Mohamad Daud, 53.