THE MySalam scheme launched by the Pakatan Harapan-led government has benefited Malaysians. It provides free takaful health coverage to eight million Malaysians, mostly those in the B40 earning group. It eases the burden of treatment or surgery costs that are increasing every year. However, in the current crisis, is the current government able to sustain MySalam so that it continues to benefit the people?In the presentation of Budget 2021, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the government will expand the MySalam program to Covid-19 patients.Political ContextHowever, several political leaders and Barisan Nasional supporters have expressed dissatisfaction with this scheme. Ayer Hitam MP Dr Wee Ka Siong said the scheme was a “failed project” because it is weak in providing insurance coverage to the B40 group. Wee also questioned why the government did not create a special payment scheme to benefit the group. Commenting further on the issue, Tony Pua as the political secretary to the previous finance minister, said the issue raised by Wee on old claims problem has been resolved as related matters have been clarified in detail by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MySalam. Therefore, with the budget approval for the MySalam, the Perikatan Nasional-led government is maintaining this scheme.Economic ContextThe government is husbanding the country’s finances to avoid wasting government revenue. Thus, plans to expand this scheme to the M40 group have stalled. This is regrettable because it will be a welcome safety net for the middle class in this escalating situation.Community ContextThe implementation of such a scheme is highly anticipated by the B40 group because those with critical illnesses are burdened with high treatment costs if they do not get assistance from the government. – January 9, 2021.* Muhammad Mirza Putra Mohd Suhaimi reads The Malaysian Insight. * This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.
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