Friday, December 16, 2011

Of RM100 aid in Malaysia and KD1,000 in Kuwait

******************* In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. *********************** Reflection ******************** "Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) ********************** A close friend who was working and residing in Kuwait recently posted an e-mail to me asking whether I had received the RM100 cash given by the government to each school going child before school session ended last November. ********************* Yes, I replied to him, I had received RM200 cash because I have two school going children (two other children are in universities and the third one had just taken her SPM); but the money has finished. ******************* My wife had spent all of it to buy the children's school necessities; in fact I had to fork out another RM900 – a huge amount of money had to be allocated because one of the children needed to buy a blazer as he was appointed a prefect and he too needed a new pair of spectacles as he had lost his old one in his residential school. ******************** The money spent did not include books and fees scheduled to be bought and paid when school reopens on 4th January 2012. As I write this article, I looked at their book and school fees lists; the one in Primary Four needed a least another RM200 - RM100 for her SK school and another RM100 for her ‘agama’ (religious) school. ********************** For the boy in Form Three; his boarding fees which included food and student welfare fees (yuran asrama) amounted to RM780 per year. This amount is to be paid by parents whose monthly income exceeded RM5,000 per month while those with an income of less than that should pay RM280. ******************** The PIBG (Parents and Teachers Association) fees amounts to RM350. These include about 15 items such as the PIBG annual contribution (RM50), computer fees (RM50), tuition classes (RM120) and dhobi RM60). For exercise books and other requirements such as name tag, outing T-shit, the money needed is about RM120. So, I have to get ready about RM1,250 for this boy (RM780 + RM350 + RM120). *********************** Luckily for the boarding fees (food), parents could pay two times; RM390 during the first session of school and another RM390 during the second session (normally in the middle of the year). So the actual amount of money I had to fork out for this boy when school reopens on 4th January 2012 is about RM860 (RM390 + RM350 + RM120). ********************** As for the girl in Year Four; I had also to get ready RM50 for her school bus fees and perhaps another RM100 for unexpected payments such as buying her school house T-shirt and writing and reading materials. ************************** I had to get ready at least RM1,000 (excluding the RM900 I had given to my wife earlier) for my two school going children; so it is very expensive to sent to your children to school nowadays. ********************** Yes the RM100 cash given to each child helped parents a lot; so thanks to the government; but to the authorities concerned especially to top political leaders please do not go around boasting that education is free in Malaysia! ******************** If school going children in Malaysia were given RM100 each and in a month's time, citizens with a household income of less than RM3,000 a month would receive RM500 cash aid from the government, my friend in Kuwait sent me this news item just to ‘broadened my knowledge’. Perhaps he did not want me to be a ‘katak di bawah tempurung’ (a frog under the coconut shell)! ******************* KD1,000 ‘to every Kuwaiti’ Happy anniversaries! *********************** KUWAIT CITY: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah has issued instructions granting EVERY Kuwaiti citizen KD1,000 (about RM10,000) as well as free food rations for 14 months as of next month, a Cabinet statement said Sunday. *************************** The Cabinet, chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, said it took note of the Amiri grant which would coincide with Sheikh Sabah’s 5th anniversary. ****************************** The Cabinet assigned the ministry of finance to take necessary steps to disperse the grant, which reflected the Amir’s keenness to helping citizens overcome their living conditions, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan said in a statement after the government meeting. ***************************** The Amir, he noted, also instructed food rations to be offered for free between Feb 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012. ***************************** The grants, he noted, marked the occasion of the 50th independence anniversary, 20th liberation anniversary and 5th anniversary of Sheikh Sabah’s assumption of office, due next month. ************************** The Cabinet, meanwhile, paid tribute to late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-sabah who passed away five years ago. ******************************* Speaking to reporters, National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi said “I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude to HH the Amir and stress the happiness of every citizen on the occasion of the country’s National and Liberation days and 5th year of the Amir’s taking over.” He stressed that the grant is not a new initiative for the Amir and said he hoped Kuwait and its people will continue to enjoy more such grants. *********************************** MP Khalid Al-Adwa commended the Amiri grant decision, saying “HH the Amir has always been supportive of common citizens who are facing economic difficulties of late due to the drastic hike in prices of consumer products.” He asked the government, particularly the Minister of Commerce and Industry; to monitor prices in the market over the next period for fear that some traders would take advantage of the Amiri grant to hike prices. ***************************** MP Hussein Al-Mezyad also praised the Amiri grant, stressing that the generosity of HH the Amir is well-known and that he had managed to spread happiness among all Kuwaitis. He also commended the Amir for ordering free distribution of foodstuffs to Kuwaiti families “which indicates his generosity and his concern for his children. We hope the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and municipality will strictly monitor markets to ensure that traders don’t play with prices and the Amiri grant is not wasted.” He also called for quick payment of the grant and suggested it be paid with salaries of February.

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