|I am a senior citizen, but I am not eligible for any of the above benefits.|
Sad to say, the PM has let the warga emas down again.
|Mainly for the lower income group. Nothing much here to help the middle income group meet the rising cost of healthcare and medicine.|
Sure, there is something for everyone, as the PM has promised. But that 'something' is almost next to nothing for senior citizens in the middle income group. If you did not work in the civil service or serve in the armed forces, you don't get to enjoy the perks regularly handed out to pensioners. If you are not on welfare, the six additional centres for senior citizens will not benefit you.
Our silver-haired PM will turn 60 next year. Our former PM Dr Mahathir is already 87 years old. He should be championing the cause of senior citizens. Our biggest concerns have been, and will continue to be the rising cost of living and of healthcare.
Sure, there is the BR1M (Bantuan Rakyat 1malaysia) of a one-off RM500 handout to help the needy including senior citizens. But you have to apply for it, and there's no guarantee you will get it. It's not for the middle income group anyway.
Why am I speaking up for the middle income group? Just because we are retired professionals, it doesn't mean we are financially comfortable, and don't require any government assistance. We are the middle income group that is literally caught in the middle, when it comes to financial commitments. We have elderly parents to care for, and adult children to support. We are the sandwich generation.
Heathcare and medical costs for our elderly parents can run up to tens of thousands of ringgit. As for our adult children, many are still not financially independent. They are either pursuing post-graduate degrees, or have housing loans, car loans and credit card debts to settle. Some need funds to start a business. Who do they turn to for interest-free 'loans'? Mommy and daddy, of course. So there goes our hard-earned retirement savings.
While I can understand the need to help Felda settlers, fishermen, single moms, students, the disabled and even first-time house-buyers, I can't fathom the rationale behind giving PTPTN borrowers a 20% discount on their loan repayment. Neither can I accept any explanation for the RM200 rebate given to youths to purchase smart phones.
Perhaps I have to read between the lines in the PM's budget speech to find the hidden goodies for senior citizens. Perhaps the PM is planning a big surprise to cheer us up before Election Day. Well, don't hold your breath...