MOF: Targeted Subsidy Uplifts Vulnerable Group, SARA 2024 Allocates RM700 Million For 700,000 Individuals

The Government has enhanced the Sumbangan Asas Rahmah (SARA) programme to  provide targeted subsidy assistance to the rakyat most affected by the living cost.

This  programme, which will be implemented in stages from 22 January 2024, aims to uplift  the country’s most economically vulnerable population and holds true to the principle  of equitability that serves as the foundation for the Ekonomi MADANI framework.

“The Malaysian economy’s transformation begins with lifting our most vulnerable up.  The improvements to the SARA programme is the first step in bridging inequality and  building an inclusive society as envisioned in the Ekonomi MADANI framework,” said  Prime Minister and Finance Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Improvements to SARA in 2024 include:

1. Expanding SARA’s qualified recipients to the poor and hardcore poor compared to the hardcore poor only last year.

2. Increasing the assistance to households to RM1,200 from RM600 in 2023. The  assistance to single individuals remains at RM600; and

3. Taking into account recipients’ feedback, items valid for purchase with SARA  programme’s credit are expanded from only basic food and foodstuffs to three new  categories, namely personal care items, medicines, and school supplies.

With these improvements, the 2024 edition of SARA programme is expected to benefit  over 700,000 recipients in the poor and hardcore poor categories with an  allocation of RM700 million, compared to last year’s recipient of 210,000 inviduals  with an expenditure of RM130 million1. This translates to an increase in allocation by  over five times from the preceding year. Under this programme, eligible recipients are  able to purchase selected essential items by using MyKAD at participating retailers.

The eligibility criteria for SARA is based on a database of poor or hardcore poor by e Kasih, a referral database for Ministries and Government agencies.

SARA will be credited to recipients in Peninsular Malaysia beginning 22 January  2024 (Monday), while recipients in Sabah, Sarawak, and the Federal Territory of  Labuan will begin receiving their SARA cash assistance from 19 February 2024  (Monday) onwards.

For SARA programme’s recipients in Peninsular Malaysia, the assistance will be  credited every month throughout the year at RM100 for households and senior citizens  without a spouse, and RM50 for single individuals. 

For recipients in Sabah, Sarawak, and the Federal Territory of Labuan, the payment  will be transferred in two instalments of RM600 for households and senior citizens  without a spouse, and RM300 for single individuals. The payments are scheduled on  19 February 2024 (Monday) and 12 August 2024 (Monday) to the recipient’s bank  account or handed out in cash at Bank Simpanan Nasional’s (BSN) branches  nationwide.

Following the encouraging response to the SARA programme last year, the  Government has also expanded the network of participating retailers  (supermarkets/sundry shops) to 515 (as at 17 January 2024) from 424 (in 2023) across  the nation.

The Ministry of Finance wishes to advise SARA recipients to be wary of unverified links  from irresponsible parties when looking for information on the SARA programme.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) and review of eligibility status for SARA are available only on STR’s Official Portal at from  4:00PM, 19 January 2024, while further details on SARA’s implementation  mechanism can be found at on 22 January 2024.