What is 1Malaysia Book Voucher?

The 1Malaysia Book Voucher or Baucar Buku 1Malaysia (BB1M) is an initiative by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) in 2012 to help ease the financial burden of tertiary students all over Malaysia as well as help these students get better access to books and stationery that would help them with their studies.

This time, the RM260 Million allocation for 1Malaysia Book Voucher 2013 will benefit all Malaysian Students in Tertiary Education (Local Public & Private University / Colleges / Institute), Matriculation as well as Form 6 Students. In 2012, the book vouchers were given out in the month of January. This year, it has been reported that colleges and universities will start releasing the vouchers to students starting from February 2013.

1Malaysia Book Voucher 2013 and the 2013 Budget

Lucky students! In the Budget 2013, the amount for these vouchers has been increased by RM50. Basically, students will get a one-off voucher worth RM250 (it was RM200 in 2012), which they can use to purchase books and stationery in participating bookstores in Malaysia.

Eligibility

Students who are eligible to receive this 1Malaysia Book Voucher must have the criterias below :

  • Malaysian Citizens
  • SPM leavers who are currently pursuing a higher education program in Matriculation / Form 6 / Polytechnic / Diploma / Postgraduate Diploma / Degree / Master / PhD.
  • Vouchers are eligible to all full time / part time students
  • Are currently enrolled in institutions under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education or recognized by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency

Not Eligible for 1Malaysia Book Vouchers

There are two groups of students who are not eligible to get these vouchers, mainly due to the fact that they will be given allowances of their own :

  • Students currently enrolled in Institusi Pendidikan Guru (IPG) under the Bachelor of Teaching Program are not eligible for these vouchers (because they have been given a RM600 book allowance)
  • Students currently enrolled in Kursus Perguruan Lepasan Ijazah (KPLI) are not eligible for these vouchers as well

When Will I Get My Voucher in 2013 / When Will My Voucher Expire?

In 2012, it was distributed in January, and was valid for 3/4 months (ie January – March 2012, but eventually extended to 30th April 2012). This time round, it has been reported that it will be distributed in February, and we anticipate a similar validity period.

How Do I Collect My 1Malaysia Book Voucher?

First up, printing of these vouchers are the responsibility of the kind folks at Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad (PNMB). These vouchers will then be distributed to respective institutions (colleges, universities, Matriculations, schools, etc). These institutions will then determine the process of giving out these vouchers, so keep a lookout for notices, check your institution’s web page, or ask your lecturers on how and where to get your vouchers.

So you are eligible for these vouchers? We believe one of the requirement is to produce your IC and Student Card as proof so don’t forget to bring those with you when collecting your vouchers!
How and Where Can I Use My 1Malaysia Book Voucher ?

Initially, this voucher (actually probably 5x RM50 vouchers) is for the purchase of books – academic books, journals, magazines, scholarly and educational equipment based on the needs of IPT. Most bookstores also allow purchases of other varieties such as electronic items (example like computer keyboards, USB, speakers, etc). Of course, this depends on the participating bookstores’ terms and regulations, so check with the store before you start grabbing items into your cart!

What the 1Malaysia Book Voucher can NOT Purchase

Most bookstores does not allow items like cigarettes, handphone top-ups, or other non-educational items to be purchased with the 1Malaysia Book Voucher.

How to use the 1Malaysia Book Voucher

So how do these vouchers work? In 2012, the RM200 amount were split into four separate vouchers of RM50 (to make it easier to spend, we suppose). Basically, you use these vouchers like your everyday cash and pay your purchased items with your vouchers. The cashier will then ask for your IC (to confirm your details) before scanning your purchases. To make the process easier, let the cashier know that you’ll be paying using the 1Malaysia Book Vouchers.

IMPORTANT NOTE : No balance (in cash) will be given if the purchase amount is less than the amount on the voucher! For example, no balance will be given if a student uses an RM50 voucher to pay for RM35 amount of items (there should be an RM15 change). You can, however, purchase RM60 worth of items, pay with the RM50 voucher and top-up the rest using your own cash (but you can’t claim the RM10 from the university or government, mind you).

Some key things to keep in mind :

No copies, please – Most bookstores have a special screen/identification scannerto determine if your voucher is genuine or photocopied.

Can you purchase on behalf of relatives / friends? – Depends on the bookstore! For example, Popular Bookstore allows relatives (parents and siblings) to purchase using the student’s vouchers as long as the parent or sibling bring along the student’s IC for voucher identification.

Where to use the 1Malaysia Book Voucher

Most major bookstores like MPH, Popular, Borders, Kinokuniya, and BookXcess accepted the book vouchers in 2012. Watch this space for a more complete list of participating bookstores in 2013!

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