PETALING JAYA: The Prime Minister’s announcement that the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) will be given annually has been greeted with “three cheers” all around.

Single mother Ranee, 51, who earns RM1,000 a month as a cleaner, said she was happy to receive the RM500 cash aid.

“I am saving it for my 13-year-old son’s educational needs,” she added.

Single Mothers Association of Federal Territory and Selangor president Sharifah Kamariah Syed Ibrahim said that in addition to cash, more skills training should be provided.

“Then we can be self-sufficient,” she said.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on Tuesday that BR1M for households earning RM3,000 and less a month would be given yearly.

He said this while presenting the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Annual Report 2012.

Single unmarried persons aged 21 and above earning not more than RM2,000 a month would also get RM250.

The Malaysian Confederation of the Disabled secretary, K. Bathmavathi, said they needed more, especially because of the high cost of door-to-door transport.

“I hope the Government will provide us with a higher monthly allowance,” she said.

Single parent and charity worker Mary Anne Tan said the Government should ensure the poor have access to better jobs, improved skills training and financial literacy classes, too.

Society for the Promotion of Human Rights secretary-general Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria said that the amount was too small to make a significant impact.

Women’s Aid Organisation executive director Ivy Josiah said the Government must address issues like cost of living, affordable child care and accessible public transport system.

In GEORGE TOWN, general worker Nawawi Ley, 56, who earns RM1,500 per month, welcomed the extension of BR1M.

“Some people say RM500 is not a lot but it really makes a difference.

“The aid comes in handy as two of my five children are still studying,” he said.

Parking attendant S. Anthony, 43, was happy to hear that unmarried individuals could now apply for the aid.

“Previously I was not eligible as I am single.

“I only earn RM1,000 a month and I’ve been caring for my 67-year-old mother since my father and brother died,” he said.