Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), the national cash transfer program formerly known as BR1M, has undergone many changes since its introduction in 2012. In 2018, it was changed yet again, with a new benefit structure that took into account variations in household size. Its proponents argue that cash transfer programs have beneficial impacts on low-income household–while detractors argue that cash assistance discourages work, and that households should instead be self-reliant. But just how effective are cash transfer programs like BSH compared to other types of assistance? How can BSH be further improved? What is the role of BSH in the future of social welfare in Malaysia?
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