KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia � Is it just plain or willful ignorance! The healthcare is subsidised, there is BR1M cash handouts, the cost of some necessities like rice, sugar and cooking oil is subsidised yet more than half of the respondents in a recent nationwide study claimed they were not aware on the products and assistance rendered by the government.

The findings of a nationwide study conducted by a commercial and social intelligence outfit KAJIDATA Sdn.Bhd. on what the public thought of the products and assistance provided by the government came of a surprise even for KAJIDATA’s advisor Professor Dr Syed Arabi Idid.

The analysis of the telephone poll on 1,047 Malaysians who were selected on the basis of random stratified sampling along ethnicity, gender, age and state found 51.1 percent of the respondents being not aware or not sure on the various types of government products and assistance available.

Syed Arabi noted that this is an unhealthy finding and it is more significant in the Indian (35 per cent) and Chinese (30 per cent) communities and as such steps must be taken to create greater awareness on the products and assistance provided by the government.

The former rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia (UIAM) added that such awareness is also crucial in ensuring that the deserving or target groups receive the assistance meant for them.

Meanwhile, the analysis on the remaining 48.9 percent of the respondents who are aware of the assistance provided by the government agreed that the government has been helping the deserving groups.

Hence, there is good awareness on the government assistance and products for specific groups.

For example 84.2 percent of the respondents knew the government has been extending a helping hand for the disabled, single mothers (77.9 per cent), low household income group (B40) (76.2 per cent) and senior citizens (76.2 per cent).

On the products extended to the people, 80.7 percent of the respondents were aware bulk of the education cost is borne by the government, healthcare (80.1 percent) and public housing (80.1 per cent).

However, those who were aware of the government products and assistance generally felt they were inadequate except for healthcare where 59 per cent of the respondents felt it was adequate.

When probed further whether the federal government has provided assistance fairly and transparently to all states, including the ones governed by the opposition, 42 per cent of the respondents agreed that the federal government has been fair and transparent to all states with 33 per cent stating they are not sure.

75 percent of people with disabilities and senior citizens, students (73 per cent), single mothers (70 percent), Small and Medium Enterprises (62 per cent) and B40 Income Group(60 per cent) gave the thumbs up for the Federal Government in providing assistance for the deserving group. However, the M40 group felt otherwise with only 36 percent giving the thumbs up for the government’s efforts.

Established in 2015, KAJIDATA’s mission is to effectively acquire and see beyond data and unearth actionable insights.