By Tan Yi Wern
KAMPAR, April 15 – Starting from 2017, the amount of RM250 will be credited into KADS1M (Kad Diskaun Siswa 1Malaysia), whereby University students are encouraged to make application of KADS1M Debit card through Bank Rakyat.
Previously, University students have been receiving 1Malaysia Book Voucher (BB1M) in the voucher form.
However, starting from this year, University students who eligible to be receiving RM250 are required to apply for the allowance through Bank Rakyat.
The amount of RM250 will be debited directly to the account of Bank Rakyat, therefore students will be receiving a card called KADS1M (Kad Diskaun Siswa 1Malaysia).
BB1M was initially the government initiatives to lighten the burden of academic book expenses. (Image retrieved from heyyellowscarf.blogspot.my)
“The change of BB1M voucher to KADS1M is troubling me indeed,” said Loh Yik Yoong, a Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) student.
Loh said, “Previously I am able to collect the vouchers from the university’s faculty office.” She continued “But now, not only that I need to apply for it through online application, I still need to travel physically to collect the card from Bank Rakyat.”
For Loh, the vouchers are mostly used to buy fictions rather than academic books.
“I have a list of fictions that I want, but the price is rather expensive, thus, I will use BB1M vouchers to buy the books,” Loh added.
However, for certain students, the concern is focused on whether the credit of RM250 is tradable or not.
“Instead of buying books or stationeries that I may not need, I chose to trade the vouchers in the past two years,” said Darren, a UTAR student who preferably remains anonymous.
“I am able to receive cash money immediately and the money are usually spent on food or groceries,” Darren added.
“WTS” indicating the “Want to sell” of book vouchers. This illegal business deal rampantly appears on social media during the season of BB1M.
“Now that RM250 will be credited into the card, I can’t sell the voucher anymore,” said Tan who refused to be named in full.
“Unless the buyers come out with new methods of buying the ‘credits’,” Tan added.
According to the BB1M Guideline released by the Ministry of Higher Education, BB1M book vouchers are not transferable, cannot to be converted to cash or sold to third parties.
In the past few years, the period when the BB1M vouchers are given to the eligible students, buyers and sellers of the vouchers can be seen prevalent on social media, especially Facebook.
The potential seller usually looking for the offer on social media site and comment “PM” (private message) for more details pertaining to the illegal deal.
“These people are selling and buying the vouchers at their own risk,” said Fhua who refused to be named in full.
“Though knowing the risk of doing so, perhaps will be suspended from schooling, many of the students remained ignorant to its consequence,” Fhua added.
Warnings were given to sellers and buyers who misused the Facebook private group as a platform of the illegal business deal.
The newly introduced BB1M in the form of KADS1M Debit card can be used for retail transaction and online purchases as well as able to get discounts from selected merchants. (For more info please click here).
“It provides more options to spend the credits,” said Muhammad Ali Abd Karim, a UTAR student who is currently attached to Astro Awani.
“Apparently students prefer to spend the money on something else besides books and stationeries,” Muhammad Ali added.