‘More kids, more aid’ remark a joke, says Khairy

Khairy Jamaluddin says having children is a serious thing and that those who concentrate on his ‘joke’ are missing the larger context.

PETALING JAYA: In an about-turn, Umno Youth head Khairy Jamaluddin says he was only joking when he told young couples to have more children if they wanted more cash aid from the government.

“I was joking that day when I said if you want more money, to have more children. That is just a joke,” he said in an interview on MetroTV.

The Amanah Dana Anak Malaysia 2050 (ADAM50) announced in Budget 2018 is a government programme, created in collaboration with Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), to provide all Malaysian babies born on Jan 1, 2018 up to Dec 31, 2022 with RM200 worth of unit trust units.

For Bumiputera babies, the money will be credited into Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB), while non-Bumiputera babies will have the amount invested in Amanah Saham 1Malaysia (AS 1Malaysia) accounts.

“It is a serious thing to have a child,” said Khairy.

“I said that in the context that we will be adding to the ADAM50 as I have asked the prime minister to add a cash incentive to the ADAM50 in the form of savings. We want to give cash because new couples need the cash when they have children.

“It is not a blank cheque for you to have more kids. No. It was a joke.

“But that is what they (the opposition) focus on. Please, I am not stupid, I gave a complete solution to help the young couples. You have to look at the larger context.”

When launching the BN Youth manifesto on April 11, Khairy said he had convinced Prime Minister Najib Razak to extend the ADAM50 aid for every newborn to parents who already have children, with additional aid in cash or in the form of unit trust funds.