BUKIT MERTAJAM, April 28 – The government’s continuous committed efforts to provide various facilities and assistance to the people to improve their income level and pull them out of the poverty has received recognition from the World Bank, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the institution recognised Malaysia as among countries efficient in providing funds and credit assistance to the people. “Malaysia is one country which set an extraordinary record in not only fighting but overcoming poverty. In the past, almost 70 per cent of the people were categorised as poor.
“We know life was hard in the past, there was no permanent income, most were self-employed and their incomes could not support their families. Almost 70 per cent of the people were grouped as poor. “Now, the national povery rate has fallen to less than two per cent.
This is a record not achieved by many countries in the world, as such the World Bank has issued a letter of recognition to the Prime Minister’s Department for successfully assisting people through the e-Kasih (poverty eradication) programme,” he said when opening Permatang Pauh Kelab Ikhtiar Usahawan, in Bukit Mertajam, Tuesday.
Also present were Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) chairman Dr Zubir Harun, Penang Federal Action Council chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman and Barisan Nasional (BN) Permatang Pauh by-election candidate Suhaimi Sabudin.
Muhyiddin said the establishment of AIM proved the success of the government in eradicating poverty by providing funds for entrepreneurs to start their business ventures. He said at the same time, the government would also ensure no parties are left behind from receiving funds and assistance provided by various government agencies.
“We will continue with our efforts tirelessly. What financing schemes can the opposition party offer to assist bumiputera traders…obviously nothing, bumiputeras are not given attention. “Even though Penang is under the opposition, we would not neglect it. We (Barisan Nasional) protect everyone. No citizens are left out from our shelter. I hope our friends will be with the government,” he said. At the ceremony, Muhyiddin announced an allocation of RM100,000 as an initial fund for Penang Kelab Usahawan Ikhtiar.