Malaysia allocates $750m to tackle rural poverty, plans new job programmes

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is set to convene a meeting with district officers across Malaysia next week to address the pressing issue of hardcore poverty, particularly in rural areas. Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan revealed that the government has allocated US$750 million in the 2023 budget for this purpose, which will be directed to the Ministry of Economy to implement three new programmes, including job provision for specific groups.

During a question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat, Ahmad also mentioned that the government offers Rahmah Cash Aid (STR) of US$2,500 to households earning less than US$2,500 and having five children. An additional US$1,500 would be provided if they belong to the eKasih group (under the purview of the Implementation Coordination Unit, Prime Minister’s Department).

He emphasised the importance of providing training for these groups to help them become self-reliant and reduce their dependency on financial assistance. “This group needs to be given training before they can do business. If they cling to the available aid, for how long? Will they be able to get out of hardcore poverty? They need to be trained and become small-scale entrepreneurs,” he said.

Ahmad added that the government is allocating US$900 million to train hawkers and petty traders through Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) and US$330 million from the National Entrepreneurial Group Economic Fund (Tekun).

It has been reported that the number of registered poor heads of households (KIR) has decreased from 124,744 to 118,217 KIR between December 15, 2022, and May 15, 2023. Similarly, according to eKasih data, registered poor KIR has also declined from 304,911 to 299,080 KIR during the same period.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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