Empowerment of district offices vital to put end to poverty

19 Jun 2023 06:09pm
Photo for illustrative purposes.
Photo for illustrative purposes.

KUALA LUMPUR - Administrative empowerment of district offices and officers nationwide is viewed as a crucial step in achieving the government’s mission to eradicate poverty, with the focus on improving the well-being of the people.

It cannot be denied that as the intermediary between the government and the people, district offices play a critical role in ensuring that no one is left behind or sidelined from receiving government assistance, as well as conveying the people’s voice to the government.

The government has approved RM750 million in Budget 2023 to eradicate hardcore poverty this year, with allocations channelled to the Ministry of Economy for the implementation of three new programmes, including providing jobs to certain groups.

The Rahmah Cash Aid (STR) of RM2,500 is also channelled to households with an income of less than RM2,500 and who have five children.

An additional RM1,500 will also be distributed if they are in the eKasih group (under the purview of the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department).

In PENANG, the Seberang Perai Selatan District and Land Office has completed the profiling of aid recipient candidates in the district under the "Menoktahkan Kemikanan Tegar” programme initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Seberang Perai Selatan district officer Khairulnizam Hashim said the profiling process was carried out in collaboration with Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) and the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) in order to ensure the success of the programme and its significant impact on the recipients.

"Two officers have been deployed to the field to assist the district office with the programme, we have also completed the profiling of aid recipient candidates and UUM is in the process of preparing a report to be submitted for further action.

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"NCER will be notified later for immediate action, but in terms of the budget for the programme, it has not yet been finalised,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

In PERAK, Kuala Kangsar district officer Zulhisham Ahmad Shukori said for the time being, the district office has been asked to assist in verifying the background and eligibility of the participants in the hardcore poverty eradication programme.

According to him, the allocation for the programme was not given directly to the Kuala Kangsar District and Land Office because it is coordinated by the ICU through the Perak State Development Office.

"In addition, through the ePenghulu initiative, matters related to the registration of eKasih participants can also be carried out,” he said.

Manjung district officer Shamsul Ridzuan Idris said several initiatives have been implemented to address the issue of hardcore poverty, including the Peningkatan Pendapatan Programme, the NCER Empowerment Programme, Skills and Entrepreneurship Training and the Hardcore Poverty Eradication Programme.

"The Housing Projects for the Hardcore Poor are also implemented by the Manjung District and Land Office, in addition to the Rezeki Tani Programme which is seen to be able to increase the income of the participants,” he said.

He said, however, efforts to eradicate hardcore poverty also face several challenges, including the attitude and mentality of the hardcore poor, who were only waiting for financial aid from the government, despite the fact that other forms of assistance, such as training and job matching, were also provided.

"This People’s Income Initiative (IPR) is implemented to help poor families while other programmes such as assistance under JKM (the Social Welfare Department), Baitulmal and other agencies have been ongoing,” he said.

The government was resolute in its mission to put an end to hardcore poverty involving some 130,000 people through more comprehensive measures regardless of their background.

Anwar, when tabling Budget 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat, announced that a total of RM750 million had been allocated this year to the Economy Ministry to make the IPR a success. - Bernama