KUCHING: A new department should be established to monitor and oversee poverty eradication programmes.
Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau said creating a team of coordinators can ensure effective implementation of poverty eradication programmes.
He was commenting on the proposal by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to appoint a coordinator for monitoring poverty-alleviation programmes at the district level.
“If they are serious about eradicating poverty, especially in Sarawak, particularly in the rural areas, all relevant parties should be involved.
“Do not just depend on the district offices to monitor or conduct such programmes. Agencies and departments need to get involve and work together to get things done the right way, it’s not a one-man job,” said Dennis when contacted by New Sarawak Tribune.
He pointed out that huge sum of funds was also required and needed to be allocated to each district especially areas that have a high rate of poverty.
He also stressed that communities also needed to help themselves to get out of poverty and should not always depend on government assistance.
“If people want to have good homes and make a living for themselves, they need to do themselves a favour by working hard to have good life.
“There are a lot of programmes conducted that help people to get out of poverty, initiatives like agricultural programmes, community-based programmes, business programmes, education programmes and others.
“These are some of the programmes that can help them. The people must take the opportunity to involve in these programmes,” he said.
Dennis pointed out that poverty comes in many forms as different people have different problems.
He wondered what kind of authority a coordinator or a team of coordinators have to eradicate poverty among communities.
“If their role is to only collect data and conduct surveys, it will not work and it will take longer time to help the people.
“They can get the data from district offices because they have all the data on how many people are in poverty,” he said.
Dennis hoped that the issue of poverty especially in rural Sarawak would be dealt with soonest with the efforts and assistance from both the state and federal governments.