Govt making efforts to overcome poverty due to Covid-19 pandemic

PUTRAJAYA: The government is making efforts to overcome the problem of poverty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the Cabinet had been discussing the issue thoroughly as it was aware that many people were still facing difficulties although the government had provided various types of aid to ease their burden.

Muhyiddin said the Economic Action Council chaired by him had received reports that more people had fallen into poverty due to the pandemic.

“Some of those previously in the T20 group have become M40 and some of the M40 group have become B40. Those in B40 have become even poorer because of the impact of the country’s shrinking economy,” he said in his One-Year Malaysia Prihatin Keynote Address here today.

Muhyiddin, who marks his first year in office today, said the Cabinet Committee on Poverty chaired by him would look into how the government, government-linked companies (GLCs), voluntary bodies and the private sector could work together to resolve the problem.

He said the poverty eradication programme would take into consideration the fact that the 2021 Poverty Line (PGK 2021) had increased from RM980 to RM2,208, which would increase the number of poor and hardcore poor households and consequently the number of target groups.

On the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), Muhyiddin said it was aimed at achieving a “Prosperous, Inclusive and Sustainable Malaysia”, by formulating policies and strategies reflecting the government’s concern for the people’s problems as well as placing the Malaysian economy on a stronger footing to make it more competitive.

Among the government’s priorities under the 12MP covering the period 2021-2025 was to tackle poverty especially eradicating hardcore poverty and reducing socioeconomic inequalities through the implementation of more comprehensive and targeted programmes, he said.

Also to be given emphasis is the Bumiputera Empowerment Agenda to reduce the gap between Bumiputeras and other races, and speed up development in Sabah and Sarawak as well as other less developed states by strengthening the provision of infrastructure and basic amenities, he said.

The government will also focus on providing a conducive ecosystem for developing micro, small and medium industries (PMKS) and speed up adoption of advanced technology and digitalisation.

It would also promote quality investment by focusing on high technology activities and moving faster in the transition to green economy to support the sustainable development agenda to make Malaysia a low-carbon country, he added.  – Bernama