Khairuddin speaks to reporters. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

BY TANIA LAM & SHAH AHMED FAROUQ

KUCHING: Two learning institutions here have inked an agreement to conduct research towards assisting poverty-stricken communities aimed at enabling them to be self-reliant and improve their quality of life.

The memorandum of agreement (MoA) was signed between Knowledge Capital Capacity Building Learning Centre (KCCBLC) and University College of Technology Sarawak Consultancy and Services Sdn Bhd (UCTS) at the UCTS Kuching Marketing Office yesterday.

KCCBLC represented by its founder, owner, and principal consultant, Datuk Dr Abang Abdul Rauf Abang Zen while UCTS was represented by its vice-chancellor and president Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin Ab Hamid.

Khairuddin said that most of the government policies were good in terms of providing low-income families with subsidies and financial assistance from time to time.

“However, this is short-term and ad hoc. What we are looking at is a long-term approach so that eventually they can sustain themselves on their own. Hopefully, if this research is successful, there will be no hardcore poor people in Sarawak,” he said.

Khairuddin added that they had identified a few communities in Kuching and Sibu for their pilot project. He said that it was important to understand the structure of these poverty-stricken families, including why they were poor and unable to improve their standard of living.

“Teaching them to do business is not the most effective way. The most effective way is to train the young people to have some kind of skill, so that they can immediately use their skill to generate income,” he said.

Therefore, he said that part of the research was to conduct training, with focus on technical skills such as engineering, electrical, mechanical, construction, and IT.

“We focus on trying to bring them to the training centre. Once they get the certification, they can work with people or do their own business.”

“Instead of giving them the fish, why not teach them how to catch the fish,” Abdul Rauf added, while noting that the hardcore poor often did not reach out to the government. “Therefore, we have to reach out to them,” he emphasised.