State poverty rate reduced

File Photo: The waterfront on the south bank of Sarawak River.

POVERTY eradication programmes in the state have proven to be effective.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said data from the Department of Statistic Malaysia showed based on the Poverty Line Income (PLI) 2004 of RM765, poverty rate in Sarawak has been reduced from 21 percent in 1989 to 6.7 percent in 1999 and further reduced by 0.3 percent last year. 

“Even if we use the latest PLI of RM2,131 in 2019 for Sarawak, the poverty rate has also shown a drop from 11.9 percent in 2016 to 9.0 percent last year,” he said.

However, he acknowledged that more needed to be done.

“For this reason, we will intensify our efforts by bringing them into mainstream development through physical connectivity, improving their skills and creating more income generation activities,” he said.

Abang Johari said in his 2021 State Budget, his administration would also give special attention to implement social safety net programmes.

“Substantial amount has been allocated to implement these programmes covering a whole spectrum of our society in particular the less privileged. This will help to cushion the impact of Covid-19 on the vulnerable groups in our society.” 

He said the safety net initiatives, including micro-business development programmes, would help to replace loss of income for poor households and enterprising individuals.

“It will also help to counter the economic drag of the pandemic by providing a financial stimulus that would generate multiplier effects during recovery period.

“This is what a caring government does — protects those most in need and gives them a helping hand to recover from the crisis,” he said.