KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — The government is ready to provide training and job opportunities for rural migrants to the cities as part of its efforts to reduce poverty, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said the global phenomenon of urban poverty is in part caused by people emigrating from the countryside and into towns or cities, in hopes of finding better sources of income.
“But when they arrive, they may not have the proper qualifications or prospects, and if they do not allow themselves to be trained their income will be low, resulting in them constituting the urban poor,” Dr Mahathir said during Yayasan Sejahtera’s forum on poverty eradication and inclusive development at Mercu UEM.
However, the prime minister stressed that most importantly, wealth is generated through business.
“They have to learn how to do even small businesses, such as small-medium enterprises, so that they can make more money for themselves.
“We have noticed that certain communities in Malaysia do not know enough to grow their business. They are very static, making no further effort once they make enough to support their daily needs,” he said.
To this, Dr Mahathir said it has become necessary to educate these segments of society on the need to expand their businesses.
“They need to learn how to grow and expand, so that it can eventually lift them out of poverty in the urban areas,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also launched Yayasan Sejahtera’s Community Development Fund, aimed at carrying out community-based projects of alleviating poverty.
He also encouraged the private sector, some who have also contributed to the fund, to help shoulder the burden of eventually eradicating poverty from Malaysia by 2030.