KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — A cross-agency Social Protection Database (PDPS) covering elements of employment, insurance and social assistance is required to be the sole reference point for social protection programmes and profiles in the country.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it would be an effective new approach in providing a more comprehensive social protection coverage, especially to vulnerable groups.

“People affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as groups not covered by any national social safety net, such as those in the informal and private sectors, need to have their needs identified so that immediate assistance can be provided,” he said in a post on his Facebook page today.

He said the social assistance given should not be limited to cash aid or food baskets only, instead, it should cover aspects of social mobility as well as added value that can increase the people’s income.

Muhyiddin said he had stressed the matter when chairing the first meeting of the Malaysian Social Protection Council (MySPC) via video conference this morning.

The meeting also focused on the agenda of expanding and strengthening the national social safety net programme, among others, through the proposed improvement and expansion of protection schemes by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to groups not covered by any social safety net.

The prime minister said that with the country’s social safety net strengthened and expanded through MySPC, more households in the poor or hardcore poor category could be assisted and protected.

MySPC, which was established in 2016 and last met in December 2019, has now been reactivated with the aim of coordinating a comprehensive and integrated social welfare agenda, especially to reduce poverty.

The council includes representatives from 15 ministries, the Chief Secretary to the Government and the Governor of Bank Negara, with the Implementation Coordination Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department as the secretariat. — Bernama