KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — The Ministry of Finance (MoF), which will soon start its Budget 2023 engagement process, is welcoming proposals from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on how best to empower civil society organisations to create a better society.

Its minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said building a better and more resilient society is a shared responsibility, and the ministry would welcome such proposals from NGOs like Protect and Save the Children Association (PSC) and Compassionate Care Foundation (CCF).

“Part of MoF’s commitment to sustainable development and building resilience is to create a better, safer and more inclusive society for our children and the underprivileged.

“And while we have made significant progress, particularly in areas such as poverty eradication, public health and well-being, there is always room for improvement,” he said in his keynote address at the Healing and Empowering Lives Dinner in aid of CCF and PSC tonight.

Tengku Zafrul said in the last two years, his ministry has begun quite a few reform initiatives to pave the way for sustainable socio-economic progress, including several ways in which the government and NGOs can work better together in the future.

Among others, the MoF has allocated a RM100 million matching grant for NGOs for programmes such as capacity building and tackling mental health issues through awareness programmes; as well as after school education and online teaching.

“The MoF is also open to receiving proposals on allocations meant for other purposes for Budget 2023,” he said.

The minister also urged NGOs such as PSC and CCF to reach out to GLIC/GLC Demi Rakyat dan Negara (GDRN), which is jointly managed by Yayasan Hasanah and Yayasan TM, to see how to work together on promoting specific causes.

GDRN, which was rebranded last month to widen its scope, is a corporate social responsibility-related coordinated platform that optimises the resources of government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies.

Tengku Zafrul said that to help the society recover holistically from the pandemic and build Malaysians’ resilience, it is crucial to embed and embrace sustainable development principles, including those that ensure the wellbeing of the people.

“Under the second theme of the 12th Malaysia Plan, which is Strengthening Security, Wellbeing and Inclusivity, one of the key game-changers to strengthen inclusivity and uplift the B40 and vulnerable groups are to address poverty holistically and increase the standard of living of the rakyat,” he said.

On enabling the needy and ensuring their wellbeing, Tengku Zafrul shared that through Budget 2022, the MoF has provided RM2.4 billion for monthly welfare assistance to children, the elderly, and the disabled who are unemployed.

“We have also allocated RM450 million for Covid-19 health kits for 3.6 million B40 families that include face masks, self-test kits, pulse oximeter, and thermometer,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul acknowledged that there are always pockets of society that may still not be captured in the government’s central database.

“This is where partnerships with NGOs — with its strong ground network — is extremely crucial, particularly to identify those that fall outside the social safety net,” he said. — Bernama