KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — A total of 574,886 additional new applications have been received for the Rahmah Cash Aid (STR) to date, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said phase one of STR payment worth RM1.67 billion and involving 8.7 million recipients was implemented on January 17, the disbursement of phase two will be made on April 5, while phase three in August or October at the latest.

“As of March 15 this year, a total of 123,243 heads of households (KIR) categorised as hardcore poor have registered with the eKasih system, but I will increase the figures to 130,000 KIR because my concern is that there will be new numbers that are not included throughout this year.

“Based on this development and the capabilities of the entire department, we will be able to address poverty,” he said during Ministers’ Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

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He said this in reply to a question from Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu) on the latest approach by the Unity Government and its progress to eradicate poverty holistically and effectively.

The eKasih system is a national poverty database under the Implementation Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department that was developed to register poor households in Malaysia based on the Poverty Line Income (PLI).

The Prime Minister said that in addition to STR, the government also implemented the People’s Income Initiative (IPR) to help 400,000 people from vulnerable groups as well as the Payung Rahmah initiative involving a total of RM64 billion in subsidies.

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Through the IPR, a total of RM750 million has been allocated to implement three initiatives, namely the Agro Farmer Entrepreneur Initiative (INTAN), Food Entrepeneur Initiative (Insan) and the Service Operator Initiative (Ikhsan).

“More than 22,000 have registered for these IPR programmes within a month, and this is a positive development,” said Anwar. — Bernama