KEMAMAN, Nov 29 — Close cooperation among various agencies, including those under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry (KKDW) can prevent overlaps in the government’s efforts to eradicate hardcore poverty, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

He said efforts to lift the hardcore poor out of the poverty line could also be carried out collaboratively with Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM), which has significantly contributed to reducing the country’s poverty rate since its establishment in 1987.

“I will request KKDW under Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to provide cooperation, and bodies like Felcra, Risda, and Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) to find ways to ensure that aid for the poor does not overlap.

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“...mobilise resources and assistance so that we can enhance services and efforts to improve AIM’s performance. I hope there will be meetings and coordination with AIM. Develop AIM not just as an ordinary body but as a giant so that it becomes known worldwide for eradicating poverty,” he said.

Anwar said this in his speech at AIM’s community dinner with the Prime Minister at Kolej Universiti Tati (TATIUC) here today. Also present was AIM Board Chairman Datuk Seri Dr Syed Hussian Syed Junid.

According to Anwar, AIM’s record in assisting the poor has enabled the government to place trust in the agency by allocating RM100 million to ensure that many targeted groups receive aid.

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He said this funding requires more careful and efficient management, and every sen spent must be accounted for to ensure success.

In addition to AIM, Anwar said various other forms of aid, such as the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional) and Rahmah Cash Aid (STR), also demonstrate the government’s efforts to eradicate hardcore poverty.

However, he said there are still some groups that do not seem to acknowledge these efforts.

“Everyone can talk about wanting to help the Malays, but the test is when we are in power. When talking during campaigns, what we hear is that Anwar and the Unity Government do not help the Malays and Muslims. I mention this because it is different (from what is being said).

“What are we doing? For example, the rubber price used to be RM2.50 per kilogramme, never increased, and when we took over last year, it was raised to RM2.70, and now it has increased to RM3 per kilogramme, and the same goes for Felda’s debts,” he said.

In this regard, the prime minister stressed the importance of the country remaining in a safe, stable and strong situation so that more programmes to help the people can be implemented. — Bernama